cab sim

With its burly build, tiny footprint, and super-reasonable price, this may be the ultimate modeling/IR option for space-conscious players on a budget.

Impressive amp, cab, ambience, and miking sounds, with just enough studio-style tweakability. Super-rugged build.

Built-in tuner and “spring” reverb would rule. USB cable not included.

$399

Boss IR-200
bossinfo.com

4.5
5
4.5
5

If you’ve been lusting after Kemper, Fractal, or Line 6 amp modelers but fear they’d be overkill for your brain or wallet, the Boss IR-200 is among the most stacked—yet relatively simple and straightforward—alternatives you could consider.

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A dual-amp powerhouse with a plethora of features.

Great size-to-feature ratio. Plenty of tonal options.

Missing a spring reverb emulation. Tube emulations can be subtle.

$459

DSM & Humboldt Simplifier DLX
simplifieramp.com

4
4.5
3.5
3.5

Pedalboard amps seem to be all the rage lately. And I have to admit that I've become increasingly more amicable to getting big tones with less gear. The DSM & Humboldt Simplifier DLX, which delivers a lot of big tones in a single suited-for-pedalboard sized stomp, is the latest iteration of the company's "zero-watt" amp series and features plenty of bells and whistles for the stereo set.

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Four top speaker-emulators from Mesa/Boogie, Two Notes, Boss, and Universal Audio get the PG review-roundup treatment.

Guitarists have searched for ways to capture big amp tones at low volume since time immemorial, or at least for the last few decades. The quest became more urgent during COVID, as many of us needed to carve out sonic space for remote-schooled kids, telecommuting roommates, and housebound neighbors griping about loud music, not just on evenings and weekends, but 24/7.

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