Valve Guitar Amplifiers – Tube Head and Combo Amps


Valve guitar amplifier enthusiasts believe that tube guitar amps produce a “warmer” sound and a more natural “overdrive” sound. You will often hear guitar players talking about tone and this refers mainly to the sound from a valve guitar amplifier. From the 1930’s onward a number of companies began manufacturing small portable combo guitar amplifiers. These early amps featured valve circuit design technology for converting the small voltage that was generated by a pickup, or microphone, in the guitar body and amplifying it into a larger voltage that could drive a speaker cone and allow the sound to be heard.

These first amps were very basic by today’s standards with a single volume control, one or two inputs, a single speaker and a thin wooden cabinet. There were no tone controls or effects to shape the sound, just the sound generated by the valves being driven by the input. Early valve guitar amplifiers that we launched in the 30’s were manufactured by companies like Dobro, Audio-Vox, Rickenbacker and Gibson (1934).

Valve guitar amplifiers comprise of two distinct circuits. The pre-amplifier circuit which has the tone controls and and any added effects plus a power output stage. The pre-amplifier stage is where the unique valve guitar amp tone is created and shaped. The output stage is where is is amplified to greater levels. To learn about how the different sections work read out technical guides below. Since the 50’s valve guitar amplifier design and manufacture has changed dramatically and there are many standard and boutique valve amplifier models to choose from and buy.


Choose the Type of Valve Guitar Amplifier

Use the links below to visit pages where you can buy the various styles of valve guitar amplifier you are interested in. A valve head guitar amplifier is just that an amplifier in a box that needs a separate speaker cabinet. A combo valve guitar amplifier has the amplifier circuit and the speaker inside the same wooden cabinet.

Bugera TRIREC INFINIUM Boutique Style 100W 3 Channel Valve Amplifier Head

Valve Head Guitar Amplifiers

This page focuses on Valve Head Guitar Amplifiers using a full all valve circuit design technology. This means there are valves in both the pre-amplifier and power output stages of the amplifier circuit. With this style of guitar amplifier a seperate guitar amplifier speaker cabinet will be required. Head valve amplifiers are popular with famous guitar players especially touring players as they can take there own favorite head guitar amp along to a venue and connect the amplifier into speakers ...
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Behringer Bugera 15W BC15 Vintage Guitar Amplifier with 12AX7 Valve

Valve Combo Guitar Amplifiers

This page focuses on Valve Combo Guitar Amplifiers which include a fully valve circuit design with tubes in the pre-amplifier section and the power output section. The guitar amplifier circuit is then combined with the speaker cabinet within the same wooden cabinet, making it a combo (Amplifier plus Speaker). Combo valve guitar amplifiers come in a wide range of sizes and output powers, from small practice valve guitar amps, 1W to 10W, to large gig ready 100W units matched with ...
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Yuma Gold 5T Practice Valve Guitar Amplifier

Practice Valve Guitar Amplifiers

Below we have selected a number of Practice Valve Guitar Amplifiers to consider. These guitar amplifiers are designed with all valve circuitry and cover a wide range of price levels. Included are practice valve guitar amplifiers that are mass produced plus vintage valve guitar amp designs that are clones of sought after models used in the 50s and 60s. Ask any guitar player who has played live or visited the recording studio to record a track what their favorite guitar ...
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WEM Dominator Vintage Valve Amp

Vintage Valve Guitar Amplifiers – All Tube Amps

Guitarists often mention a seemingly mystical thing called “tone” however this comes from a pursuit of that vintage guitar amplifier tone that appears on classic recordings from the 40s and 50s. In those days the only guitar amplifiers available were small size practice valve guitar amps developed from the technology used in car radio players and home radio units. This was due to the availability of components in what was a new field of sound amplification. It is known that a ...
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The Creation of the Unique Valve Guitar Amplifier Tone

In the 50’s, guitarists experimented with distortion produced by deliberately over driving their tube guitar amplifiers creating a unique blues, crunch, tone. In the early 60’s, Dick Dale, the creator of the surf rock sound worked with Fender to produce the first 100-watt valve guitar amplifier, developing new clearly defined tones and volumes. Distortion became more popular from the mid-60’s by connecting the already distorted output of one amplifier into the input of another. Valve guitar amplifiers were then developed to include a functioning pre-amplifier section with tone controls and additional effects like tremolo, reverb and vibrato. While tube or valve technology is, in many ways, outdated, tube guitar amps remain popular with many guitarists, especially professional guitarists, who prefer their sonic sound qualities and tone.

Old valve guitar amplifiers from the 60’s and 70’s are now collectors items and can change hands for many thousands of pounds. This has led to many new guitar amplifier manufacturers creating clones and in some instances taking the original valve guitar amplifier circuit to another level and creating a boutique valve amplifier.

Valve Guitar Amplifier Technology Explained

Listed below are a number of guides to guitar amplifier technology. Learn about the different types of guitar amplifier on the market and how the different technology shapes the signal from the guitar and decides the type of tone you can expect to at the speakers. There is also in-depth guides to valve guitar amplifier technology, the valve amplifier circuits used, how guitar amplifier valves work and how to maintain and repair your valve amplifier.


More Guitar Amplifier Pages

Friedman Pink Taco PT-20  Boutique Tube Guitar Amp Head

Manufacturers of Guitar Amplifiers : Standard and Boutique

On our web site you can easily find the guitar amplifier manufacturer you are looking for and then check out some of the price reductions and special offers on guitar amplifiers. This page shows the "manufacturers of guitar amplifiers". If you know the make of amp you are interested in buying then this is a good place to start. If ...
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SubZero Tube-H50R 50W All Valve Guitar Amp Stack with Reverb

The Different Types of Guitar Amplifier

Use the links below to choose the type of  guitar amplifier you are looking for eg valve, solid state, bass, hybrid, vintage, acoustic, modeling etc. Our web site gives you access to some of the best prices online and many special offers on guitar amps. For example you may be looking for a new valve head guitar amp or a valve ...
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Guitar Amplifier and Pedals Savings

Yuma Gold UK, Price Reductions on Guitar Gear and other musical instruments

Price Reductions on Guitars, Amplifiers, Effects and more.

If you are looking to save money on your musical instrument gear then this is the page to review. Below we have reviewed the prices and gathered together the top 35 guitar gear price reductions from all the products listed on the web. The system stores the daily price from the online supplier and detects when products are reduced in price ...
Guitar Gear Savings

Latest Guitar Related Products

We are adding new guitar related products, including video reviews of products nearly every day or so. Bookmark the site or join the mailing list to keep up to date with new guitar products and guitar price reductions. Here are our latest posts.

About the YUMA GOLD Website

The YUMAGOLD web site has been created for guitarists and other musicians to review and purchase musical instrument gear at the best prices currently on offer from various suppliers around the world. The yumagold.co.uk website is expanding all the time with new guitar product reviews being added every few days. By comparing prices and suppliers on various online retail stores we can generate a list showing the latest guitar sale prices including price reductions for guitar amps, effect pedal sales and much more. Take some time to review the Savings page displayed in the navigation menu at the top.