Fast forward to today….
Much progress has been made in amplification. Some guitars prefer their tube sound, but solid state has really progressed and so has amplifier modeling. It is no longer necessary to lug around 100 pound amplifiers, when one can get a louder and more powerful sound through a much smaller amplifier.
|Dr. Rick Jones|
|Min Amp 1|
Through experimentation Woods was able to enhance the harmonics, which kept down the level of distortion and gave the amplifier an exceptional tone. By the 1980’s Woods developed the Mi 225. This was a class D amplifier that put out over 200 watts. The original model was a one channel unit, but was upgraded to a 2 channel amplifier. This amplifier featured a very complex design.
In the 1990’s Woods improved upon his Mi 100 amplifier. The pre-amp was modified through the use of integrated circuits and mosfet transistors.
These are also known as the M-450, which produces 450 watts into 8 ohms and 750 watts into 4 ohms or the M-800 which puts out 800 watts into 8 ohms and 1200 watts into 4 ohms, yet only weighs four pounds.
the Coda R. It was designed as a class D bass amplifier and produced a warm, dry transparent sound with a flat frequency.
|Bottom view of amp|
It featured a downward firing 10” speaker. Essentially the speaker was at the bottom of the cabinet facing the floor to bounce the sound. The amp was also equipped with a 5” midrange speaker and a 1” tweeter. It only weighs 5 pounds, yet produces 300 watts of power.
The S4 Clarus comes as a head in either a one or two channel version. It is 600 watts into 4 ohm speakers. Jazz guitarist Pat Martino packs one of these for his gigs.
the Vintage British 800. This is an amp with some balls.
This little brute pumps 420 watts into 4 ohms or 150 watts into 16 ohms and sounds amazingly like a Marshall stack.
The preamp is tube or valve based. It utilizes digital modeling to achieve its Marshall quality tone through the use of class a/b mosfets (metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistors). This amp weighs in at only 4.2 pounds and easily fits into a gig bag.
Matrix offer several light weight speaker cabinets to match up with the amp. One comes with one 12” speaker and the other comes with two 12’s and both are light enough to carry with one hand. The amp sells for $749 USD.
the Lunchbox acoustic model. Instead of metal housing, this amp is enclosed in wood and comes with two channels. One is a microphone channel which enables this unit to be used as a small PA system. It too offers 200 watts of power into a customer ultra-high 6 ½ inch speaker.
AER is a German company that has been building acoustic guitar amps for quite a while. There are many artists that use these amps based on their transparent sound quality and size. Most of the amps weigh between 13 and 14 pounds and produce 40 to 60 watts of power into their internal speakers. The line-out allows the amp to be used as a monitor, while the signal is fed into the house sound.
The Cheeky D produces 200 watts of power into your choice of a 10” or 12” speaker (which boast 240 watts). The amplifier has an input for a clean sound and another for a distorted sound. It comes with 2 gain controls and a distortion control, a master volume control, equalization controls and built in effects (reverb, chorus, delay) and comes with its own padded gig bag and weighs about 35 pounds.
Amp Two. It pumps 240 watts into a 12” speaker and a 4” midrange speaker. This amp features a compression control, 3-band equalization, a mid-cut/treble boost control. It comes with a padded cover and weighs about 52 pounds.
Amp One which is a bass amp with similar features that puts out 200 watts into a single 10” speaker. It weighs around 30 pounds.
Amp Three. It is very similar to Amp One, and pumps 200 watts into twin 8” bass drivers. It also weighs around 30 pounds.
Pignose G40V amps are no longer in production, they can still be found for sale on the internet. This amplifier was designed by New Jersey amp designer and repair man Dennis Kager. The circuit is based on Fender’s Tweed - four 10 Bassman amp and it cranks out 40 very loud watts into a 10” speaker. The speaker is rated at 80 watts, so it can handle the load.
This amp came out in the late 1990’s and at the time no one liked it because it was made in China. Today, many well known amp manufacturers are outsourcing production to China, so you no longer have the stigma.
Crate PowerBlock. These can be found as used equipment on various web pages and sell for $150 to $200 USD.
the 44 Magnum. This little pedal produces 44 watts of power into an 8 or 16 ohm speaker load. The effects are minimal; just a volume knob and a switch that toggles between a normal setting and a bright setting.
It sell for around $151 and fits in the palm of your hand. In fact you can put it in your guitar case or gig bag.
MicroPro 200 series. These amps are similar except for the speaker size. They all are 100 watts per channel or 200 watts when using both channels. They are ultra light and can be matched up with an extension speaker.
|Jazz Amp 110|
|Jazz Amp 112 ER|
It was the most powerful bass amp of the day.
But it was the GK 250ML put 100 watts of stereo power into a lunchbox size housing that showed guitarists that an amp did not have to be large to be powerful.
MB500. It weighs a mere 4 lbs, but delivers 500 watts of power and tone in a compact unit. It comes with 4-band active equalization and a contour control. This amp has an XLR direct out with pre/post EQ selector and a ground lift. It has a tuner out with a mute, FX loop, headphone/line out and dual speaker outputs. This little beast pumps out 500 watts into 4 ohms or 350 watts into 8 ohms.
the Rumble 500 delivers 500 watts into 4 ohms or 350 watt into 8 ohms. This single channel amp includes an overdrive circuit and a 3 button voicing section that provide bright, contour and vintage sounds. It comes with four tone controls and two speaker outs. Additionally it has a XLR out.
Ampeg’s Portaflex B-15 bass amplifier was the industry standard for years.
the SVT amp. This was the ultimate in bass power, but it was huge. The head weighed 80 pounds and the eight – 10” speaker cab weighed a back-breaking 165 pounds.
PF-500. The tone stack on the PF-500 provides an extensive array of tone controls for shaping your sound. Bass, mid, and treble controls come standard with a 5-position mid switch for finding the perfect midrange level for your sound. Ultra Hi/Lo boosts add even more on-the-fly options, and it is equipped with an onboard compressor.
|BH800 top and BH550 bottom|
a Kustom 50 watt amplifier. It was study, dependable and big. The amp was enclosed in black tuck and roll naugahyde. The head probably weighed around 25 pounds.
This was produced in the era when Bud A. Ross of Chanute Kansas owned the company. Kustom amps were solid state done right.
In the 1980’s The Hanser Music Group of Kentucky acquired the brand. For several years the company produced the original tuck and roll amplifiers only these were tube based amplifiers. The company is now part of JAM industries.
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