QUICK HIT: A simple list of guitar amps with built in effects that is not meant to be a ranking. If you're looking for amps with that feature, we're compiling all that we know of on this page
Before getting started with this list, let's clarify what we mean when saying "guitar amps with built in effects." There are a lot of amps that have reverb or perhaps onboard tremolo. While that's all well and good, it's not what we're referring to when we say effects. Most amps with onboard effects or "modeling amps" involve a digital effects processor built into the amplifier with multiple effects and/or amp models. Those are the amps included in this list.
This excludes amps like the Fender Vibrolux, which has tremolo and reverb but is anything but digital. They're great guitar amps, but usually not what people are looking for when they want an amp with built in effects.
In this list, we're curating every guitar amp we know of that has some sort of a digital effects processor built in, meaning it provides some, or many, of the following sounds:
- Gain effects (digital distortion - not simply amp breakup)
- Pitch (wah, filter, etc.)
- Modulation (chorus, phaser, flanger, etc.)
- Ambient or timed effects (chorus, echo or digital reverb)
Adding to this List
When building lists like this one, we try our level best to keep it updated. Because ideally, it would include all the guitar amps with built in effects. However, we're almost certainly going to miss some, while others may show up on the open market before we get a chance to update this page.
If you have the inside track on something we missed, please feel free to add it to the comments section below. Assuming it fits the bill, we'll actually add your suggestion to this page with a quick shout out to whoever submitted it.
Combo Guitar Amps with Built In Effects Processors
Flickr Commons Image via Nicolas Calzas
Most combo guitar amps that include a digital processor will employ multiple effects. Some, like the old Line 6 Spider series, included effects from all categories. Some modeling amps have amp models and cabinet simulators included, allowing you to craft all kinds of different sounds from one combo.
We'll list all combo amps with built in multi-effects and separate them by production status, listing those currently in production, first.
- Peavey Vypyr Series: Amp Modeling / Effects Processing / Multi-Instrument
- Roland JC Series: Effects Processing / Chorus, Distortion & Reverb
- Fender Champion Series: Effects Processing
- Fender Mustang Series: Effects Processing
- Line 6 Spider Classic: Amp Modeling / Effects Processing
- Fender Mustang GT Series: Effects Processing / Amp Modeling / Bluetooth
- Marshall CODE series: Effects Processing / Amp Modeling / Bluetooth
- VOX Valvetronix Series: Amp Modeling / Effects Processing / USB
- Blackstar ID Series: Amp Modeling / Effects Processing
- Bugera AC60: Effects Processing
- Line 6 AMPLIFi Series: Amp Modeling / Effects Processing / Bluetooth
- Blackstar ID Series: Effects Processing
- Boss Katana Series: Amp Modeling / Effects Processing
- Line 6 Firehawk: Amp Modeling / Effects Processing / USB / MIDI
- Boss Acoustic Singer: Acoustc Guitar / Effects Processing
- Yamaha THR Series: Amp Modeling / Ambience and Modulation Effects
Discontinued (still available)
- Marshall MG Series: Effects Processing
- Line 6 Spider IV Modeling Amps: Amp Modeling / Effects Processing
- Behringer VT Series: Effects Processing
- Line 6 Spider Flextone Series: Amp Modelling / Effects Processing
- Roland VGA5 Modeling Amp: Amp Modelling / Effects Processing / Speaker Cab Emulation
- Line 6 Vetta II: Amp Modeling / Effects Processing
- Crate DX Series: Effects Processing
- Johnson Amplification Millennium: Effects Processing
- Fender Cyber Twin Modeling Amp: Effects Processing
- Kustom KG Series: Reverb, Delay & Chorus
- Hughes and Kettner Coreblade (hard to find)
Rack Mounted Guitar Amps with Built In Effects
Image via Audiofanzine
Rack-mounted guitar amps typically show up in the form of an isolated preamp, which often have effects or amp models built into their interface. There aren't many of these, and many of the more popular examples, like the the POD XT series by Line 6, have been discontinued. Still, they're worth checking out, especially if more rare, vintage gear is your thing.
In terms of what's currently in production, Kemper Amps and the Avid Eleven Rack (by Pro Tools) are the two standards.
Discontinued (still available)
- Line 6 POD XT Pro: Amp Modeling / Effects Processing
- Line 6 Boss POD XT Pro: Amp Modelling / Effects Processing
- Line 6 POD X3 Pro: Amp Modeling / Effects Processing
- Yamaha TRH100HD: Amp Modeling
- DV Mark 250 Preamp: Amp Modeling / Effects Processing
- Line 6 Helix: Amp Modeling / Effects Processing
- ART SGX Tube Preamp with Effects: Effects Processing / Multi-Instrument
Anything to add?
Guitar amps with built in effects aren't necessarily plentiful, though there are more manufacturers starting to get in on this type of combo (the Boss Katana series, for example).
Yet there are likely boutique, discontinued or even mainline offerings we could have missed.
If you know of an example we could use some help. Drop us a line in the comments section with the manufacturer and model name of the amp, along with a link to a sales page. We'll investigate and include it in this list assuming it fits the criteria.