Try these 7 amps before you buy!Here are 7 iconic amps you might wanna try out before you spend your hard-earned cash on a new electric guitar amp.
Fender Super Reverb
Strat lovers look no further! If you and your bandmates can cope with the volume and your playing isn’t too messy, then I dare you to put the Fender Super Reverb next to any amp.
The volume, the punch, the feel of this amp when cranked really is something else. On its own the clean is second to none, with a tube screamer you get that Strat – Fender Amp – Tube Screamer sound which many believe you just can’t beat.
Sure, with 4 10” speakers this is not an easy amp to haul around and most sound engineers will hate you, but what can you do, the louder you are, the greater you’ll feel!
Mesa Boogie Mark V
For the tweaker that play all kinds of styles, want everything in one unit and only work with the real thing (valves) the Mesa Boogie Mark V will deliver like no other.
Personally, I prefer the head only so I can use different cabs depending on the venue but I can definitely see the appeal of putting one of these combos in a flight case and just forget about it.
There are so many ways to tweak the Mark V you could literally have a new experience every time!
Dr z Maz Jr and Sr
The Maz come as Jr and Sr, it’s EL84’s in both (twice as many in the Sr) so if you like that power amp sound (also in Mesa Lonestar and Fender Champ) then the Maz might be the ultimate choice.
The Maz Jr is 18w and according to many purists, the Holy Grail when it comes to 18w EL84 equipped amps.
If you are shopping for an amp and never tried the EL84 sound you are missing out. No doubt, you need to try this before you decide on your next purchase.
I’ve tried a badger and yes it is the bee’s knees, the creme de la creme, if you have the cash and are comparing top end amps, you don’t want to miss the Badger!
Next on our list of 7 iconic amps to try before you buy I have included the Vox AC30. Sure I could have picked a Matchless, a Bad Cat, Top Hat, Victoria or why not the Dumble Super Overdrive?
But the AC30 is the original, one of those amps that everyone else compared their creations to, so if you want to get to the source, this is it. The older, the better but also more likely to blow up…
Marshall JTM 45
Temperamental to say the least! The JTM 45 is certainly iconic and if you get a good one, it might be the best amp you ever played. However, some JTM’s do not sound good at all, why?
Boutique amp makers of today are no doubt wringing their hands as they proclaim they can make one that will sound great, but really, you do want the original, don’t you?
Using KT66 in the really early models, 5881 valves in later models, the JTM 45 was based on the Fender Bassman and later on paved the way for Clapton‘s early favourite, the Bluesbreaker, another classic Marshall amp.
DR Z Carmen Ghia
This is my personal favourite, two knobs, 18 watts, I dare you to try this super simple amp and justify why you would buy anything else.
Maybe you don’t want the sound I want, maybe you do. I’ve tried hundreds of amps in my days and for some reason, the Carmen Ghia is my choice, it’s just perfect.
Personally, I like the head and use it with a blue alnico, but hey, that’s just me…
So which of these 7 amps will you buy? Maybe when you tried all you’ll find a small boutique amp hardly anyone has heard of but is perfect for you.
Hopefully this quick guide to 7 iconic amps, all being the real deal, will help you along the way.
Including detailed, but bite-sized explanations on how the music theory of each song is applied to the neck.
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