My amp collection


Playing guitar is fun and all, but it would not be half as much fun if people further away than 20 yards could not hear it. For acoustic guitars that range is not much of a problem, having a resonating cavity or box that projects the sound. But electric guitars, maybe with the exception of a full body archtop, sound rather thin. What is needed is AMPLIFICATION!! Something you turn up to 11!! Let alone that much of the archetypal sounds in modern rock ‘n roll are heavily relying on distortion and other effects.

In the area of amplification there are a couple of ways to go to get the job done: one either uses transistors, vacuum tubes, or a combination of these two methods to increase the tiny amplitudes to ear-shattering sound volumes. I first had to settle on whether to go for transistors or tubes. In the Netherlands I had a Lab Series L5 transistor amp, best known as the amp B.B. King used for many, many years until his passing. A great sounding amp, but it does not have the same kind of response, warmth, and compression as the tube amps I was listening to when my current wife and I went to clubs and had our ears blasted away. From those days, I particularly remember 3 great amplifiers: the venerable Fender Twin Reverb, an all wood exterior combo built by the French company Charlie Lab at the end of the 1970s/early-1980s, and the famous Mesa/Boogie Mark series; all combo amps. The Mesa/Boogies, likely the Mark II amps of different stripes in those days, made the biggest impression, instilling a certain interest for those amps, as you will notice in the next pages. Although ... As of early-2021m Mesa Engineering founder Randall Smith sold his company to Gibson. I (still) do not know what to think of it but there is a certain lingering unease about it.

Effectively, I have four setups: rack gear, mini-stack, combo amplifiers, and practice amps. Click any of the previous links to get to the page of interest. Put your earplugs in and have fun!



OR how to make loud noise...