Buying A Guitar Amp

Looking for a guitar amp is kinda like looking for a wife.  Some guys like blondes(old Fenders), some guys like brunettes (Marshall); some guys like old fashioned girls (tubes) while others like jetsetters (modelling) and so on....

I've owned about every kind of amp you can imagine. Many of them have been great.  My last three albums were recorded using three different amps and a Line 6 POD. Each piece of equipment gave me something a little different I liked at the time.

Have a listen:

  1. Got'dem Moves - Bugera V22 (EL-84 tube combo amp; stock 12 inch speaker)
  2. Kingdom Come - Mesa Boogie F-50 (6L6 50 watt tube head: run through a custom cab with 15" Jensen)
  3. War Horse - Egnater Tweaker (6V6 15 watt tube head; run through a custom cab with 15" Jensen)

In each of those amps I found something a little different that I liked at the time. Expensive amps, cheap amps, solid state or tube, no matter what the guy at the local guitar super center tells you, the fact is that the only right answer in terms of buying an amp is to get the one that sounds right to your ears. My advice:

  • Try everything - you'll be shocked where you can find good sounds. I used to buy up old Alamo amps from the 1960's.  I played gigs with one for almost 2 years and the thing cost me $50.
  • Do NOT fear solid state - Technology is advancing so fast and solid state amps have been given a bum rap. I happen to love old, ugly solid state Peavey Bandits. They sound great!!! My buddy Scottie Blinn of Black Market III uses Quilter which are absolutely astonishing.
  • Do NOT fear modeling amps.  They've come a long, LONG way...the Roland Blues Cube is turning alot of heads these days, and the new Line 6 HELIX stuff is amazing.  Here's a crazy little secret...the band Garbage doesn't even use amps live onstage  They run Line 6 HELIX units straight to the board.
  • BIGGER isn't better - I played all over the US for over a year with that little 15 watt Egnater and never had a problem getting enough volume.

Finally, don't stress over finding the right ampENJOY THE HUNT....this is half the fun of being a guitar player!

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