Practice amp for use with pedals and with connectivity

TLDR - good practice amp to use with pedals, no need for lots of amp models but nice to have features like Bluetooth and usb audio interface functionality…

More detail on my journey so far…I’m an advancing beginner, started playing about a year ago following Justin’s course but just recently find myself going more and more into blues.

I started with a Nux Mighty Air practice amp and I have been really happy with it up to now - having access to a few amp models, effects, Bluetooth streaming in of backing tracks/songs to play along with, and connecting it to my PC so it worked as a USB audio interface for recording at the same time as being a computer speaker via the same USB so I could listen to lessons on my laptop while also being connected to the guitar. I play a lot of the time with headphones plugged in due to young children in the house etc but do sometimes play through the speaker.

I then bought a looper pedal with a built in drum machine as a practice tool. This is where it started… Then I thought well I need to put reverb on my guitar but not on the drum beat so I can’t use the amp reverb, need a reverb pedal, then a tube screamer clone, and a blues overdrive pedal etc and so now I have a little pedalboard, I don’t really need all the Nux effects etc in the amp, just use it clean mainly.

I realised I actually really prefer the tactile experience of pressing foot switches, turning dials to adjust gain and drive etc, rather than controlling through an app like with the Nux amp.

And for some reason I feel like buying a new amp now. I think what I want is probably not a normal combination of high and low tech… I would like

  • good sound but no need for huge volume - just for me to practice at home
  • physical controls for everything - real knobs" that go from low to high, rather than knobs that can spin continuously to allow simultaneous control from an app
  • usb-c audio out and ideally usb-c audio in
  • Bluetooth audio in
  • headphone connection maybe with cab sim via IR
  • Bluetooth audio in
  • a clean channel and maybe an overdrive channel

The things that Nux has that I don’t need

  • don’t need lots of amp sims or built in effects
  • don’t need a wireless receiver
  • really easy portability not that important

Thank you if you read this far… Any suggestions?

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at first read it sounds like a fender mustang might be worth a look. the first one with an FX loop is the gtx50, but if all you need is the footswitch to go between clean/drive channel I think the LT’s do that.

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I would look at an Orange Crush 35RT, it’s got everything you need if you don’t want built in FX, it’s got a decent reverb and has an FX loop so no issues with using a looper. This would 100% be my go to in your situation.


Killer question is how much you looking to spend? there is so much in the market place that there is a load of things to choose from so you need to narrow it down somehow. Then list out the features you really need and use that to filter more. You’re quite specific on your connection options so that will filter out quite a bit. I think you’ll find only the very latest amps might use Usb C. Similarly bluetooth is not universal on all new amps.

Probably with the list of connections you want you are going to be looking at solid state rather than tube (happy to be corrected by others). So just look at all of the major manufacturers and see what they do at your price point - Boss, Line 6, Fender, Orange, Blackstar etc.

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Thanks - I’m looking at a Blackstar HT-1R combo now - seems to a rare combination of simplicity of a real tube amp with also an emulated output for headphones and usbc interface. But maybe will only allow myself to buy it when I get a bit better at playing!

I don’t know.if you’re still looking. I have a Boss Katana MKII 50w (second amp) but I’m finding myself to play most of the time on my Vox Ac15c1, with pedals. Like the sound much much more. The sound of it with pedals, damn, it sounds sooooo good :grin:
On Youtube there are lots of videos with correct settings (that was my problem in the beginning, didn’t really like the sound of it as it was too “clean”. Not Rock enough. But now :sunglasses::drooling_face:

Oh yes. The discussion on the other thread got me looking at amps. Not that I need one, but … well … you know how it is. :wink:

This is the one I would get, but it’s A$1000 here. Will have to wait for that lottery win.