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Preferred Stereo Amp Setup - Principals and Understudies, Solid State and Tube - A Personal Selection!

AmpsBossCarvin AmplificationCombo AmpHome-Play AmpHughes and KettnerMESA/BoogieModelling AmpSolid State AmpTube Amp+-
2019GPXStereo4AmpsRig700.jpg

When I started down this road many moons ago, my intentions were to keep things as simple as possible - but that particular rule book has long since been torn up and thrown under the bus. My rig has evolved pretty organically into a stereo setup - where I always have and most likely always will have a Solid-State amp on the Left Channel, and an All Tube variety on the right (along with 40 or so pedals in my pedal-chain).

 

My current incumbents are the Boss Katana KT100 and Carvin V3MC -...

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10 of the Best New Guitar Amps Released in 2018

3rd Power AmpsAmp CabinetAmp HeadAmpsBossCombo AmpGigging AmpHome-Play AmpKoch AmpsMESA/BoogieModelling AmpPaul Reed SmithPRSSolid State AmpSuproTube AmpVox Amplifcation+-
2018GPXBestNewAmps2018700-min.jpg

I feel Boss still kind of bossed it in 2018 - with 3 heavy hitters that took on all-comers in those categories - the Katana Air, Katana Artist and Nextone Artist - a trio pretty much suited for any sort of conditions - the first as the best of the portable practice amps - and the latter two as the ultimate versatile gigging-machines - for those that still like to lug amps around.

 

I feel that this sort of cabinet form factor of amp will be largely restricted to more fixed locations as ...

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The Perfect Guitar Amp Design / Next Level Boss Katana

AmpsBossCombo AmpGigging AmpGuitar Gear Improvements and PrototypesHome-Play AmpIdeal Amp FormatKatanaModelling AmpPrototype-XSolid State Amp+-
2018IdealAmp-min.jpg

I will preface this article with two statements - firstly, I currently run a stereo rig with a 39-pedal-chain, going into a Boss Katana KT100 on the left channel, and an all-tube Carvin V3MC on the right. The Katana is obviously a digital modelling amp based on an EL34 tube amp profile, while the Carvin V3MC runs on proper EL84 tubes - which gives you a lovely warm, dynamic and sparkly tone. The two amp profiles combine really well together to give you a beautifully harmonically rich and wide-...

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6 of the Best Amps introduced at Winter NAMM 2018

Amp CabinetAmp HeadAmpsBossCombo AmpEVH GearGigging AmpHome-Play AmpKoch AmpsModelling AmpPaul Reed SmithPRSSolid State AmpTube AmpVox Amplifcation+-
2018AfBlg6NAMMAmps700

I know many guitar aficionados prefer to spend most of their money on amps, then guitars, then pedals. While in many ways I’m the other way around really. Although I wouldn’t mind spending around £2K for an amp or a guitar once I’ve saved up, my guitar will always take precedence as the highest ticket value item. For me the guitar is the start of the tone journey, and so much of what is important in handling a guitar and achieving great tone and dynamics is impacted by ...

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Boss is Still Totally Winning the Amp Wars - launches killer Wireless Katana Air 30W

AmpsBossCombo AmpGuitar AccessoriesHome-Play AmpKatanaModelling AmpSolid State AmpWireless+-
2018AfBlgBossKatanaAir700

After a lull of a several years, Boss is totally on fire these day! Pretty much since starting down the Waza Craft route in 2014. First the pedals, then the Waza Craft Amp Head and Cab, and since then the various Katana Amps that came out of that original product research and development.

 

I’ve been onboard with Katana since they were first announced, and already have the KTN-100 and Mini. I already use a wireless system - in the form of the Line 6 G-10, so I already love that ...

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4 Great Power-Scaling Tube Amps for Home Use

AmpsCombo AmpEVH GearGigging AmpHome-Play AmpHughes and KettnerLaney AmplificationMESA/BoogieModelling AmpSolid State AmpTube Amp+-
2017AfBlg4HomeAmps700

It’s taken me a while, but I’ve really fallen into a pattern for the kinds of amps I like. Being an entirely home player, I really don’t need anything above 50 Watts, and in fact 99% of the time I need a lot lot less. The thing all home-play amps need to have is some kind of attenuation or power scaling - so that you can achieve fully saturated tones at low volumes.

 

One of the key reasons home players use so many pedals is that it’s usually the best and ...

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BOSS is quite literally Bossing things again these days

AmpsBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoost and OverdriveBossCombo AmpDistortionDriveDual-DriveGuitarsHeadless GuitarsHome-Play AmpKatanaMarshall Style DistortionModelling AmpMulti-DriveSolid State AmpStranberg+-
2017AfBlgBossBossing700

Around a couple of years ago, Boss - the king of pedal-makers, seemed to have lost its way a little - it had become somewhat stale and staid in a marketplace where it still had the lion’s share of the action. While Boss had kind of rested on its laurels - a number of innovative companies had risen up and were nipping at its heels in one way or another - e.g. Strymon, TC Electronic and even JHS.

 

And within a relatively short while of not doing very much innovating at all, Boss is ...

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Ultimate Guitar Amps - A Personal Selection

AmpsBossCarvin AmplificationCombo AmpGigging AmpHome-Play AmpKatanaMESA/BoogieModelling AmpPeaveySolid State AmpTube Amp+-
2017AfBlgDreamAmps700V2

Although my focus of late has very much been on pedals, I do of course still harbour a desire to improve my amp backline. As reported on several occasions now - I run an extensive pedal chain through a stereo rig with a Boss Katana 100 on the left channel and a Carvin V3MC (50W) on the right - piling everything into the front of those two amps while making great use of the TC Electronic Mimiq, and mostly playing at scaled down volumes - entirely for home-use - but still plenty raucous enough. ...

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The Still Omnipresent Twin Duopoly Dominates the Electric Guitar Marketplace

Acoustic and Electro-AcousticsAmp CabinetAmp HeadAmpsCombo AmpFenderGibsonGigging AmpGuitarsHome-Play AmpLP-Style and Single-Cut GuitarsMarshallMarshall AmplificationMetal GuitarsModelling AmpOffset GuitarsSG-Style GuitarsSolid State AmpS-Style and Double-Cut GuitarsT-Style GuitarsTube Amp+-
2017AfBlgFenderGibsonMarshall700

If you are in the market for an electric guitar, there are actually just 3 brands which together still totally dominate and skew the entire marketplace. And while the birthplace of the modern guitar (USA) has become more open-minded towards brands from other points of origination. The UK is still very much overly skewed toward just a handful of brands. I’ve just completed watching the highlights of the BBC Big Day Out event in Hull, and the dominance of Fender, Gibson and Marshall is ...

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12 Great Guitar Combo Amps for your Consideration

AmpsBlackstarBossCarvin AmplificationCombo AmpFenderFriedman AmplifcationGigging AmpHamstead SoundworksHome-Play AmpHughes and KettnerMad Professor EffectsMarshallMarshall AmplificationMESA/BoogieModelling AmpPaul Reed SmithPeaveyPRSSolid State AmpTube Amp+-
2017AfBlg12ComboAmps700

As posted previously, I only got back into guitar again last year, and a whole lot has changed since I was then involved. And while my Tone Quest has by and large been a hugely rewarding and successful endeavour, I made some significant mistakes in my early amp choices.

 

In my endeavour to keep things simple, I thought I could buy a great guitar, and an equally great modelling amp to cover all the bases / sounds I would need to generate. I was intrigued by the Line 6 Amplifi 150 - ...

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