• Wish list
  • gr
    Choose your store
    All countries
  • 0

Thomann's Cool Online Guides: Guitar Amps

2. History

Prehistory
(1920-1950)
Early electric guitars were no more than acoustic guitars with primitive magnetic pickups attached. Their goal was simply to create an amplified version of the acoustic guitar sound, but neither the pickups nor available amplification and speaker technology were really up to the job, and even at this time the electrified guitar had a distinctive sound of its own. It was not until the Fifties though that this would begin to be seen as a virtue.

Fifties

The near-simultaneous emergence of Fender and Gibson’s revolutionary solid-body guitar designs necessitated the parallel development of dedicated guitar amps. Both companies entered the market, although Fender’s contribution is far more significant from today’s perspective. At this point, any form of distortion was still seen as undesirable - though a flat and uncoloured sound may have been sought, it was certainly not achieved.

Early Sixties


Along with their choice of guitars, the Beatles’ early career is closely identified with the clean and clear sound of the Vox AC-30 amplifier, and Vox amps were widely adopted by anyone who could afford them. The ever-increasing size and noise of audiences forced bands to turn up as loud as they could, often using several amps chained together. It’s no coincidence that the sonic possibilities of distortion and feedback were first discovered around this time, though only later in the decade would they begin to be exploited fully.


Late Sixties

The ‘throw away the rulebook’ spirit of the Sixties was nowhere more influential than in the recording studio - in this arena The Beatles led and all others soon followed. Early examples of guitar-based sonic creativity include the famous feedback introduction to ‘I Feel Fine’ (’64) and the fuzz bass on ‘Think For Yourself’ (’65). By 1966, The Beatles’ seminal ‘Revolver’ album featured a number of tracks with distortion, and the Stones’ huge hit ‘Satisfaction’ was based around a simple three-note distortion riff. Almost every big hit during the rest of the decade was built on overdrive, from The Lovin’ Spoonful’s ‘Summer In The City’ to Cream’s ‘Sunshine Of Your Love’, and of course most of Jimi Hendrix’s work.

Sixties distortion was achieved either by turning the guitar amp up to full volume – equipped with just a single volume control at the time – or by using a new invention; the ‘fuzz box’. Nowadays, distortion pedals are a commonplace part of every guitarist’s setup, but their novelty in the late Sixties cannot be overstated. The very idea of guitar ‘effects’ was in its infancy, but a few units had a profound impact on the sounds in the charts, including various distortion/fuzz pedals, Hendrix’s wah wah, the Leslie speaker cabinet and various tape-based delay units such as the WEM Copycat.


Early Seventies

The happy accident that led guitarists to discover distortion in the Sixties had one unfortunate side effect - the sound could only be produced at deafening volumes. The fuzz box was one solution to this problem, and amp manufacturers also responded by adding a master volume control to their designs. This enables the preamp section to be cranked up sufficiently to produce distortion, while the power amp volume is reduced to compensate. On most modern amps these controls are labelled ‘gain’ (preamp) and ‘volume’ or ‘master’ (power amp).

Late Seventies– Present

While heavy rock got heavier and heavier from the Seventies to the Nineties, other styles emerged which explored the possibilities of marrying cleaner sounds to the rapidly expanding array of available effects. Many Eighties rock bands including The Police and U2, would have sounded very different without digital delay and chorus. For all but the heaviest of shredders therefore, a versatile amp today, is one capable of producing both clean and overdriven sounds at high volume.
Your Contact People
Phone: +49-9546-9223-20
FAX: +49-9546-9223-24
Question!
Question! Give the right answer and win 1x Samson Powerbrite PB10 worth 88 €.
Who was the first to write important operas?
Conditions of participation
Terms and Conditions for participation
in online competitions

Note: Participation in an online competition runs independently from any purchase at Thomann GmbH. The following Competition Rules apply when participating in any online competition run by Musikhaus Thomann:

