Guitar Amp Modifications For The Perfect Rig Setup

AmplifierJust a few short years ago, music news headlines were emblazoned with the “Rock is Dead” slogan as music instruments and gear sales took a knock. Recent research reveals, however, that the music amp market is slowly making its way back and an anticipated value of around $490 million is expected by the year 2023. But what did guitarists do the last couple of years instead of rocking the latest Fender Mustang? Did they forego their electric betty for a sweet acoustic? Perhaps, but another plausible reason could be that they simply got addicted to the art of guitar amp customization.

Perking Up The Aesthetics

An amp says a lot about a guitarist such as the Edge’s Vox AC30 or Jack White’s Fender Twin Reverb. While tone is integral to the guitarist’s setup, each amp is carefully chosen for its aesthetic appeal too. Guitarists who aren’t entirely satisfied with their current rig can modify it, or have a brand new amp built according to their specifications. Baltic birch or spalted maple often form part of the construction. The ideal amp customization is not just for the vintage collector who wants a show pony, but also for those who want to take that Fender ‘68 Custom Deluxe for a spin on stage.

Blast Worthy Tubes

Perhaps one of the biggest reasons vintage amps gather dust in rickety second-hand shops is the fear of the tubes. Blowing an amp is one of the biggest busts on stage and a solid state amp might be a better option. However, for tube lovers, there is something special about the whole romance of heating up those valves before a show, and making sure they’re cool again after. One of the best ways to get ideal tone through a tube amp, is by ensuring that the valves are the best quality and that rickety or fading valves are replaced. This can be a costly exercise, however, the result is a clear and unmistakable hum.

Sound You Can Feel

There are few things as devastating to a guitarist’s ears as the deafening sound of a blown speaker. A blown speaker could be due to a number of things, including a separated coil or crumbling cone, loose wiring, or a blown fuse. While cones can often be repaired with tape, damaged voice coils can’t and if this is the case, the speaker needs to be replaced. Those who are keen on salvaging their existing cab should do the math, as a repair could run up a higher tab than simply just replacing the entire thing.

Guitar amps should never be overlooked when setting up a rig and it’s important to buy the best amp you can afford to ensure good tone. Some vintage amps still pack a lot of punch, however, a custom might not be a bad idea either.

(Guest post from ShareMyGuitar Blog contributor Jess Walter)

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