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How many guitar amp families are there? which one is your favorite?

lukeII

Member
Messages
1,841
Was thinking about this one last night how many types of different amp design and singular tone families or categories do you think there are in amp world? So far I have the following down in terms of amp familes i.e. amps with their own voice although other amps may be either clones or largely inspired by anyone or several of the following.

- Fender Tweed
- Fender Blackface
- Plexi Marshall
- Modern Marshall
- Vox types
- Matchless
- Dumble types
- Mesa Boogie Vintage (MkI etc)
- Mesa Boogie Modern (Dual rec etc)
- Soldano
- Hiwatt
- Trainwreck
- Supro

If you had to think about it and choose only one of the above (or a category I missed) which one would you choose as your favorite?

I could pick several but if it had to be only one it would Fender Blackface.

If I missed a category of if one of my categories is unworthy would be interested
 
Last edited:

TimH

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,172
I think I'd go vintage marshall...if you go back far enough in the lineage you get some fender cross over so good cleans AND dirty is available.
 

lukeII

Member
Messages
1,841
Good point I forgot I was in the effect section. Just wait till a kinly admin shows up and moves this
 

mobis8

Member
Messages
611
I would say vox types as of late. I am starting to get haunted by the chimey cleans I am getting right now, and I can still go into aggressive territory by pushing the amp, or with a combination of pedals...
 

Scott Auld

Administrator
Staff member
Messages
12,323
I like cleans that break up and get grindy when you dig in, so I play an AC30. So put me down for VOX.

But... I like to LISTEN to lots of different amp sounds. :)

Also, I would probably have included the Matchless and 'Wreck amps into the VOX family but maybe I'm mistaken; you put them in their own categories which seems like brand division, not family division ... but then it's your list.
 

lukeII

Member
Messages
1,841
Scott,

I hesitated a lot about putting Matchless down as a seperate category because the principles that govern those amp designs are so heavily influenced by Vox. Thing is I don't think a Chieftain sounds anything like a Vox aside from some chime and same goes for a Clubman. The DC30 is obviously the really vox inspired amp in the Matchless range. I am no trainwreck expert.
 

dorfmeister

Member
Messages
3,713
So where would Orange, Matamp, Laney, Valco, etc. fit into this. How narrowly/broadly do you define "family"?

Was thinking about this one last night how many types of different amp design and singular tone families or categories do you think there are in amp world? So far I have the following down in terms of amp familes i.e. amps with their own voice although other amps may be either clones or largely inspired by anyone or several of the following.

- Fender Tweed
- Fender Blackface
- Plexi Marshall
- Modern Marshall
- Vox types
- Matchless
- Dumble types
- Mesa Boogie Vintage (MkI etc)
- Mesa Boogie Modern (Dual rec etc)
- Soldano
- Hiwatt
- Trainwreck
- Supro

If you had to think about it and choose only one of the above (or a category I missed) which one would you choose as your favorite?

I could pick several but if it had to be only one it would Fender Blackface.

If I missed a category of if one of my categories is unworthy would be interested
 
Messages
7,602
Fender BF/SF. I've had a SF Princeton for about 20 years now and spent the past few years on the amp merry-go-round buying/playing/selling. Finally realized that I was always looking for the clean Fender tone and picked up a SFDR last spring. It felt like home. Glad I tried a bunch of others because I got it out of my system, but now I just enjoy playing the amps I have and not "wanting". The Princeton for at home practice, the DR for gigs.
 

doc

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,177
I'd probably put it something like this:

1. Fender
a. Tweed
b. Blackface/Silver
2. Marshall
a. JTM/Plexi
b. Modern
c. High Gain (includes Trainwreck Express and others based on this style)
3. Vox (includes Matchless, Trainwreck Liverpool, etc.)
4. Solid State (Polytone, Roland, Crate, Gorilla etc.)
5. Hybrid (Legend, Music Man, some Peaveys, etc.)
6. High Gain Fender derived (includes Dumble, Soldano, Mesa)
7. Vintage/Boutique Non-Fender (includes old Ampeg, Gibson, other octal preamp types like some Alessandro
8. Digital/Modeling
 

doc

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,177
Oh, my favorite is a Trainwreck Express copy, but if I could only have one I'd be tempted to take a Dumble type instead so I'd have a clean pedal platform as well as an overdrive channel.
 

Mad_Scientist

Member
Messages
50
Isn't the Soldano SLO100 based on a hot rodded JCM800? Wouldn't that put the Soldano in the Modern Marshall family?

I'd go with the Orange "family" as my favorite BTW.
 

cameron

Senior Member
Messages
4,182
Isn't the Soldano SLO100 based on a hot rodded JCM800? Wouldn't that put the Soldano in the Modern Marshall family?

I'd go with the Orange "family" as my favorite BTW.
I agree the Soldanos would go in the same taxon as the modern Marshalls.

I wonder if Orange has a single category of its own? Vintage Orange amps, I'd put in the same category as Hiwatts. Some modern Orange amps would go in the Vox category. Other modern Oranges, such as the Rocker- variants, might have to go in a category of their own.
 

lukeII

Member
Messages
1,841
So where would Orange, Matamp, Laney, Valco, etc. fit into this. How narrowly/broadly do you define "family"?
family I define as amps having their own tone that sets them apart from other types. No pretention to my list I hadn't thought of those brands although I kinda had Orange, Lany and Matamp down in the Marshall type category. Valco I have never heard in person. Happy to add those to the list if you think they are there own thing.

Someone else said Soldano is basilcally a modern Marshall which is a fair point. Thing is Soldano's seem far and above modern Marshall to me and kinda of their own thing.
 

Timbre Wolf

Hyperspatial Gravity Surfer
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
10,089
It makes more sense to me to categorize amps by their power section design (fixed- or cathode-bias class AB, or single-ended class A, with long tail pair/split load/paraphase inverter), tone stack design, gain stages, negative feedback, tube types, and speaker cabinet statistics, rather than brand names. Am I all alone in this? :(

- Thom
 




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