hard rock

Marshall-style muscle in miniature.

Well built, simple to use, and dripping with appealing cranked-plexi tones.

Controls arrayed less intuitively than on an actual amp.

$199

Friedman Smallbox
friedmanamplification.com

5
5
4.5
4.5

The Marshall-in-a-box stompbox format is so popular at this point that it seems like almost every prominent pedal maker builds one—each of which purports to deliver the sound and dynamics of a classic Marshall in enclosures that would barely accommodate an EL34 power tube from the real deal.

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Can an entry-level modeler hang with the big dogs?

Excellent interface. Very portable. Nice modulation tones.

Some subpar low-gain dirt sounds. Could be a little more rugged.

$399

HeadRush MX5
headrushfx.com

3.5
4
4
4.5

The allure of portability and sonic consistency has become too much to ignore for some guitarists, making smaller digital modelers more appealing than ever.

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Emily Wolfe lets loose, with an Epiphone Sheraton around her shoulders. Her signature Sheraton Stealth was released in 2021. "The guitar is the perfect frequency range for my soul," she says.

Photo by Brittany Durdin

The rising guitar star blends classic and stoner rock, Motown, and more influences with modern pop flourishes in songs replete with fat, fuzzy, fizzy tones from her new Epiphone Sheraton signature.

For so many artists, the return of live shows means the return of the thrill of performing, much-needed income, and, in a way, purpose. The third definitely goes for guitarist Emily Wolfe, who, when asked about her goals, immediately responds, "I just want to play arenas every night for the rest of my life. When I go up there, something could hit me at any point—an emotion that I felt 10 years ago could come out in a bend on the low E."

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