Best Guitar AMp for Metal
Mesa/Boogie Mark V:25
For metal, we recommend the Mesa/Boogie Mark V:25. Among the amps we've tested, it has received one of the highest ratings at 94.8. Brand reputation, features, tone, and a decent price all come together with this amp, making it a perfect solution for metal and hard rock musical styles.
Read the full review: Mesa/Boogie Mark V:25
For metal-friendly guitar amps, there are two brands we'd recommend before everything else:
Diezel amps are fantastic for metal styles, but also incredibly expensive without much in the way of economical options. If you have the money to spend (think between $3000 and $4000) we'd recommending checking them out.
Read more: Best Diezel Amps
Mesa, on the other hand, has some options that reduce size and wattage, getting you down in the $1000 to $2000 price range.
For a best-of roundup, we're looking to combine both quality and price.
- Highest possible quality
- Lowest possible price
This gives you a value marker that means you're getting the best deal possible. For us, that's the Mesa Mark V:25. We specified the 25 watt version because higher wattage options tend to run up the price. Yet, the 25 watt version still has all the core features we want, especially with the outputs on the back and onboard attenuator (load box).
You can even use headphones with it.
And most importantly, this is a monster of an amp. Mesa has long been know for modern rock and metal, so if you can swing the price, we'll always recommend them for heavy metal and sub-genres.
Let's compare the Mark V:25 to some of the other best amps for metal with a similar tone profile.
Compare the Best Metal Amps
Launch the search box below (the blue button) to look for more amps that you can add to our comparison table, or just compare the five we've already listed in the table, including the Mark V:25.
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Mesa/Boogie Mark V:25
Mesa/Boogie Badlander 25
Compare More Amps
If you want to compare more guitar amps, we have many of the most popular options in our database, which we're adding to regularly. Launch the search box and add the amps you want to the compare bar at the bottom of this page.
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Price Guide for the Mesa Mark V:25
This price guide lets you compare prices from the most popular retailers and gives you an idea of what you can expect to pay. Note that you can also sign up for a price alert or check price history. If there is only one bullet point in the graph this means the price of the Mark V:25 has not recently changed.
Price Alert (lowest price among listed retailers)
Price History (lowest price among listed retailers)
Price History for Mesa/Boogie Mark V: 25 Tube Guitar Amp Head Black
|Current Price||$1,999.00||September 26, 2023|
|Highest Price||$1,999.00||April 18, 2023|
|Lowest Price||$1,899.00||February 21, 2023|
Last price changes
|$1,999.00||April 18, 2023|
|$1,899.00||February 21, 2023|
Our Selection Process and Methodology
When making recommendations, we have a strict set of standards that are always adhered to. Specifically, we know the brand and the market and do not recommend products that we are not familiar with.
Moreover, we are regularly testing products in-house so we can provided a product-in-hand account.
Even if there are other good products out there, we lean towards the ones we've tested because we can make a more sincere and confident recommendation. If we can't get the product in our office, we do thorough research and consult with someone who has used that product.
More than anything, we know the brands and the market. Recommendations are always made by actual guitar players and musicians, guaranteed.
We do not use third-party marketing services or AI to write our content.
Got questions about our methodology? Please feel free to ask.
Why we like the Mark V:25
The Mark V:25 has a heavy spec sheet with a lot of features we like. One of the most attractive perks is a built-in attenuator that can handle the speaker load without a cab attached. In other words, you can go directly out to a mixer, audio interface, or PA system, and - as I previously noted - listen with headphones.
Obviously you can add whatever cab you want, but the option to go without one is very helpful.
There's also a five-band graphic EQ, which gives you a grand total of 13 ways to adjust the sound.
But more than the spec sheet, Mesa amps produce some of the best gain and distortion sounds that money can buy, especially in the tube amp market. Since tubes tend to produce a warmer and smoother sound, it really brings out the thickness and low-end in a high-gain channel. Mesa has obviously taken the time to fine-tune the saturation.
Again, the low wattage doesn't detract from this.
Modern high-gain distortion has historically been hard for tube amps to nail down, but Mesa is the template for doing it right.
What about using a distortion pedal?
If you get the right kind of amp, you won't need a distortion pedal at all. This is true of the Mark V and the other amps listed in our comparison table. You'll find that most of the pros get their distortion from an amp and not a pedal.
Generally speaking, distortion pedals can't compete with high-quality tube amps like the Mesa and Diezel models.
Read more: Should I use distortion from a pedal or amp?
You can use a distortion pedal to push an amp's gain even higher, but the amp should still be your main source of high-gain.
Are tube amps better than solid state amps for metal?
Is it better to go with a tube amp or a solid state amp for a metal tone?
That is highly dependent on which tube or solid state amp you are talking about. Many tube amps have a more vintage tone, like the Fender combo amps. Those are terrible for metal, far more comfortable in roles that require a lot of clean tones and blues.
But there are also tube amps that are made specifically for metal and modern rock styles.
The issue is that they tend to be a lot more expensive than solid state options. If you can swing the price of one of these tube amps, they're our preferred solution for metal tone. Solid state amps are really hit or miss when it comes to high-gain models, so try and stay analog if you can.
Conclusion and Questions
If you have questions about our recommendations, the Mesa Mark V:25, or something else in this article, please let me know in the comments section.
I'll jump in and help out as much as I can.
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