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Vintage Guitar Amplifiers

Vintage Guitar Amplifiers

If you are a guitarist in search of an old-fashioned sound, then you might consider a vintage guitar amplifier. Whether you are interested in Fender, Silvertone, Ampeg, or others, vintage amps can help you recreate classic music with an extra layer of authenticity. From chiming clean tones to molten overdrive, you can find the make and model that will allow you to sculpt the tone you want and cut through the mix at your next practice or gig.

What should you consider when choosing an amplifier?

There are several things to consider when purchasing a guitar amp:

  • What style of music do you play? While there are many versatile guitar amps that can be used for many styles of music, if you play a particular style of music a majority of the time, then you should get an amplifier that best suits it. Do you play acoustic or electric? Certain guitar amplifiers are designed specifically for acoustic guitars although it is possible to play an acoustic through any amp. In terms of styles, jazz players typically do not need an overdrive option as clean tones are best suited for that style of music. Blues aficionados will be happiest with a clean channel plus an overdrive channel with plenty of sustain, such as one finds on many vintage Fender models. Shredders will require an amp that will accept distortion pedals without losing signal quality. Do your research regarding which guitar amps are best suited for the type of music you play.
  • What type of environment are you playing in? This is an important consideration when determining how many watts your amp should have. If you practice in an apartment surrounded by neighbors, a low wattage combo option is going to minimize potential conflicts. If you play live gigs in small club environments, it is possible to get by with as little as 50 watts. Larger venues require a larger amp that can move more air with its speaker. You should also take in to account how many other musicians you are playing with, and if there is a second guitarist, as you will want a tone cuts through the mix as opposed to getting buried.
What is a tube amp?

This is a type of electronic amplifier that uses vacuum tubes to increase the amplitude or power of a signal as opposed to using transistors. A vast majority of vintage guitar amplifiers use tubes, which help to give them a warmer, sweeter tone. They are available in combo amps and in amp heads, which then require an external speaker cabinet to produce sound.