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 Vox AC30S1 Top Boost Valve Combo Guitar Amp features a single channel, 30W output into a single 12" speaker. This is an all tube combo guitar amp
with an effects loop and controls for gain, volume, treble and bass. The VOX AC30 vintage valve guitar amplifier
has been an major of rock’n’roll since the 60s with its unique sound that still amazes and inspires players to this day. The Vox AC30S1 delivers the experience of the classic Vox AC30, but in a stripped down ...Read More About This Vintage Valve Guitar Amp
The Tone King Imperial Head Vintage Valve Guitar Amp was first introduced in 1993 and become a proven favorite of guitarists seeking authentic vintage valve guitar amp tone
. Utilizing all-tube circuitry and a traditional spring reverb the Tone King Imperial Head captures the true experience of playing a well-worn vintage valve guitar amplifier
with exceptional tone and feel. Also included are onboard tube reverb and tremolo effects. Perfect for single coil and humbuckers with a clean to crunch tone range. The Tone King Imperial Head Vintage Valve ...Read More About This Vintage Valve Guitar 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 circuitry improves overdriven note definition ...Read More About This Vintage Valve Guitar 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 Fender 68 Custom Twin Reverb ...Read More About This Vintage Valve Guitar 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 feedback and a 10" Celestion ...Read More About This Vintage Valve Guitar 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, were made using the Fender ...Read More About This Vintage Valve Guitar 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 a FAT switch that gives ...Read More About This Vintage Valve Guitar Amp
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 this the revolutionary Infinium Tube ...Read More About This Vintage Valve Guitar 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 is also a favorite of ...Read More About This Vintage Valve Guitar Amp
The Tone King Gremlin Combo Valve Guitar Amplifier has vintage valve guitar amplifier tone and design styling. Hand made in the USA this small practice amp oozes the vintage 50s guitar tone that any old blues player would love. Custom made, vintage style valve guitar amplifier hand wired in USA. This valve practice guitar amp
features all valve technology with a 5W power output and 2 channels. Output is via a single 12" Loudspeaker. Volume and tone controls to adjust the settings and tube compliment consisting ...Read More About This Vintage Valve Guitar 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 best selling Fender guitar amps ...Read More About This Vintage Valve Guitar Amp
The YG-20T (5E3) : Classic Valve Amplifier for Guitar is a clone of the classic Fender 5E3 valve combo guitar amplifier
. This hand wired and made to order amplifier has an all tube circuit which is handwired and soldered. Manufactured to modern standards for optimum performance and reliability. With vintage tweed covering and sturdy cabinet design the YG-20T is ready for studio or stage. For home practice it is advised to buy a valve amp attenuator
to reduce output while maintaining the pre-amp circuit sonic ...Read More About This Vintage Valve Guitar Amp
Check out the YG-40T : Blues Deluxe Valve Guitar Amp. The YG-40T is a clone of the famous Fender Blues Deluxe built using modern manufacturing practices to maximise performance and reliability. This classic valve guitar amplifier
has a 40W output with a vintage clean and crunch vibe. The circuit board is turrent style with hand wired and soldered components. This 40w guitar amplifier combo has a speaker cabinet covered in vintage tweed and has an all valve circuit design with 2x 6L6 matched valves
and ...Read More About This Vintage Valve Guitar Amp
Some of these vintage valve guitar amps may need a vintage valve guitar amp speaker cabinet to work. Click on that link.