By Dave Hunter
Guitarists love amps—really love them. Amplifiers may possibly glance boring to the remainder of the area, yet to guitarists they're choked with mystique, romance, and rockin' sound. And whereas there are lots of strong-selling electrical guitar histories on hand, here's the 1st illustrated heritage of the electrical guitar’s ally, the amp. World-famous guitar and amp historian Dave Hunter tells the tale of 60 of the best amps ever equipped, together with classics from Fender, Marshall, Vox, the weird EchoSonic that created Elvis' sound, and the final word esoteric $75,000+ Dumble amps. the tale is illustrated with countless numbers of technical pictures, infrequent machines, catalogs, memorabilia, and the amps of the celebs, from Jimi Hendrix to Stevie Ray Vaughan to Eric Clapton. This is a publication guitarists will drool over.
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Extra info for Amped: The Illustrated History of the World's Greatest Amplifiers
Or on your amp. That little 8-inch will lose its gusto pretty quickly too (and to think, early ones had 6-inch speakers). For examples of small-tweed goodness, fans will rave about Eric Clapton’s tone on several recordings purportedly achieved with a tweed Champ, cuts such as “Layla” (and others from Derek and the Dominos’ 1970 release Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs). For others, though, that stuff sounds pretty boxy and ratty, like a small amp being pushed too hard—which is exactly what it is.
Suddenly, the Kalamazoo amp shop haps of fifty years ago are happening, and if you want to get on the bandwagon, you’d better leap fast. Alternatively, you could find yourself, uh, an alternative. Enter our 1957 Maestro GA-45T. Released in 1955 and manufactured by Gibson, the Maestro combo was billed as an amplifier for use with accordion and electric bass. It comes in the same cabinet as the Gibson GA-40T and looks nearly identical, except that its two-tone covering is black and luggage-grade tweed (which with wear can take on a snakeskin look) rather than the Gibson’s maroon and buffalo tweed (later standard tweed) outfit, and the Maestro’s control panel is chrome rather than brown enamel.
Well, because Buddy told us so—by sticking his name and the date of acquisition right there on the front in gold DYMO lettering tape and by signing and dating the inside of the cabinet. That, and because Gruhn Guitars, which recently sold this amp, has Holly’s ownership thoroughly documented. Oh, and of course it was also displayed at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for a time and has been authenticated by the curator of that museum. Note the surprisingly good condition of this amp and be interested to learn that it was Holly’s “home amp,” which he kept in the apartment that he and wife Maria Elena Holly shared in New York City after purchasing it from Manny’s in September 1958, just half a year before his death in February 1959.
Amped: The Illustrated History of the World's Greatest Amplifiers by Dave Hunter