I love guitar amplifiers and I’m always on the lookout interesting guitar amplifier stories. This week Reverb.com delivered this peach into my mailbox and I thought it too interesting not to share.
My initial reaction was surprise, but the more I thought about it the more it made sense. People just aren’t going for those massive 100w heads anymore. There definitely seems to be a shift happening – though tubes are still the go to choice.
I have a few amps, all are tube and the highest wattage is my Fender Deluxe Reverb coming in at a modest 22 watts. The big change from the 1980s and earlier is that PA systems are now much, much more advanced and can easily deliver the guitar sound too. At bigger gigs all that happens is my amp is miced up and signal is fed to the audience via the PA. Historically, PA systems were more basic and thus guitar amplifier were a stand alone item. So if you needed to hit the back of the room (or the field) you needed power – and that is where the 100w heads and big quad boxes etc came in.
Another big change is the emergence of switchable wattage in amps, I have one amp that I can switch from 5 watt (perfect for home) to 15 watt – which is ideal for small to medium sized venues. A number of the amps on this list fall into that category for sure.
Anyway, check it out – a good read.
Spoiler alert: The best-selling model isn’t a Fender. Or a Marshall. Here’s a look at the models that drove sales this year.