  1. Competition

    1. The competitions are organised by Thomann GmbH, CEO: Hans Thomann, Hans-Thomann-Straße 1, 96138 Burgebrach, Germany.
  2. Participation

    1. Competitions are only open to persons of full age.
    2. To take part in the competition you must answer all questions correctly, fill in the registration form and submit your entry to Thomann GmbH by pressing the "send" button.
      By pressing the "send" button the participant accepts the aforementioned terms and conditions.
    3. The participant is responsible for entering their email and/or postal address correctly. Entries to the competition will be logged electronically.
  3. Qualifying Entrants

    1. Staff of Thomann GmbH and any cooperation partners and their dependants are excluded from participation.
    2. Should these conditions of participation be violated, especially by using illegitimate means, Thomann GmbH reserves the right to exclude persons from the competition. In case of such violations prizes can be withdrawn and claimed back subsequently.
  4. Announcing the winner

    1. The winners will be notified by Thomann GmbH by email or in writing and their names may be published on the homepage www.thomann.de. The winner accepts this form of publication explicitly.
      Should for whatever reason the winner not claim their prize, then a new winner will be drawn.
    2. The prize presented to the winner may not be identical to the item description. There can be deviances regarding the model, colour etc.
    3. The merchandise prizes will be sent by Thomann GmbH or by one of its contracting delivery companies, per freight forwarder, courier or postal service to the postal address indicated by the winner.

      The delivery is free of charge. Only extra transport costs and customs/duties must be covered by the winner. In the case that the delivery has to be made through a freight forwarding company the freight forwarding company will contact the winner to arrange delivery timings.
    4. An exchange, cash alternative or replacement prize is not possible.
    5. The claim to the prize or replacement of the prize cannot be assigned to a third party.
  5. Data protection

    1. The participant accepts explicitly that Thomann GmbH saves all necessary data for the duration of the competition and forwards them exclusively for purposes related to the winning process to the respective cooperation partner, who is also permitted to save the personal data only for the duration of the competition. The participant is free to withdraw his entry at any time. Please direct the withdrawal to:

      Thomann GmbH
      to the data protection officer
      Hans-Thomann-Straße 1
      96138 Burgebrach, Germany
    2. Thomann GmbH is obliged to consider the regulations for data protection according to the Federal Data Protection Law (BDSG) valid at the conclusion of the competition. In this context the general data protection regulations under notes regarding data protection should be noted.
  6. Liability

    1. Thomann GmbH will be released from any obligations by handing out the prize.
    2. Thomann GmbH is not liable for the insolvency of a cooperation partner and the resulting consequences for the implementation and processing of the competition.
  7. Other

    1. Legal proceedings are barred.
    2. The law of the Federal Republic of Germany applies exclusively.
One of our Fans
Efficient / Reliable / quality; So thank you guys for the efficiency, and Keep up the good work Thomman!
jeanxxxexam@lixxx.uk, 04.07.2017

Guitar Amps overview

Elektron Digitakt tc electronic Flashback 2 Delay Vox Adio Air GT Harley Benton CST-24T Ocean Flame Gator G-PG-335V Bag Harley Benton HB-40B 2017 Millenium ST-95 Denon DN-300C MKII ADJ Pro Event Table Presonus Studio 26 Boss GT-1B Bass Multi-FX Pedal Mooer Baby Bomb 30 W
(4)
Recommended
Elektron Digitakt

Digital Drum Machine 8 Internal audio tracks, 8 Dedicated MIDI tracks, 1 Multimode filter per audio track, 1 Assignable LFO per track, Delay and Reverb send effects, Built-in sequencer, Support for sampling, OLED display, 64 MB Sample memory, 1...

to the product
745 €
Recommended
tc electronic Flashback 2 Delay

Effect Pedal for Electric Guitar Delay, The new TC MASH technology turns the foot switch into a pressure sensitive expression controller, New Ethereal Delay algorithm, For mono use, the stereo input can be used as a Tap Tempo input...

