The Top Guitar Amp Brands

DrewPeterson7

Sage of the Order
While so much of this is subjective and what works for YOU, I think there are clear quality differences between amp makers. Seeing Blackstar over Bogner, for example, and companies like Matchless, Diezel, Bad Cat, and Dr. Z absent while brands like Peavey (who makes a wildly popular metal amp in the 5150 et al and a popular blues-rock amp in the classic 30 but who isn't known for exceptional build quality as much as being a good cost/quality option) shows this as more of a popularity contest than any objective ranking.
 

Greg_L

Banned
While so much of this is subjective and what works for YOU, I think there are clear quality differences between amp makers. Seeing Blackstar over Bogner, for example, and companies like Matchless, Diezel, Bad Cat, and Dr. Z absent while brands like Peavey (who makes a wildly popular metal amp in the 5150 et al and a popular blues-rock amp in the classic 30 but who isn't known for exceptional build quality as much as being a good cost/quality option) shows this as more of a popularity contest than any objective ranking.

I agree with all of that. But in reality, very few people use stuff like Diezel or Matchless or Bad Cats compared to Fenders, Marshalls, and Mesas. There's no way to objectively compare amps. It can't be anything but a popularity contest.

I really like the Dr Z Maz 18. But for the money that it costs? Fuck no. My JVM 410 kills it - and costs less. Most of those wannabe boutique and small company amp brands price themselves right out of the discussion.
 

JohnWatkins

New member
I don't understand how Marshall can still be so popular when there are so many better options for much less money. Almost all the ones I've tried/heard sound like a cat being kicked down a flight of stairs.
 

JohnWatkins

New member
My ears don't feel broken. The amps that have imitated Marshall sound good to me. The amps that Marshalls were meant to imitate sound good to me. Amps I've built myself that are based on those same designs sound good. For some reason, the Marshalls I've played have a really brittle quality about them.
 

Greg_L

Banned
My ears don't feel broken. The amps that have imitated Marshall sound good to me. The amps that Marshalls were meant to imitate sound good to me. Amps I've built myself that are based on those same designs sound good. For some reason, the Marshalls I've played have a really brittle quality about them.

Broken I say! Broken!

For real though, which one's sounded "brittle" to you? I can agree that some of Marshalls recent offerings are less than inspiring. It seems they blew their load some time in the mid 80s and have been chasing their own sound ever since.
 

JohnWatkins

New member
It seems they blew their load some time in the mid 80s and have been chasing their own sound ever since.

I have a TSL that I cannot stand. That's probably the worst offender I can specifically point out. Haven't paid enough attention to the year/model of the others I've used to name names, but I think your above statement nails it on the head. I want to hear "LaGrange" and instead I get the "Stay With Me" sound. Great song, crap guitar sound.
 

miroslav

Cosmic Cowboy
I'm bummed....none of my seven amps made the top ten list..... :(

;)

Swart
Carr
Savage
Top Hat
Dr. Z
Rivera
Tungsten

...and I wouldn't trade any of mine for them, with the exception of maybe 1-2 in the top ten list that I wouldn't mind adding to mine.


I'm sure Chevy would still make a top ten list for cars if there was a poll.... :laughings:
 

DrewPeterson7

Sage of the Order
I agree with all of that. But in reality, very few people use stuff like Diezel or Matchless or Bad Cats compared to Fenders, Marshalls, and Mesas. There's no way to objectively compare amps. It can't be anything but a popularity contest.

I really like the Dr Z Maz 18. But for the money that it costs? Fuck no. My JVM 410 kills it - and costs less. Most of those wannabe boutique and small company amp brands price themselves right out of the discussion.

You're clearly a communist. :D

I personally don't get on with Marshalls much, but I gotta say, I got to screw around with some of those little 1-watters over the weekend, and good lord those were fun amps. :D I've also heard enough good things about the new JVMs, particularly the lower gain channels, that I do want to sit down with one. It's just Marshalls tend to be relatively bright and more about "crunch" than the thicker, darker, smoother midrange-y sounds I tend to like, especially given the fact I generally like pretty bright guitars, so they don't often agree with me personally - I don't like how I sound through them.
 

muttley600

Banned
Having said that I have amps from makers that would piss all over any on that list.

For certain things of course but even as side by side gigging amps some of the old stuff like original Burman or ProAmp would out work all that mass produced pasteurized shit.
 

Meclazine

New member
The Vibrolux and Deluxe Reverb's are beautiful 1960's amps which are in great demand even as reissue models.

There is a rash of new amps out there in the market though which are great quality.

Two-Rock Amplification

Two Rock make some nice stuff.

Marshall and Peavey should also be up near the top of that list.

Marshall is a visual stereotype that is ingrained in our psyche:

Amp. goes to 11 (This is Spinal Tap) - YouTube

They are better than most because they go to 11!
 

Greg_L

Banned
You're clearly a communist. :D

I personally don't get on with Marshalls much, but I gotta say, I got to screw around with some of those little 1-watters over the weekend, and good lord those were fun amps. :D I've also heard enough good things about the new JVMs, particularly the lower gain channels, that I do want to sit down with one. It's just Marshalls tend to be relatively bright and more about "crunch" than the thicker, darker, smoother midrange-y sounds I tend to like, especially given the fact I generally like pretty bright guitars, so they don't often agree with me personally - I don't like how I sound through them.

I just like to keep it simple. A Marshall is behind pretty much every guitar sound and player I've ever liked. I'm just a powerchording caveman. A typical Marshall's natural voicing and gain structure falls right in line with the sounds I want to achieve. Not clean, not overloaded with gain. Just a big voilent crunch. Boutiques are for the gays and primadonnas. I don't care to be unique or different. I just want to rock loudly. :D
 

rayc

retroreprobate
What, no Jade Clubman 80? No Jands? No Peavey Bandit? No Pignose Portable? No Kustom 5H Defender? No Marshall Superbass MkII? No Coronet 10w?
Geeze, I guess I'm not a popular brand buyer.
let's face it I'm cheap & so are most of my amps. Even the one that isn't cheap was when I bought it 2nd hand from someone who had no idea of the value.
Each of my amps has a "sound" when my "sound" guitar is plugged into it. I use them all for different sounds. I'm like the oil painter who uses canola and a toilet brush.
Oh, Marshall brittle? Must be some newfangled attempt at boutique & Slash Symbol amps.
I've only heard meat & potatoes from real Marshalls.
 
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