News ยป New Soldano Astro 20 Brings Versatile Tube Tone in a Compact and Affordable Package

New Soldano Astro 20 Brings Versatile Tube Tone in a Compact and Affordable Package

Legendary amp makers Soldano has just announced the launch of the ASTRO-20, a new 20-watt tube amplifier that promises to deliver the coveted Soldano lead tone in a flexible, compact and affordable format.

At just 20 watts, the ASTRO-20 is significantly lower powered than Soldano’s flagship Super Lead heads, making it easier to push the power amp tubes into overdrive at reasonable volumes. This makes it an ideal amp for home use or smaller gigs where ear-splitting volume is not required. The compact 1×12 combo design also improves portability compared to a full-sized multi-channel head and stack.

soldano astro 20 head and cabinet

Despite its diminutive size, the ASTRO-20 still packs the lush, dynamic tube tone that Mike Soldano’s amplifiers are revered for. It uses a quartet of 12AX7 preamp tubes to shape the sound, plus a pair of 6V6 power amp tubes to provide the coveted warmth and organic compression that only tubes can offer.

soldano astro 20 head

What sets the ASTRO-20 apart is its three-channel design with four distinct “Galaxies” of gain – offering incredible flexibility to craft your ideal sound. The clean channel nails classic Fender blackface cleans with a single Tone knob and 3-way Bright switch, while the two overdrive channels give you access to the Blue, Purple and Red gain circuits. You can mix and match these Galaxies to have the bluesy Blue Galaxy on one overdrive channel and the high-gain Red Galaxy on the other, for example.

The four Galaxies span a wide range of rock and metal tones. The Blue Galaxy excels at fat, sparkly cleans and crunch tones, making it ideal for classic rock and blues. The Purple Galaxy ratchets up the gain for ’80s hard rock soloing, while the legendary Red Galaxy provides Singing Lead tones at more extreme saturation levels.

An easy-to-read circular display shows you which Galaxy is active, while the bundled 4-button footswitch lets you change channels and presets on the fly. Up to 128 presets can be stored when connecting the ASTRO-20 to an external MIDI controller or switching system. This makes the amp gig-ready for complex multi-channel setups.

soldano 4 button midi footswitch

The ASTRO-20 also incorporates cabinet simulation technology, allowing it to be used without a guitar speaker cabinet as a silent recording or practice tool. It has 16 factory cabinet IRs, plus the ability to load additional third-party IRs using the bundled software editor. So you can get cranked amp tones at a whisper-quiet bedroom levels.

soldano astro 20 head and cabinet

All this flexibility and technology comes at an impressive price point below $1000 – quite reasonable for a versatile Made-in-USA tube amp built with quality components. Comparable lunchbox tube amps from other manufacturers easily cost 50-100% more.

soldano astro 20 1x12 combo

So if you’ve always lusted after an iconic Soldano Super Lead but couldn’t justify the sticker price or sheer volume, the ASTRO-20 could be the perfect option to get those coveted tones at a more reasonable price and volume level. This compact powerhouse puts plexi-flavored crunch and Singing Lead tones within reach of ordinary guitarists without breaking the bank – a tempting proposition indeed.

The ASTRO-20 manages to distill Soldano’s legacy amps into a compact, flexible and affordable package for the modern guitarist. If you play anything from blues to metal and need a gig-ready tube tone machine that won’t deafen your bandmates, this 20-watt tone monster is well worth checking out.

See the Soldano website for pricing and where to buy

About Andy Fraser

I'm Andy and I've been crazy about music, and specifically the guitar, for longer than I can remember. As a former guitar teacher I've been immersed in the world of music for years. It's this passion and enthusiasm about all things guitar that drove me to start this website. A place where I could talk about the gear, techniques and general awesomeness that is the best instrument. I began playing somewhat late compared to a lot of people. I was 15 years old as it had taken me a while to find the confidence to believe in myself and take that step to learn to play an instrument. It started my lifelong love of music and playing in general. Since then like so many before me I've become an addict and gone through more guitars, amps and gear than I care to remember. I taught guitar for some time but unfortunately was forced to stop due to ill health. This lead to me starting this website so I could still share my love for and what I've learnt about the guitar. Guitar Inside Out is my way of sharing that love and passion with the music community and hopefully inspiring and helping others to enjoy it as much as I do. Learn more about Andy

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