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 lot of the old guitar players used valve radios to amplify their instruments, these were modified to take a basic guitar pickup input. This created a random and somewhat unrepeatable tone.
From the 1930’s onward a number of companies began manufacturing small combo valve guitar amplifiers. By todays standards we would call these practice valve guitar amps however back in the day these 1W to 5W amps were the biggest available. 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.
Since those days guitar amplifier manufacturers have been trying to recreate the sounds of the vintage valve guitar amplifiers the greats used, some manufacturers have got very close, Fender valve amps and Vox valve amps for instance, but most have failed taking the route of cost saving or mass production and missing out on the actual goal.
Vintage Valve Guitar Amplifiers Tone
When you hear guitar players talking about superior tone and sonic characteristics then it is highly likely this refers to the sound from a valve guitar amplifier. Serious guitar players and valve guitar amplifier enthusiasts will tell you that all tube guitar amps produce a “warmer” sound with a smoother, natural “overdrive” sound.
Overdrive is when the pre-amplifier valves are driven harder, either by the input gain control on the amp being set high or by using a pickup booster pedal, leading to a softer clipping, or distortion, of the input signal. This is then passed to the power valves and amplified to a much higher level to be heard at the speaker. Depending on the strength of the signal from the preamplifier stage the power tubes may also start to clip, adding more sonic qualities.
Check Out These Vintage Valve Guitar Amplifiers
The Bugera V55 Infinium Valve Amplifier Combo has retro design syling and vintage valve guitar amp tone
. Based on the original V55 valve amp design, this full-featured and hand-built, 55W, 2-Channel tube combo amplifier possesses modern features that will launch your tone into the sonic stratosphere. Loaded with 3 x 12AX7 preamp valves
and 2 x 6L6 power tubes
, this boutique-style powerhouse gives you the flexibility of two independent channels and selectable reverb, both switchable via the included footswitch. Add to ...Review Vintage Tube Amp
The Fender 59 Bassman Vintage Valve Guitar Amplifier Combo is a vintage fender tweed tube amplifier
with the same vintage fender guitar amp tone
. This all tube circuit delivers 45W of legendary Fender Bassman tone via a tweed covered filled with four Jensen 10" speakers. Originally designed for use with the Fender Precision Bass guitar this guitar amplifier became popular with guitarists in the 60s and 70s with enough power for gigs and studio work. quickly becoming one of the ...Review Vintage Tube Amp
The Fender 65 Deluxe Reverb Valve Guitar Amplifier delivers vintage fender valve amp tone
, with the classic fender silverface amp
design styling and 22W of all tube power into a single 12" Jensen speaker. The Fender 65 Deluxe Reverb is for rock, country or blues players who want a moderately powered amp they can crank up on the gig or in the studio. The fat, snappy guitar tones heard on many of our favourite recordings, from Memphis to Abbey Road, ...Review Vintage Tube Amp
The Fender 65 Princeton Reverb Valve Guitar Amplifier Combo produces 15W of pure vintage tube amplifier tone
into a single 10” Jensen C-10R speaker rated at 40W with ceramic magnet. This is a fender vintage tube amp
with a single channel that has two inputs. Included in this package is a valve driven spring reverb. The Fender 65 Princeton has a cult status among guitarists who are seeking a smooth clean tube amp tone for Jazz or Country playing. And ...Review Vintage Tube Amp
The new reissue Fender '68 Custom Princeton Reverb Valve Amplifier is a modern adaptation of the legendary 1968 Fender Silverface guitar amps
which combined a warm and full tube tone, visually pleasing design styling and an on board reverb and vibrato. Retaining all the features in the original 1960's Fender Silverface amplifiers the 68' Custom Princeton Reverb Amplifier emanates vintage fender tweed amp tone
and looks with a few modern features added such as a new tone circuit, reduced negative ...Review Vintage Tube Amp
Back in 1968 Fender changed the design of the original Fender tweed amps
, the legendary Fender tube amp tone
remained but the new amplifiers were given a makeover with a silver-and-turquoise front panel and classy aluminum drip edge grille cloth trim. The Fender 68 Custom Twin Reverb has since remained the go to amplifier choice for many pros and amateurs since. Designed with a clear, deep and powerful big tube tone, combined with reverb and vibrato effects. The new reissue ...Review Vintage Tube Amp
The Fender Blues Junior Valve Combo Guitar Amplifier features real valve tone and classic Fender saturation in compact design with a 15W output into a single 12” speaker. The latest version of the vintage Fender Blues Junior includes a modified preamp circuit that provides a fuller sound with more definition and clarity. There is also a new reverb circuit keeping your tone clear and intact, regardless of reverb level. The Fender Blues Junior is a single channel valve guitar amp with ...Review Vintage Tube Amp
The new reissue version of the sought after Fender Hot Rod Deluxe IV Valve Combo Amplifier is designed around the same legendary fender valve amp tone
but built to modern standards for extended reliability. The Fender Hot Rod Deluxe IV features modified preamp circuitry, smoother-sounding spring reverb and updated aesthetics that any guitar player will appreciate. This scorching 40W, 1x12" combo, includes a 12" Celestion speaker for balanced output with smooth highs, laid-back midrange and full, round lows. The modified preamp ...Review Vintage Tube Amp
The Honkin Toms Super Chump Valve Guitar Amplifier has the tone and style of a bygone era. This 5W practice guitar amplifier
is based on the legendary Fender 5F2A tube amplifier circuit
valve guitar amplifier circuit of the 50s Fender Princeton vintage valve guitar amp
, a variation on the legendary Fender Champ that can be used for guitar or harmonica. This is a single ended Class-A all valve amp hand wired turret board construction classic amplifier that will be of use ...Review Vintage Tube Amp
The Laney VC30 Valve Combo Guitar Amplifier (30W) is available in two versions, Laney VC30-112 with a single 12" speaker and the Laney VC30-212 with two 12" speakers. The Lany VC range is packed with vintage warmth and tone, and enough gain for contemporary playing. If you are looking for pure, classic valve guitar amplifier tone
, you need to look no further than the Laney VC30. Designed with a Class A tube amplifier circuit
valve guitar amplifier circuit the VC30 is ...Review Vintage Tube Amp
The Supro Blues King Valve Combo Tube Guitar Amp, made by boutique guitar amp manufacturer Supro of the USA, takes you back to the iconic blues guitar tones of the 50s with an all tube circuit. Available in two sizes, a 1W with a 8" speaker and a 15W with a 12" speaker, this is a beautifully styled guitar amplifier with incredible attention to detail. The 15W powered Supro Blues King Valve Combo Tube Guitar Amp has a front end ...Review Vintage Tube Amp
Some of these vintage valve guitar amps may need a vintage valve guitar amp speaker cabinet to work. Click on that link.
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