Tired of complicated soundboards and a mess of effects pedals?
Whether you’re looking for a studio, stage, or street amplifier, these best 4-channel guitar amps give the versatility you need to rock.
These are sound-machines with a range of effects and inputs to take your musicianship to a higher level.
In this post, I’m going to recommend/review the following 4-channel amplifiers:
- 50-watt Digital Combo Guitar Amplifier with 12″ Speaker
- 6 Virtual Output Tube Types
- Speaker-emulated Output
- 6 Amp Voicings
- USB Connection
- Angled back for use as a stage monitor; mounting hole…
- Power: 50W (25W & 25W stereo)AC or battery-powered (5…
- Four independent channels for connecting a variety of…
- Two XLR mic inputs allow two vocalists to perform at…
- COSM tones for electric guitar, including Clean,…
- 40 Watts; 1 x 10″ Speaker
- VET (Virtual Elements Technology) delivers stunning…
- Valvetronix preamp uses a vacuum tube multi-stage…
- 11 realistic amp models; 13 high quality on-board…
- Built-in tuner, AUX in jack, Headphones out, and USB…
- Custom 10 inch speaker
- Modern digital effects
- Emulated headphone output
- Manual & preset channel modes
- Line in for jamming along with tracks. Clean, crunch,…
- Light and portable 100-watt guitar amp head with…
- Integrated five-inch monitor speaker for practice…
- Tube Logic design approach produces class-defying…
- Five unique amp characters (Clean, Crunch, Lead, Brown,…
- Five independent effects sections (Booster, Mod, FX,…
Every one of these amps is here based on my 10-year experience and extensive research.
Let’s first look at these fine amps, and at the end of the post, you can find the FAQ section that helps you to make the best choice possible.
Use the table of content to jump to the section you want:
Best 4-Channel Guitar Amps
Best Overall – Blackstar Silverline Special 1×12″ 50-watt Combo Amp
The Blackstar Silverline Special puts 6 pre-programmed amp models right at your fingertips- or at the tips of your toes if you opt for the footswitch.
These digital emulators include a clean vintage classic rock sound, a bright clean jazz tone, two classic British rock amps, and two hard-driven models for modern rock and metal.
There’s not a lot this amp can’t do, but it’s a bit slow to respond to your guitar and can make your playing feel a little laggy.
Hear how this amp sounds:
Your tone can be tweaked in nearly every way with the Blackstar Silverline Special. This includes 12 built-in effects that range from funky flange to resonant reverb to colorful chorus mods.
With 4 independent channels, you can program your desired EQ and effects and switch sounds in an instant.
A USB-port allows you to plug into any computer to record. You also get access to Blackstar’s INSIDER software, giving you even more preset voices.
It’s super easy to use, though a few controls are hidden in unlabeled knobs.
For instance, to access the midrange EQ control, you have to hold the TAP button and use the Bass knob.
Outside of this, the other controls are right under your nose.
Value for Money
This is a splendid amp for those looking for a range of nice-sounding voices. It does its best to emulate authentic tube tones and pulls off a passable job.
Regardless, with 6 great voices, built-in effects, and free recording software, the Blackstar Silverline Special is worth every penny.
- User-friendly interface makes changing tones simple
- Various tube emulations to choose from
- Preset modeled tones give you easy versatility
- Powerful 1×12 Celestion V speaker
- Tube effects lack warmth
- Slow response; not very articulate
Personally, I love the presets of this amp and think it’s great for any guitarist who isn’t too picky about their tone. There’s not a single bad sound onboard, and it’s a lot of fun to play with a wide range of effects.
Best for Street Performances – Roland CUBE Street EX 4-Channel 50-Watt Battery Powered Amplifier
The Roland CUBE Street EX is designed for traveling musicians. It boasts 50 watts of solid-state power boosted by two 8-inch woofer and two 2-inch tweeter speakers.
This provides ample power for street-corner performances, pumping your sound well above even the loudest traffic.
This 4-channel guitar amp comes pre-set with tonal effects. They include a crunchy distortion for rock and metal, a clean for jazzy rhythm work, and a lead for wailing solos.
There’s even an acoustic simulator effect to give your electric a rustic acoustic voice.
In general, these different settings are everything you need for lowkey performances in a variety of genres.
Hear how this amp sounds:
With 4 independent channels, the CUBE Street EX can be used in a wide variety of ways. You can hook up a total of 4 different instruments.
You can route it through external speakers or even link it to an additional CUBE EX to double your performance power.
The i-CUBE Link feature gives two-way communication between the amp and Apple devices. This makes recording to home audio interfaces a breeze.
With an angled design, this amp doubles as a stage monitor. So if you ever decide on an equipment upgrade, the CUBE Street EX will still prove to be useful.
