Traditionally, guitarists have kept separate rigs for live gigging, studio tracking, and practicing at home. While some players still cling to this approach, the lines between the different types of amps from back in the day have blurred with the advent of the modern modeling amp.
These are ‘do it all’ pieces that can serve very well on stage, in the studio, and in rehearsal and, for many players, have become the amp of choice due to this ‘Swiss Army Knife’ quality. Amplifiers like the Vox Valvetronix series or the Line 6 products allow pickers to have one amp with many applications.
They also let players leave their heavy and cumbersome pedal boards at home thanks to the sophisticated DSP models they contain that replicate just about every effect known to musician-kind.
While it is still preferable, in a perfect world, to have discrete rigs for stage and studio, it is just not financially possible for many guitarists. This is where the large amount of bang-for-the-buck that modern amps provide wins out over the one-trick-pony style of many of our favorite vintage amps.
New amps have an amazing amount of features built into them and can make the life of a working musician much easier, that is, if that musician doesn’t have any vintage or ‘boutique’ hang-ups that prevent them from doing things in a more streamlined fashion.
For those who just can’t see themselves playing a modeler, there are still many companies, like Victoria Amplifiers, that make stone-cold hand-wired tube amps from small to large and can sell them everything from a small Champ-style amp to a much larger and louder stage-worthy piece.
It is really more a matter of style and finance that each player must make for themselves because, at this point, every tone that ever existed is still out there and there are more and more amps coming to market each year that do things that Leo Fender and Jim Marshall never dreamed of.
Now you just need to decide if you want this in a head or combo style.