Which amplifier?

Okay so I am looking hard at 1 of these amps; Fender Tone master Twin, Boss Nextone Special, or Roland Bluescube.

What I am really looking for is a good pedal platform that can do a thing or two to save the day. Solid state, yes but I think that the tech has come a long way so I’d like to get my gig rig together lol

I am curious what your thoughts are on these 3, and actually any others like these you might recommend!

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Check out Psionic Audio’s YouTube, he has some great advice. Personally I’d use a FRFR amp with a modeller in front, when the modeller dies or becomes obsolete you still have the amp.


I’m curious if you’ve considered the Boss Katana? I picked up a Katana Artist MkII this year, and it really delivers, esp considering the low price point. The programmable channels are nice, but they’re more of an afterthought for me.


I’ve heard good things about the Laney Ironheart foundry solid state amps. Not sure how they take pedals though…

This could be a good shout - I’ve seen lots of people using modellers like the HX Stop with other pedals - immense versatility, but you might not get the “amp in the room” sound if thats what you want. Although you could run just the preamp simulations (I know Fractal and Helix allow you to disable the poweramp simulation) into a solid state power amp, or the return of a standard guitar amp, and connect it to a speaker cabinet (not frfr) from there :slight_smile:

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Kemper with the Kone/Kabinet and any Helix/HX model with their power cab will give amp in the room.

Love my Kabinet.

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I really don’t see the point of using a modelling or solid state amp as a pedal platform, that’s a job for a bassman or (tube) twin reverb. Even if the Tonemaster sounded exactly the same as a Twin, which it doesn’t, it’s unrepairable and therefore has little resale value.

I tried using the DSP Tone King with my pedals, and in fact Pete Thorn made a patch called “Pedal Platform,” but it doesn’t work well; My Friedman BE-OD and JHS Angry Charlie kinda-sorta work but if I want the sound they were designed for, I just use a plugin that sounds like that in the first place: the Bogren Ampknob BDH 3. Room sound is not an issue, excellent convolution reverbs have been around for a long time.

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Thanks for the replies! I have an hx Stomp and an L6 Powercab, kind of a separate rig, though… I’m looking for something that isn’t too heavy to carry around, is loud and sounds good while playing nicely with my pedalboard.

I have a Fender ProJr, which is great but I am kind of sick to death of the maintenance and cost of tube amps. Owned lots of great tube amps over the years, Marshall JVM410H, Marshall DSL401 JCM2000, Peavey Classic 30, Peavey 5150, Fender Twin reverb, and I might own more in the years to come, but for the moment I am looking for something that’s not a tube amp - I just want to try it - I’ve heard good things about these 3!

The katana is a great amp, and I did buy one of the little ones as a practice amp. Not quite what I am looking for in an amplifier…


If that’s the sort of setup you have in mind, see if you can get a chance to demo a Tech21 Trademark 60. I have a 30 as a portable amp (slightly louder version of the 10) and love it for what it is, but the 10/30 and 60 are two very different beasts - the 30 is basically a Sansamp in a box and is much higher gain (though with some decent lower gain sounds) while the 60 was an incredible clean-to-breakup-to-medium gain platform. It’s nowhere near current tech… but it was also the best SRV sound I’ve ever gotten, with a stock US Strat, at bedroom tones out of anything I’d tried at the time and I suspect it still stacks up well. I’d expect it to overdrive well when hit by an OD, or you shouldn’t have trouble setting it up for a clean tone and running anything else you want into it.

Heck, I should find one. It’s also only like 20lbs, so it’s super portable. :laughing:


Hey Drew! I hadn’t thought of one of those, great suggestion - Thanks! I actually know a guy in my town who has one, so I will hit him up to let me try it out!

Yeah, let me know what you think and how you think that amp holds up today. I remember it being WAY beyond anything “solid state” or “modeling” when it came out, but it’s been a while.

These days I just play through a Mark-V half stack in my house, so my portability concerns are low. Christ, I leave the thing mic’d up too. I never move my amp. :rofl:


Great amp that Mark V. Solid all rounder.

@Scottulus I think you are looking for unicorns brother. I too am sitting with a dead plexi, new tubes got stolen off the porch :frowning:

I understand the quest and shall be watching this thread closely. Of the ones your mentioned the Tone master Twin I think would have the biggest sound for stage work and also make a fun practice amp, it’s not trying to be everything, your pedals will do the heavy lifting but not without compromise. Though the one Drew suggested could be more practical, a pedal board, guitar and amp is already a lot to carry around.

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lol Yes - Looking for a unicorn indeed! Yeah, I will keep you guys posted. Might pull the trigger in the new year on something… We will see!

try the Freidman Irx with a PA Speaker.


That must be one heck of pedal. I’ve been using a hot rod custom revival drive, what I like about it is it’s ability to tweak it to suit any sort of amp/interface. I sometimes cheat with a cali 76 comp before it. Sgear and some killer IRs, way too much fun.

How are you using your freedman irx?

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Ok, so I tried out a couple of sansamp amplifiers; one of my pals has two actually and while they are pretty awesome not quite what I am looking for.

Freidman IRX, never tried one. I’ll see if I can get my hands on one…

I have a Strymon Iridium, and it sounds absolutely fantastic going into my L6 power-cab, or direct to interface for recording but my preference is to leave it at home for studio use. Although, perhaps I pick up a ToneX, use that for recording and then use the Iridium with my board into the powercab? Or maybe one of those new Boss IR amp/cab stomps?

I am off work for a week at Christmas starting next Friday so perhaps I will rent the Tonemaster Fender Twin and put it through it’s paces…

lol So many options…

Are you looking for something to gig with, or something just to have that isn’t a tube amp, but reacts well to a pedal platform?

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Both lol just an all around amplifier that can be useful in different situations!

If you are just looking at an alternative. Peavey Transtube line. They can be had for a song, and sounded pretty decent I thought. The clean is particularly good on them, and does take pedals well.


Hmmm, I had one years ago - I had forgotten about them - they were actually pretty decent amps and a cheap Bandit would be perfect actually… Good suggestion!

(Edit - Got my hands on one - sounds great at low volumes, but sadly as it gets louder it becomes…puny… :grinning:)

Im using it as a small pedall platform rig along with the TC electronics plethora X5 which gives me all the effects with minimal fuss. I wasn’t a fan of the stomps editing which the TC is very easy to use and set up in 4 cable method to utilize the Compressor and stuff before the IRX with time-based effects after the irx since it has a built-in effects loop. I even got an Electro Harmonix 44 magnum to run into a traditional cab as well which is ultra flexible. The thing is loud and sounds great.

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