Best Cheap Stage Amp for Amp Sims?

Tone Tips   |   August 24, 2023

posted by: Tone Tailors

When it comes to amp modeling, the most common criticism is that there’s no “amp in the room” or “air moving on stage.”

This ends up affecting the the way guitarists feel when playing through modelers, to the extent they say “they’ll just never be as good.”  While we ourselves love a hot, juiced up tube amp, the modern gigging musician demands more flexibility and a lighter commute than your average 2×12 cab allows. Lots of companies like Line 6, Strymon, Walrus, and now Universal Audio have designed effects units to replace your amp… but how can you hear them on stage?

Best Cheap Stage Amp for Amp Sims?

Wedges don’t cut it and FRFR speakers can be expensive, so what about the humble, Boss Katana 50 MK II, an under $400 option that’s a Swiss army knife of features? We put that question to the test in our latest video:

As you can hear, the Boss Katana was a downright great pairing for even the most discerning of players. The feel was right, the ability to run a DI and still change tonality with your microphone of choice make it an obvious winner.  Are there better options out there? Probably. Are there cheaper AND better options… Probably not! If you run in ears and have your DI routing covered, but you’d just like an amp for stage volume and some air movement, this can really do the trick. So is this the best cheap stage amp for amp sims? It very well could be…

We plan on continuing this concept with even more in depth testing, so stay tuned for more!

Back to Top