If you’re a gear “whore” like I am then you will be able to relate to this article! Amps, amps, amps! I love them and can’t get enough of them! If I had my way, my entire house would be filled with amplifiers. If that were the case, however, my girlfriend would quickly make me homeless! Looking on the bright side of that scenario, I’d be homeless with lots of amps!
There’s nothing I enjoy more than thinking, “hmm, which amp should I play today”? That’s the cool thing about collecting gear…you can play it! I collect gear versus buying stocks and bonds. There is not one piece of equipment I’ve purchased that I can’t at least get my money back on. You can’t say that about the stock market. And, I can play it all! It’s like living in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory as a a chocolate “whore”!!
My personal favorite amp is a 1978 Marshall JMP Mark II Combo with period correct Celestion Black Back speakers. Every guitar I own sounds great going into this amp. Pedals sound awesome when plugging into the low input and diming the volume and master. Personally, I like having a master volume whereas some Marshall “purists” don’t like them. I like having a multitude of ways to shape my tone with a MV.
This particular amp has 6550 power tubes and they happen to be vintage. One is a 1957 Tungsol and the other a 1961 Tungsol. These are considered the holy grails of 6550 power tubes and you can hear the difference! I prefer the low end thump of 6550’s versus EL34’s. Think AC/DC in spades when you play this amp!
Another favorite amp of mine is a Whitney Penta 66. It’s an incredible rendition of an early JTM 45 with a twist. It actually has an EF86 pre-amp tube in V1 which creates a beautiful “Vox” type chime at low volumes yet it roars like a Marshall at full volume. Being able to swap out EL34’s and 6L6’s for the KT66’s that are in it make the amp really fun as well!
I was lucky enough to find a Star Super Nova out there in amp land as they are rare beasts! I bought it from a harmonica player so it had not seen heavy use. Mark Sampson didn’t make many so they are hard to find. In case you weren’t aware of this, Mark designed the circuits in three of our pedals; the Max, Hightop, and Revolver! The Super Nova is a 6V6 based amp with low and hi inputs and one master volume. There are gain (volume) controls for each channel. Tone flexibility is endless and the 6V6 grind is so juicy!
I could go on and on because, as I stated at the beginning of this article, I have too many amps! I want to here about what YOUR favorite amps are and why! So, here’s what I want you to do. Send me an email telling me about your favorite amp in your collection. Also, send me a picture of the amp (even better is a picture of you with the amp) and what it is you like about the amp, what makes it cool and what gives it that “mojo” you love!
I’ll have our social media company post your picture and amplifier description on our social media outlets! Now that’s a cool way to promote your baby! Send your pictures and amp write-up info to: