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why are guitar amps so ugly?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by marvin cobain, Jul 31, 2020.

  1. marvin cobain

    marvin cobain Member

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    I was looking for a small amp that blends well with furniture and I don't get it: guitars can be very beautiful instruments. Loudspeakers for hi fi systems can be stylish and very good looking.
    So why are guitar amps generally so bad looking? Even more bizarre, some of the most decent ones are for acoustic guitars, using wood and a bit more aesthetic refinement. What's the reason for this?
    Do electric guitarists want beautiful instruments and horrible amps?
     
    ckfoxtrot and pentatonicwanker like this.
  2. rizla

    rizla Supporting Member

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  3. Jabby92

    Jabby92 Member

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    I'd say a lot of it is cost and the fact that if you are a touring/gigging musician, you probably don't want a fancy amp that usually will be physically moved around more or easier to beat up. Also the weight perhaps? I haven't compared a wooden amp weight to other materials. Wood is less consistent in that sense, so the manufacturing gets more complicated I'd guess.

    Of course a guitar can wear and get beat up as well (i.e. relic) but I think with amps people would sooner just have a durable plastic/tolex material most of the time. With this being said, Mesa for example has built some pretty nice (but expensive) wooden amps and cabs:

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. aynirar27

    aynirar27 Notable Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Because most people don’t buy cases for their amps
     
  5. marvin cobain

    marvin cobain Member

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    that's what I was thinking, but as I've said, guitar amps for acoustic guitars have to be moved around with basically the same problems I think, but they look better for a reason or another. And the market for amps is not just about huge and extremely heavy cabinets, but also small objects that a person wants to have around to practice without being too loud.
    And I've mentioned wood, but even when amps use the same materials they tend to look more like something one could put in a room without being hideous compared to the rest of the furniture... if they are for acoustic guitars.
    A couple of relatively cheap examples that don't look bad:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    for amps with the same price but for an electric instrument basically everything looks much worse. And actually even looking at very expensive amps there's absolutely not the same attention for look that one could see for hi fi louldspeakers or guitars.
     
  6. coltonius

    coltonius Señor Member Silver Supporting Member

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    Not all amps..

    Studious:
    [​IMG]

    Otis Amps:
    [​IMG]

    ___
    These amps would certainly make excellent "furniture pieces" but I would never take them out of the house for a gig, lest something happen and they become less worthy of a spot in the living room.

    I don't need my amps to look that nice. I just need them to be durable and dependable.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2020
  7. sleewell

    sleewell Member

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    mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm loud furniture
     
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  8. JK1965

    JK1965 Member

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    Amps ugly?

    Are you sure you are in right place here?

    There’s a whole thread going on now about amps that are beautiful. My amps don’t match my furniture in any way and I can sit and look at them all day. I’d get rid of furniture before I would the amps.
     
  9. DeadLazy

    DeadLazy Member

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    I agree most amps I find ugly, but the ones that look good I love.


    I love Dr Z amps and then your traditional Plexi look.

    No combo’s for me.
     
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  10. jblake

    jblake Member

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    I surprised there aren’t more amps built into vintage radio (or reproduction) cabinets. They are available it you look around, but I’d think that would be a decent market segment for one of the larger manufacturers to mine.

    Personally, I think a tweed Fender doubles as a beautiful piece of furniture as-is.
     
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  11. T Dizz

    T Dizz Member

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    Nothing is more beautiful than an full Marshall stack:dunno
     
  12. rizla

    rizla Supporting Member

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    Maybe give us a price range and a couple of pics or an idea of the decor and we can all make some suggestions.
     
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  13. rizla

    rizla Supporting Member

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    Every time you add another stack beside the first one it gets exponentially more beautiful.
    Get rid of the furniture and the big black screen, hang some guitars on the wall and place pedals on the ground and its like the best room ever.
     
  14. JohnK24

    JohnK24 Supporting Member

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  15. ToneProspector

    ToneProspector Supporting Member

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    Mark Bartel made every Tone King model look spectacular. Some other builders do also, but I agree, the majority don't seem to have that much going on for cosmetics.
     
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  16. johnsav

    johnsav Member

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    What are your preferences, OP?
    There are some interesting choices posted so far.
    What about Vero?
     
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  17. zenas

    zenas Member

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    Given the high percentage of players that don't gig, I suppose there's a market for those guys that have to keep the wife happy.
    Those of us that still have a pair are just fine with our tolex and tweed covered amps. We keep our women happy the old fashioned way, by making money.
     
  18. deepcove17

    deepcove17 Supporting Member

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    My Marshall stack blends very well with my furniture :cool:
     
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  19. marvin cobain

    marvin cobain Member

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    I was just looking for a small practice amp to put in a room without looking hideous. I have already a big heavy amp, it looks bad but I don't care too much. I recently bought a pair of cheap but very good looking loudspeakers and I saw that there were literally hundreds or even thousand of beautiful things for basically every price. Even very cheap pc speakers can look great.
    With guitar amps... ew. Even Dumble amps are ugly. And the few I liked where clearly overpriced, and it was clear one had to pay to have something not atrocious.
    The two I've posted above are more what I'm looking for. Unfortunately both for acoustic guitars like I've said.
    This one is probably the one I've liked the most (not exactly gorgeous, but at least it's decent):

    [​IMG]

    it's small, the regular model is cheap... but unfortunately I've not being able to find how much this one with wood costs.
    The fender amps made with tweed are also decent.
     
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  20. JPH118

    JPH118 Member

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    I’ve found that most guys want something durable, and/or would rather see their $$ go into the guts than the aesthetic.

    There’s a market for everything... however, if you try to market a hardwood combo, you’ll get a fun letter from Mesa at some point. Just part of the norm these days.
     
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