Many amps marketed to vocalists lack the power and depth you need for screaming. While there are some exceptions to this rule, you’ll often have better luck looking for a guitar amplifier, especially if you intend to use the set-up for live performance.
You’ll want to think about the genres that using screaming when you’re picking your amp. They’re usually both high-volume and high-intensity, like metal. This means you’ll need a powerful amp to compete in the mix. We’ve picked out some of our favorite choices below.
These are our recommendations for the 4 best vocal amps for screaming on the market:
Marshall AS100D 100-Watt Guitar Combo Amp
- Marshall AS100D Acoustic Series 100-Watt 2x8-Inch Guitar Combo Amp
- Price: $649.99
Price as of 08/21/2019 20:53 PDT
Let’s start with the cream of the crop, from a name that’s no doubt familiar. The Marshall AS100D is an excellent combo amp, with 100 watts of power driving two 8” speakers. This unique configuration makes it great for vocalists, giving the right depth to the mid-range frequencies you want for screaming.
Most people think of massive overdrive (see full specs) when they think of Marshall , but the clean tone you’ll get for vocals is rich and vibrant, too. It has a natural warmth that will keep your tone from going thin, no matter what register you sing and scream in.
You’ll also love the build of this amp. It’s sold and road-worthy, for one thing. The full array of EQ and tone-shaping controls it offers let you really dial in on your ideal sound. While this could be a pricey option, it’s worth the investment if you want a sound with both power and warmth.
Roland Cube Monitor/PA Amp
- Roland Cube Monitor / PA
- Price: $229.98
Price as of 08/21/2019 12:37 PDT
Here’s another big name in amplification. Roland makes a lot of equipment that’s designed for metal players, so they understand the unique demands of the genre. That’s what makes their Cube Monitor and PA perfect for screamers.
This is a smaller amp (see full specs) than the one above, with only 30 watts of power and a single 6.5” speaker. The upside of this more compact build is it’s also a lot more portable. At just 12 pounds, you can carry it freely from practice to the gig. The downside is that it won’t get quite as loud as the Marshall, although you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how much power it’ll give you for the size.
The Roland Cube Monitor is another one built for the road. The built-in handle makes it easy to carry and it has a metal grill cover to protect the speaker from damage. If you’re looking for a vocal monitor that has the power for screaming, the Roland Cube is right up your alley.
Fender Acoustasonic 40 Acoustic Guitar Amplifier
- Fender Acoustasonic 40 Acoustic Guitar Amplifier
- Price: $198.00
Price as of 08/21/2019 20:53 PDT
Fender makes a range of amps for acoustic guitars, and a lot of them also function beautifully as vocal amps. The Acoustasonic 40 has a vintage look but a modern tone, with built-in effects that can be as fun to play around with as a vocalist as they are for guitarists.
The design of this amp is as convenient for vocalists as it is for guitarists. You can plug in both on the front panel, where you’ll also find a full 3-band EQ for each channel. The build’s a bit bulkier, though it’s still less than 20 pounds, so not too heavy of a load.
What you’ll really love about this amp is the sound. The special Whizzer cone on the speaker improves the clarity, giving vocalists the front-end attack they need—something that many electric guitar amps don’t do as well. Overall, it’s a solid mid-range option for screamers in any genre.
Behringer Ultracoustic AT108 Ultra-Compact Acoustic Instrument Amplifier
- Behringer Ultracoustic AT108 Ultra-Compact 15-Watt Acoustic Instrument Amplifier
Price as of 08/21/2019 17:27 PDT
If you’re looking for something in a more budget-friendly price range, check out the AT108 from Behringer. It’s an acoustic amp with both vocal mic and line inputs. While it’s not as powerful as the options above, it’s a great value at its price range.
The Ultracoustic AT108 uses Virtual Tube Circuitry that’s a pretty good emulation of a tube sound. This translates to a touch of extra warmth and resonance, which is ideal for a vocalist in any style. The 8” cone speaker has a wide frequency range, giving a balanced response across the full vocal spectrum.
Behringer amps are well-built, even their more affordable models. This amp has a solid metal enclosure to protect the electronics. The vinyl-coated wood enclosure offers further protection from bumps, spills, and other hazards of the road. Overall, this is a durable and portable little amp that’s the best vocal amp for screaming on a budget.
How to Choose the Best Vocal Amp for Screaming
There are a lot of potential factors involved in your decision beyond just whether the amp has the right inputs for your needs. Obviously how the amp sounds is important, and you’ll want to listen to all your top options, but there are other factors you can use to help you narrow your list down first.
If you’re a gigging musician, both durability and portability are major considerations. Vocalists don’t have as much gear to contend with as guitarists or drummers, but you still might not want to lug a 20-pound amp with you to every show. You also want to be sure to choose something that won’t be easily damaged. Shows are unpredictable, and accidents will happen no matter how careful you try to be, so you want an amp that can survive them.
Power is something you’ll want to consider, too. That will directly impact how much output the amp will give you. Even the best-sounding amp won’t do you much good if no one can hear you in the mix. Think about what kind of ensemble you have around you and how much power you’ll need to compete with them.
Like we said, there’s a lot to think about when you’re trying to buy the best vocal amp for screaming. All four of the amps above are great choices (listen to them live or, in the very least, in a Youtube video), but even if none of them are quite what you’re looking for, hopefully this article has helped you figure out what you need. Good luck!