High-End Amplifiers That Will Last a Lifetime
These amps were designed for life…
When you buy a top quality guitar, whether it be an electric, acoustic or bass you’re making an investment; buying into the craftsmanship and experience that goes along with that instrument. You want it to last a lifetime, so that 20 years down the line it looks, feels and sounds even better (or at the very least the same) than it did when you first opened the box. The same goes for guitar amps. You want something that’s going to stand up to years of playing with minimal maintenance costs. So where do you start? Well, it’s not as difficult as you think.
The mainstays on the world stage such as VOX, Marshall, Fender and more recently, Blackstar have all crafted amplifiers that will only get better with age.
We’ve compiled a list of the best higher end amplifiers money can buy, perfect for recording at home, touring the world or hooking up in your living room for that midnight jam session – either way they’ll all probably outlive you with the proper care and give you years of great sounds.
What better way to kick this list off but with this indisputable classic. Vox has been a primary choice for a vast amount of popular bands for over 50 years now! From the Beatles to the Arctic Monkeys the AC series amps have provided unique tone and of course epic build quality. First introduced in 1958, the Vox AC15 combo has provided an abundance of tone-crafting control that made it very attractive to artists and has a real knack for making any guitar sound incredible.
There have been some updates in more recent times including 3 x 12AX7 preamp tubes and a pair of EL84 tubes to drive the single 12″ Celestion G12M Greenback in the AC15C1. All models in the Custom Series offer a switchable 8/16 ohm output jack for powering an external speaker cabinet when you need to speak with a little more authority, but classic sound an rock-solid build quality comes as standard.
The Fender Hot Rod Deluxe are in their 4th generation and with every series issue, they come with better and better spec. 12AX7 tubes in the preamp and 6L6 tubes in the power amp ensure beautiful and versatile tones that are good for everyone. It’s also no secret that Fender builds everything to their absolute best ability including guitars, basses and of course, amps. The result of this means that you get an absolutely solid amp that can last through generations.
The Fender Hot Rod Deluxe IV is equipped with an 8-Ohm Celestion A-Type speaker, also designed to last aeons. The A-Type is inspired by Celestion’s favourite American tones, offering a chilled-out midrange energy that shines in the higher frequency range, with a deep and full-bodied low-end energy.
The Hot Rod Deluxe IV has built-in reverb with Reverb and Presence controls to give you the spaciousness and depth you desire, no matter how big or small the venue is. Not only that, but the amp is more than happy to play with others too, put simply – incredible tone housed in a fortress.
Slightly newer to the circuit, but by no means any less important, Blackstar have been creating gorgeous amps that do exactly what you need them to. Whether it’s rock, metal or chicken picking country style riffs – Blackstar have got it covered. The Artist series is compact, looks great and sounds brilliant.
The two foot-switchable channels offer great versatility whilst the pair of 6L6 valves, and a pair of ECC83 valves give you a hearty, warm sound when warmed up. When driven, you get some nice broken up distortion that at no point becomes overbearing. It’s got built-in reverb as well as effects loops too, so the demands of the professional are more than met.
Since 2004 Blackstar have made a real name for themselves in the industry, and we think the Artist series proves yet again just how important they are to music. Plus, it looks really neat.
Closing this list is the Marshall DSL40CR 40-Watt Valve Guitar Amplifier – and what a combo it is! Mighty, with stage-ready power alongside a highly versatile tone shaping for ultimate control. The DSL40CR boasts built-in digital reverb, effects loop, MIDI compatibility, and a wide range of foot-switchable parameters that make is perfect for the gigging professional. The DSL40CR bears the Marshall name with pride and elevates that coveted status of the Dual Super Lead to greater heights. Packed with an impressive all-valve setup with three ECC83s in the pre-amp, and a single ECC83 alongside a pair of EL34s in the power amp, the DSL40CR has a high-powered engine to crank out the jams.
Like the Vox AC series, you will find Marshall amplifiers just about anywhere thanks to their steadfast construction and ear-popping power.
Visit the Dawsons website to view more great guitar amplifiers, and let us know in the comment which are your favourite or dream amplifiers.