Vintage Guitar Amps!
Vintage Fender & Marshall Amplifiers!
Vintage Guitar Amps
Electric guitars are nothing without great amps.
And vintage amps hold the attention of collectors and players alike for their unique and interesting designs and warm, clear sound that modern makers are still trying to duplicate with today’s electronic amps.
When you’re talking vintage amps, you’re talking tubes -- or valves as they’re called in some parts of the world.
Leo Fender usually gets the credit for creating guitar amplifiers so his electric guitars could be heard over the more noisy instruments in a band.
Fender amps from the late 1940s and early 1950s are often called TV amps because they resemble TVs of the age -- square-ish with a rounded rectangle opening.
Often, the simple woodwork was covered in tweed to make it more attractive.
Until 1965, Fender amps continued to improve in quality and design -- at least in the eyes of most players -- and the prices and prestige of vintage amps generally rise as you approach 1965.
When CBS bought the company in 1965, quality declined, and the vintage era essentially ended at Fender.
Marshall and other makers quickly developed their own lines of amps.
While Marshall is a British company and remains more popular in Britain, the British rock invasion of the 1960s introduced this continuously evolving line of amps to the American scene.
Marshall didn’t make its first amp until 1962, but it quickly caught up to Fender in quality and reputation, perhaps even exceeding it.
While Fender and Marshall are the biggest names in vintage guitar amps, names like Vox, Gibson, Ampeg, Gretsch, Magnatone and even Montgomery Ward’s own Danelectro sometimes appear on online vintage instrument marketplaces.
Vintage amps have often seen heavy use, and tubes frequently fail and have to be replaced.
Amps with non-standard replacement tubes or other parts often sound different than amps that were correctly repaired, so if you’re buying an amp to play rather than look at, it’s important to know how it has been repaired and modified.
Modifications can sometimes improve the sound of an amp or correct design problems -- like weak speakers -- but it’s important to understand how the amp you’re buying today differs from the way it was released.
Choosing among the vintage guitar amps available online today is a very personal thing that involves looks, sound, age, history, modifications and unrepaired damage, among other things.
But when you land in the presence of one of those perfect vintage amps, you’ll understand why people seek them out.
Your image and sound will be better than ever -- so you’d better get started looking now.
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