It’s pretty rare to find an amp this powerful that’s powered by batteries. This is my favorite feature of the Street EX because I love busking.
You might be a little overwhelmed at the number of controls at first, but once you take a closer look at them you’ll see they’re pretty intuitive. Plus, you have the option to switch channels via footswitch.
Value for Money
If street-performing or easy travel is your aim, there’s no better amp available.
50 watts of battery power at this price is a steal that any dedicated busker will recognize.
- Battery-powered combo great for busking
- Built-in COSM amp models support clean, crunch, lead, and acoustic tones
- Angled design enables use as a stage monitor
- i-Cube link supports direct recording into Apple devices
- Weak bass response
- Underwhelming distortion
You probably won’t be grinding out death metal breakdowns on the street corner so the lack of heavy crunch won’t matter much. If you’re expecting a versatile amp that’s easy to travel with, this Roland CUBE Street EX is a wonderful choice. It does what it should.
Best Budget – VOX VT40X Modeling Amp
VOX incorporates real tubes into the preamp of the VT40X to give you true analog distortion in the high-gain settings.
By replicating the signals of hardwired amps, the 11 voices of the VT40X are all really genuine. From clean and clear to dirty tweed to heavy crunch, you have a lot of choices in this amp.
The main issue with the sound is buzzing. You can encounter it in almost any setting. This can be reduced using the noise-filter option, but in doing so you sacrifice heavily on sustain.
Hear how this amp sounds:
The VT40X has 4 channels with 2 banks each. Once you find the sounds you love, you’ll rarely have to turn a knob.
Additionally, you can hook up to a PC and use the VOX Tone Room software to edit the preprogrammed models to your liking. This gives you full control of all your amps settings.
The effects are great as well, including 4 different reverb styles and 8 other effects for a huge range of tonal variance.
The controls of this model are a bit confusing and will take a lot of getting used to. But, considering how much control you have over your tone, this is a worthy endeavor.
Value for Money
This is the best-priced amp on this list. The lack of sustain when you decide to cut the noise is an annoying problem, but it can be overlooked thanks to the low cost of this great amp.
- Hybrid modeling amp uses a real tube for authentic distortion
- Built-in tuner
- Genuine-sounding amp models
- 2 banks per channel give 8 slots for user-defined voices
- Hiss and hum
- Noise-filter to reduce hum also cuts tone sustain
Modeling amps are notorious for cheap-sounding effects, but the use of tubes in the VOX VT40X eliminates that problem. I think it’s one of the best hybrid amps on the market.
Runner-Up/Best for Rock – Marshall M-MG30GFX-U Guitar Combo Amplifier
Marshall is well-known for its rock/metal tone and gives you plenty of that in the MG30FX. You have a nice, crystalline clean, two tube emulators, and a dirty crunch metalheads will love.
Though all the presets are digital, Marshall does a great job of delivering pure sounding emulators in this amplifier.
The closed-back design makes the mids and bass super punchy, giving this amp a real kick. Still, 30 watts isn’t quite enough to make you heard over a drummer, so you’ll need to mike the MG30FX up for any real rehearsals or performances.
Hear how this one sounds:
Though the MG30FX isn’t as feature-packed as some other amps, what it gives you is definitely quality.
The digital effects sound amazing and include reverb, chorus, and even an octave effect for when you want to get weird.
Every control of this amp is straightforward and readily accessible. You can switch channels either by hand or with a footswitch. Programming your own settings requires only a press of the TAP button and you’re ready to rock.
Value for Money
At the same price, you can get a louder amp for sure. But, Marshall has a well-defined tone that many players swear by. This is a dependable model that will last for decades and require next to no maintenance. Overall, a great buy.
- Straightforward easy-to-use controls
- Sleek design with simple functionality
- Hard-driven kicking rock tone
- Preset models and programmable effects
- Not loud enough for un-miked performances with a drummer
Though I’m more of a tube amp guy myself, I still think this solid-state MG30FX rocks hard. It’s tough and vigorous, giving you a rock-ready tone you can only find in a Marshall.
Best 4-Channel Amp head/Most Powerful – BOSS Katana MKII-100-Watt Guitar Amp
If you’re after loads of volume, this MKII by BOSS is a great choice. It gives you 100 watts of power when you run through an external cabinet.
But, you don’t have to worry about blowing your roof off at home, because it also works at 30 watts with the internal speaker.
Its effects presets include 10 different tone programs and several different effects. They sound good, but don’t really come through with an authentic vibe.
There’s a bit too much high-end gain in this amp, so unless you totally boost your bass EQ, you’ll have a rather flat tone overall.
Hear how this amp sounds:
A striking feature of the MKII is the acoustic-electric setting. This is specially designed to work with electro-acoustics, giving an earthy, warm tone that’s great for laid-back rhythm work.