to the product
189 €
(5)
Recommended
Vox Adio Air GT

Modelling Electric Guitar Combo Power: 50 W, Equipped with: 2x 3"speakers for a wide stereo sound, Bluetooth allows wireless playback of music and remote control via app, VET Modelling technology for authentic amp sounds, Up to 23 amplifier models,...

to the product
299 €
Recommended
Harley Benton CST-24T Ocean Flame

Electric Guitar Deluxe series, Body: Mahogany, Top: Flamed maple, Set-in neck: Mahogany, Fretboard: Roseacer, 24 frets, Pearloid Dot fretboard inlays, Scale: 635 mm, Nut width: 42 mm, Pickups: 2 Wilkinson WHHB Alnico Open humbuckers, 1 Volume control, 1 Tone...

to the product
231 €
Recommended
Gator G-PG-335V Bag

Gator G-PG-335V Bag, ProGo Ultimate series, semi-hollow and v-style e-guitar gigbag, front and side handles, removable and adjustable backpack straps, micro-fleece interior, internal block Shock Absorber, padding: 25 mm, ultra thick paddes, Tablet-compartment, big accessory compartment with cable management and...

to the product
137 €
Recommended
Harley Benton HB-40B 2017

Harley Benton HB-40B 2017, compact electric bass combo amplifier, 40 watt, 10" custom voiced speaker, TEC tube-emulating circuit, instrument input, gain control, integrated compressor with LED indicator, 3-band equalizer (bass, parametric middle, treble), volume control, headphone output, aux-input for play-along...

to the product
102 €
(1)
Recommended
Millenium ST-95

Standing Aid Ideal for keyboardists, guitarists and DJs, Seat height, backrest and footrests individually adjustable, Seat upholstery and backrest with cover, Seat height adjustable from 545 - 965 mm, Padded seat, Weight: 6 kg, Material: Steel, Colour: Black, Suitable...

to the product
82 €
Recommended
Denon DN-300C MKII

Denon DN-300C MK II, CD/USB Player, Slot-In CD - Drive, USB Audio Player, USB plays MP3 audio file formats, 3,5 mm Jack Input, Display, symmetric XLR Output, stereo RCA Output, adjustable speed ±15%, Random, Repeat and Power-on-Play, IR Remote, 10-key...

to the product
239 €
Recommended
ADJ Pro Event Table

ADJ Pro Event Table, Compact and collapsible, Lightweight, around 18 kg, Functional and professional looking, table height: 880mm, dimensions table 1200x580mm; Dimensions (LxWxH): 50” x 24” x 45.5” / 1270 x 610 x 1155 mm, Dimensions for own Logo (WxH):...

to the product
329 €
Recommended
Presonus Studio 26

USB audio interface 2 x 4 USB 2.0 audio interface with 192 KHz, 2 Combo inputs: Mic/Line/Inst (XLR/jack), Jack inputs switchable from "Inst" (high impedance) to "Line", 2 Low-noise XMAX-L microphone preamplifiers, 48 V phantom power can be connected,...

to the product
199 €
(3)
Recommended
Boss GT-1B Bass Multi-FX Pedal

Boss GT-1B Bass Multi FX, effects pedal, Bass Multi Effect, 90 effect types, 32 seconds looper, approximately 7 hours of operation time with batteries, 99 Presets, 99 user patches, 3 Footswitches, 1 expression pedal and 1 additional footswitch/expression pedal input,...

to the product
211 €
(1)
Recommended
Mooer Baby Bomb 30 W

Mooer Baby Bomb 30, guitar power amp, complete amplifier power stage in the size of a micro pedal, 30 Watts maximum output, suitable for direct amplification of effects pedals, delivers smooth post stage overdrive at higher settings, Master volume control,...

to the product
105 €
Feedback Found an error or want to give us feedback about this page?

We're looking forward to hearing from you and aim to solve any problems as soon as we can.

Please leave a comment. Please enter your e-mail address.