Music shop! That's the first place you'd probably think of when it comes to hunting out a new amp. While there’s nothing quite like belting out a few riffs and hearing the quality of the amps you’re dreaming about you have to be practical too – What size amplifier will fit into my house or am I likely to be going on the road gigging? Buying kit in a bricks-and-mortar store like our own at Rainbow Music is reassuring with a full warranty and backup as well as knowleagable staff and we all know you can usually get a really get a good deal, if price is your only criterion. So what’s the best amp for you? Read on and we’ll fill you in on the best amps to look out for and how to make sure you get the best value for money when buying.
Whether you’re a seasoned guitar pro or an enthusiastic beginner, you’re going to be on the lookout for guitar amps. And, no matter what your level of playing expertise, you’re going to want both beautiful tone and durable quality in whatever amp you purchase. What’s the point in buying your dream axe when you’re limiting its sound with poor equipment? Conversely, a good amp can complement poorer quality guitars. It’s important not to see the guitar as the only contributing factor. And just as no two guitars are created equally, no two amps serve up identical sound and function. Every guitar amp brand in the world has built its name specialising in particular areas of sound. Some of the top brands you can find in a music shop include Marshall, Orange, Fender, Roland, Vox and Blackstar – and each one of these brands’ line-up of amps comes with its unique brand style and sound. Fender, for example, is known for powerful amps that deliver noise and plenty of it – offering clean tones and a velvety overdrive. Vox, on the other hand, found their fame in supplying both The Beatles and the Rolling Stones in the 60s and 70s; as well as helping Brian May hit epic highs in the 70s with Queen. But we’re going to focus on three particular brands within this guide.
Despite only appearing in the humble music shop but a decade ago, Blackstar has managed to establish itself as one of the top amp builders in the world – particularly when you’re talking hard rock and metal crowds. They’ve got an impressive array of artists who use their amps – ranging from legends like The Stranglers, to up-and-coming all-women Scottish hard rockers The Amorettes to symphonic black metal pioneers Dimmu Borgir. In particular, the Blackstar amps that have been causing the most soundwaves (sorry) belong in its HT line-up – which is particularly popular with the metal and hard rock enthusiasts. But they also offer far more nuanced amps as well, coming in the form of the ID series that was launched in 2012. It’s a ground-breaking collection of amps that offer programmable pre-sets to create incredible, varying sounds. This allows the amp to give sounds that range from ultra clean to high gain lead – it all depends on what kind of sound you are after. This makes it the perfect all-round amp for both live performers and recording artists. All of this is also helped by their staff being largely made-up of former employees of one of the most iconic amp brands of them all – Marshall.
Marshall amps UK success story is evidenced by the sheer number of Marshall amps in the possession of guitar players everywhere. They fill music shops up and down the country and across the world. It is perhaps one of the most icon guitar brands globally – and probably the most iconic when it comes to amps. The British-based amp builder has supplied some of the biggest bands – such as Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Aerosmith and even Spinal Tap (yes, Nigel’s infamous amp that went ‘to 11’ was a Marshall amp). The brand has been a mainstay of stadium rock since the 1960s with its massive 4x12 cabinets. While Blackstar is more for the metal crowd, Marshall is downright epic rock. At least, that’s what image is conjured up when you think of Marshall. Today though, they dabble in a wee bit of everything. And, for the amateur, the MG series offers an incredible package that is highly affordable – allowing even the most cash-strapped of guitarists to snap up some of that solid Marshall tone. No matter what kind of sound you’re trying to produce, you can’t really go wrong with Marshall.
Usually, when companies earn a legendary status, they’ve been pushed there by rivals. For example, Microsoft’s Windows took a massive bite out of Apple’s Macintosh during the 80s and 90s, but it was that fight that catapulted Windows to greatness. Yet, as we all know, Apple eventually bit back. Orange amplifiers may not ring any immediate bells, but if you watch clips of some of the rock bands from the 60s, you will see Orange amps onstage almost as much as Marshall amps. However, it was Marshall who would go on to become the iconic amp builder. But, like Apple, Orange had a real downturn in fortunes before finding its way back to the top of the pile – the best always find a way to bring their plans to fruit-ion (we can’t help it). The first thing that hits you about Orange amps, apart from their distinctive bright orange casing, is that wall of sound. This is a constant across their whole range – including the Orange Micro Crush. Don’t be fooled by The Crush’s meagre 5” stature – it can deliver some really stunning tunes and makes for an incredible portable amp at an incredibly affordable price. In fact, at Rainbow Music, a top online music shop UK wide, you can pick up (we’ll stop now…) the Orange Micro Crush for just £38!
If you’re in need of a music shop, look no further than Rainbow Music. Rainbow Music has been in the same premises in Carlisle’s historic centre since 1991 and has been a major online presence since 2008. We’ve been appointed as main dealers for all the amp brands we’ve talked about above and you’ll be hard pressed to find anyone who can offer you the combination of good prices and great service that we do. Go check out our range of guitars, amps and other instruments at http://www.rainbowmusic.co.uk. Want more info? No bother. Give us a call at 01228 537469 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.