It all began in a radio store with a man named Leo Fender and his ‘Champ’.
History of the amplifier, Leo Fender and Jim Marshall:
You could say Leo Fender was the founding father of the amplifier. By introducing the ‘Fender Champ’ with tone controls and reverberation, closely followed by the Telecaster and Stratocaster, he quite firmly established himself as the inventor of the guitar amp. His invention had a huge impact on guitars and is one of the reason electric guitarists play a big role in nearly every type of music today.
But this story would be quite incomplete without a mention of the contribution of Jim Marshall. Using the Fender Bassman, he modified the internal circuitry and wiring to create an entirely new kind of sound. To this day, most musicians buy their amplifiers to sound either as “Fender-style” or “Marshall-style”. At the Reynolds online store, we have a range of amplifiers which are quite popular with guitarists looking for either styles. For beginners or practice sessions you can take a look at the Orange Micro Crush 3w Amp while for live gigs you have a choice between the Boss Katana 50, Marshall MG 15CF Combo or Fender Mustang V.2 20W amp. There are more options, especially during the festive season, so don’t forget to login to our online store and check out the exciting offers available on the best amps!
How do you choose?
The truth is without your amp, your guitar is nothing and without your guitar, your amp is nothing. Many will say that a bad guitar plugged into a great amp might just sound nice, but a great guitar and a bad amp probably won’t. Choosing the right amplifier though may not be so simplistic. The tone, the components in the rig, your playing style and experience all add to the final output your audience will hear. So think about sound, output and the genre of music you play, and then choose. As you know, jazz, classical and blues requires more versatility whereas for rock and metal – well, output matters.
Before we list down the options that are available in the market, lets take a step back and highlight some important details about amplifiers you should know.
Getting to know your amp better: valve v/s solid state or combo v/s stack
An amplifier can be built to suit a genre of music, to cover many sounds, or to simply get loud without colouring the sound. One of the most common things you will need to make a choice is valve amps vs. solid state amps and combo v/s stack.
Valve amps are powered and amplified using vacuum valves (or ‘tubes’), while solid state amps use electronics (transistors and similar components) to make noise. The important question to be answered here – is not which one is better? but which one do you need.
While valve amps arguably produce a richer sound, they tend to be more expensive and are generally considered to be a little more delicate. In addition, sound quality of valves degenerate with age unlike solid state amps (which is probably the reason they are called so!). We recommend you use solid state amps for practice and home use which are more durable and tend to be a bit cheaper.
Combo vs. Stack
A guitar amp stack consists of at least two components: a head and a speaker cabinet. You can always add more cabinets to this sort of setup if you feel like making more noise or looking like more of a rockstar.
A combo, as the name suggests, combines both of these components into a single unit. Combos provide you with both consistent tone and volume without the need for any external speakers. On the flip-side, stacks are more versatile in that they can be chopped and change to find your own sound. This is also comes in handy when gigging – you can easily show up to a gig with an amp head and use a shared backline.
So which one?
Finally, the speaker makes a huge difference in the final sound your amp makes. Most speakers have a “Fender” sound (articulate with a cut in mid-frequencies) or a “Marshall” sound (lots of aggressive mid-frequencies). So before you zero in on the amp ask yourself what matters the most to you? Your amp is crucial to your musical style and the volume you’ll be playing at. This will help point you in the right direction.
Some options available at our Reynold’s online store are mentioned below with links attached for your convenience. Check out our special offers prices and other deals on guitar accessories before you finalise your pick! We are one of the best music stores in the country - and we take that compliment from our customers very seriously. :)
A note from us :
We’d absolutely recommend trying your amp with your guitar before you buy, if possible. Nothing compares to getting a feel for your guitar and hearing the sound it gets from the amp - most players know very quickly whether or not the amp will be the right fit for their guitar.
To make it easier for you to make the right choice we have linked most of the products mentioned, to our online store. However should you have a request or need to find out more about another brand do call the store. Our team would be more than happy to answer your queries and offer suggestions.