The first electric guitar amplifiers were used to power the lap-steel guitars washed ashore on the US mainland in the great Hawaiian music craze of the 30s. The modern electric guitar amplifier really came in to being when surf guitarist Dick Dale collaborated with Fender to produce the first 100 watt amplifier with the aim of producing “thick, clearly defined tones”, but at volumes previously undreamed of. Early on, guitarists experimented with distortion by deliberately overdriving their amps, creating the first “effects” which the guitarist now commands through his effects box, and by manipulating the pre amplifier signal.
Electric guitar amplifiers
are made in two basic configurations – the “combo” in which speakers and am are combined in the single unit, and separate arrangements where the amp stands alone and drives speakers at a distance.
Until the 1970s the dominant active electronic component in guitar amplifiers was the vacuum tube. Solid state electronics came into use, but did not entirely replace the vacuum tube, with high end units still being made with one or more dual triodes in the pre-amplifier, and being favoured for their superior warmth of tone.
Solid state amplifiers, nonetheless, have become the norm, and deliver startlingly good performance. A large number of hybrid amps have been built, embodying vacuum tube technology in tandem with solid state. Today, guitar amps often include USB connectivity to allow programmable signal manipulation by a means of a laptop.
Amps for electric bass and acoustic guitars differ from those for lead or rhythm guitars, not least because the latter typically require a distortion function, but also because they are generally required to deliver a flatter frequency response.
At Music Mart, we have practice and performance electric guitar amplifiers for all types of guitar from respected makers such as Vox and Fender.
Vox guitar amplifiers
Vox’s Valvetronic VT40+ is a 60 watt guitar amplifier, and features a tube-driven Valve Reactor circuit and a host of preset effects. The Vox AC30 series is an up to date take on the amp that “powered the British Invasion”.
Fender guitar amplifiers
We carry a full range of Fender guitar amps, including the 100 watt Fender Mustang III combo amp, with amp presents emulating the sound of 12 different classic amp models. It’s the perfect amp for practice or for intimate gigs. For practice we also carry amplified headphones and accessories, such as the Vox AC30 amPhones.
To find out more about our electric guitar amps, and to find one that is right for your playing style and pocket, contact us today