Taurus Just Made a 70 Watt Head… That’s Also a Pedal

This is one of those “who exactly is this for?” products. Polish company Taurus have released the Stomp Head, a 70 Watt two-and-a-half channel (the clean side has a footswitchable overdrive mode) solid-state head with the form factor of a large stompbox. It does have some 12AX7 preamp tubes in its belly, but only two, so even the distortion is mainly created by transistors. I’ll admit that in the second video it doesn’t sound bad, but I have a couple major concerns, because in every use case I can think of there’s a glaring flaw.


1) Using this pedal as your head: ask any bass player and they’ll tell you that 70 solid state watts are not the same as 70 tube watts. Unless Taurus has some new space-age wattage tech, this amp just isn’t loud enough for a metal band, unless you’re going the in-ear monitor, direct-to-board route. But if you are, why do you need the power amp section at all?

2) Using this pedal as a preamp into a louder head: this is a $900 unit. Sorry, no one is spending that kind of money on a distortion pedal. And price aside, if you want to put this sucker on a pedalboard it’s prohibitively large.

3) Using this pedal as a backup head: this seems to be the most compelling argument, but unless your tour van is absolutely packed to the brim, it seems to make more sense to spend the same amount of money on a Peavey 6505, or spend $700 on a used 5150 or Mesa/Boogie F100, etc.

4) Traveling on a plane: maybe, but if your cache as a musician is such that you’re flying to your gigs, you probably are at the point where the backline can be worked out with the venues or tourmates or whatnot. Or you’d be better off throwing an Axe-FX in your suitcase (yes, I know an Axe-FX is twice the price, but again, you’re flying to your gigs).

I don’t know, maybe I’m unfairly writing this thing off. Would you buy a miniature 70 watt solid-state amp for $900-950? I do like the idea of portable analog heads. T.C. Electronic’s bass amps seem to be smarter products along these lines though, especially since they’re 25%65% cheaper.

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Chris Alfano has written about music and toured in bands since print magazines and mp3.com were popular. Once in high-school he hacked a friend's QBasic stick figure fighting game to add a chiptune metal soundtrack. Random attractive people still give him high-fives about that.

Latest comments
  • I don’t think I’d have a use for something line this but I do like that Taurus are thinking outside the box. I think it’s going to be hard to get guitar players who use amps to get their amps on the floor where they can step on them and spill beer into them.

  • I mean it kinda falls into the same product category as the lunchbox amps these days… a bit pricey, though still cheaper than the mini rectifier.

    • Actually it’s about the same price as the mini Rectifier. $950 for high gain or $900 for regular vs $1000 for the Mesa. And the mini-recto has a tube power section.

  • EHX makes a 44 watt power amp pedal. Similar idea though it seems like the Taurus is using a tube pre.

  • not a bad idea at all, but waaaaay too expensive for something that isn’t even completely tube. 900 bucks is hard to justify for an head/pedal/thing with an SS power section.

  • I’d buy something like this if it were around $4-600 and had about double or more wattage. I’m also probably in the minority in that I’d rather it were all solid state than half-assing a couple of tubes just for show. The AMT SS-30 has been on my “buy this” list for a while but I’ve been broke as hell, something like that with a 200W power section would be great.

    The EHX 44 Magnum is also a pretty sweet option as a backup for touring bands, assuming you have a half-decent pre to run into it. One of those plus, say, a Tech 21 Character might not be a match for a regular rig, but as a backup that fits in a backpack, it’d be way cheaper than this.

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