7 Iconic Guitar Amps to try before you buy

Try these 7 amps before you buy!

Here are 7 iconic amps you might wanna try out before you spend your hard earned cash on a new electric guitar amp.

Fender Super Reverb

Strat lovers look no further! If you and your band mates can cope with the volume and your playing isn’t too messy, then I dare you to put the Fender Super Reverb next to any amp.

The volume, the punch, the feel of this amp when cranked really is something else. On its own the clean is second to none, with a tube screamer you get that Strat – Fender AmpTube Screamer sound which many believe you just can’t beat.

Sure, with 4 10” speakers this is not an easy amp to haul around and most sound engineers will hate you, but what can you do, the louder you are, the greater you’ll feel!

Mesa Boogie Mark V

For the tweaker that play all kinds of styles, want everything in one unit and only work with the real thing (valves) the Mesa Boogie Mark V will deliver like no other.

Personally I prefer the head only so I can use different cabs depending on venue but I can definitely see the appeal of putting one of these combos in a flight case and just forget about it.

The are so many ways to tweak the Mark V you could literally have a new experience every time!

Dr z Maz Jr and Sr

The Maz come as Jr and Sr, it’s EL84’s in both (twice as many in Sr) so if you like that power amp sound (also in Mesa Lonestar and Fender Champ) then the Maz might be the ultimate.

The Maz Jr is 18w and according to many purists an 18w EL84 equipped amp is the Holy grail.

If you are shopping for an amp and never tried the EL84 sound you are missing out. No doubt, you need to try this before you put your hard earned cash down on a new amp.

Suhr Badger

Suhr has been making guitars for Scott Henderson and Guthrie Govan for a while now, both these guys are pretty picky so when they start using Suhr amps as well there’s a chance it’ll be the bollocks!

I’ve tried a badger and yes it is the bees knees, the creme de la creme, if you have the cash and are comparing top end amps, you don’t want to miss the Badger!

Vox ac30

Next on our list of 7 iconic amps to try before you buy I have included the Vox AC30. Sure I cold have picked a Matchless, a Bad Cat, Top Hat, Victoria or why not the Dumble Super Overdrive?

Well, the ac30 is the original, one of those amps that everyone else compared their creations to, so if you want to get to the source, this is it. The older the better but also more likely to blow up…

Marshall JTM 45

Temperamental to say the least! The JTM 45 is certainly iconic and if you get a good one, it might be the best amp you ever played through. However, some JTM’s do not sound good at all, why?

Boutique amp makers of today are no doubt winging their hands as they proclaim they can make one that will sound great, but really, you do want the original, don’t you?

Using KT66 or in the really early models, 5881 valves in later models, the JTM 45 was based on the Fender Bassman and later on paved the way for Clapton‘s early favorite, the “Bluesbreaker”, another classic Marshall amp.

DR Z Carmen Ghia

This is my personal favorite, two knobs, 18 watts, I dare you to try this super simple amp and justify why you would buy anything else.

Maybe you don’t want the sound I want, maybe you do. I’ve tried hundreds of amps in my days and for some reason, the Carmen Ghia is my choice, it’s just perfect.

Personally, I would get the head and use an EVM 12L speaker, but hey, that’s just me…

7 iconic amps Conclusion

So which of these 7 amps will you buy? Maybe when you tried all you’ll find a small boutique amp hardly anyone has heard of, but is perfect for you.

Hopefully this quick guide to 7 iconic amps, all being the real deal, will help you along the way!

Good Luck!

About Guru

I have made up my mind: You Can Learn Guitar!
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3 thoughts on “7 Iconic Guitar Amps to try before you buy

  1. Rick Riorden

    Marshall JTM 45
    This amp is awesome. It’s great if you want to get a good AC/DC tone. I got mine for Christmas and it’s great. Take it to 6 and it will sing for you, take it to 9-10 and it will pour out all of its heart. Power brake is usefull to soak up its power because it is so loud, but still retains it’s clarity.
    Great blog!

    1. Guru Post author

      You have a good point, the only problem with that amp is that one might sound great, the next terrible. The consistency of the jtm 45 is not great. But seek and you shall find :)


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