There are 5 amp models included that range from overdriven rock’n’roll to smooth clear country voices. Each of these has a second variation, giving you 10 preset mods in total.
Using BOSS’s Tone Studio software, you gain additional access to 60 models great for virtually every genre.
It’s uncommon to see an amp head with a built-in speaker. I love this feature of this amp. When you hook it to an external cab, you have some serious power. But, on its own, it’s enough to satisfy all your in-home practice needs.
The controls are all easy to understand, and aside from several input/output jacks, there’s nothing overly complicated with the MKII.
Value for Money
Generally, I’d say an amp head should provide significantly better bass than the MKII. However, the internal speaker is a great sell. I think if you have the patience and know-how to dial in your EQ, you’ll get all your money’s worth from this head.
- A whopping 100 watts of solid-state power
- Option to play at 30 watts through an internal speaker
- Amp head that doubles as a standalone practice combo
- Lightweight, compact design for easy portability
- Too much treble emphasis results in tinny sound
While not my favorite on this list, the BOSS Katana MKII is an interesting head with a lot of playing potential. I’d recommend it to anyone wanting a ton of effects and the power to blast out a big room with them.
Looking over all these choices, I’d be least-inclined to buy the BOSS Katana MKII. Though it’s the most powerful, its tone falls a little short of my standards for amps at similar costs.
That said, I’m a big fan of the Blackstar Silverline Special. With a superior Celestion speaker, great-sounding effects and amp models, and 50 watts of juice, I think it’s overall the best 4-channel guitar amp you could choose.
But all these are great amps, no question about it. It really depends on what you like and need…
What Are 4-Channel Amps Good For?
Guitar amps with multiple pedals are a great way to get a range of different sounds with no extra equipment.
Each channel can be set to produce a unique tone. With a flick of a switch, you can easily change from overdriven distortion to crispy clean lead tones.
Having a simpler setup reduces the pressure on you to test and experiment with many different pedals.
Typically, amp-driven tones are going to have more sonic purity than the digitized effects that pedals offer.
This serves to make your sound more genuine. With the voice of your guitar singing true through the amp, all of your playing nuance is clear and bold.
Another great perk of 4-channel amps is that many offer the ability to run multiple inputs at the same time. You can send your guitar, a microphone, and things like a drum machine through the amp at the same time.
This might seem like a lot going on at the same time if you’re just starting out playing, but the more experience you gain the more versatility you’ll want. Being able to channel multiple inputs will prove very beneficial in your first performances.
What Makes a Great 4-Channel Amp?
Great 4-channel amps provide you with a clear, precise transfer of your guitar’s voice that sounds great.
When you’re looking for a 4-channel guitar amp, you want to make sure it has the electronic configuration you’re after. They come in all the classic setups: tube, solid-state, hybrid, and digital. Depending on your tone preference and personal playing style, you’ll want to choose an amp built to your specifications.
Outside of electronic components, you should get an amp that has enough juice for your performances. Look for at least 30 watts of power in a 4-channel amp.
They also have multiple inputs and outputs. This just means that you can plug in more than one instrument or microphone at once, as well as channel your sound through other speakers.
With multiple line-ins, you can reduce your equipment costs and centralize your sound. The option to run through additional speakers gives you a lot more volume potential.
Finally, we’ll talk about the effects. Top-of-the-line multichannel amps give you the option to use a different tone on each channel. Generally, you can adjust the gain, EQ, and more for all channels separately.
Who Should Buy a 4-Channel Amp?
You might want to buy a 4-channel amp if your set contains a range of different guitar tones.
They’re also a great choice for amateurs who are just starting to explore the gig scene. Not only do they cut down on the bulk of equipment you need to lug around, but they also give you microphone and guitar use in one piece of gear.
Keeping your setup simple in the early days is a perk for both you and the venue’s sound guy. In the early days of performing, the less complicated you can keep your gear configuration, the better.
4-channel amps are perfect for buskers. When you’re playing on the street, you probably don’t want to drag around a complex pedalboard, an amp head, and a big speaker cab. These multichannel guitar amps give you effects, speakers, and multiple inputs all in one. You’ll take up less sidewalk space, have a great tone, and have less of a workout lugging all your gear with a 4-channel guitar amp.
If you’re a beginner and aren’t sure if you need such an extensive, versatile piece of gear but can afford to get some nice equipment off the bat, these are amps that you won’t need to upgrade for a long time. They’re solid, dependable, and flexible amps that will be more than enough for practice and ready to hit the road once you are.
I hope that this guide helped you to choose the right amplifier for you. If you have any questions, leave a comment down below and feel free to share this post too.
I wish you all the best and keep rocking!