Choosing the gigging amp for you
While they may have a wattage in common, each amp has its own characteristics. Orange’s Rocker 15 is great for live use with those footswitchable clean and dirty channels, but really earns its keep in the studio, where the switchable power levels and superb Orange loudspeaker make it easy to record huge guitar tone with minimum hassle. Despite the upgraded circuit, Vox’s AC15C1 hasn’t lost any of its vintage mojo and kicks out plenty of power from the legendary Celestion G12M loudspeaker. Although you can’t footswitch channels, it’s a great live amp, with or without pedals. Real pedal fanatics need look no further than the Blackstar Artist 15; with bags of clean headroom from both channels and a series loop with switchable levels, the Artist 15 is a great pedalboard partner, for going straight in or using the effects loop.
Fender’s Bassbreaker 15 is the wild card in this pack, with a three-stage, boutique-style gain switch that covers everything from bright punchy cleans to full-on screaming leads. The two lower-gain settings are great with pedals; the medium gain voice is stunning and perfect for bluesy leads and classic rock stuff, cleaning up nicely from the guitar’s volume control. The digital reverb is excellent – after hearing it you’ll never want to go back to a spring, and with a balanced speaker-emulated direct out, it’s perfect for stage or studio. Whichever combo you choose, you’re guaranteed great tone and a happy partnership with your pedalboard.