I love valves. There, I said it and I’m proud.
They have been used in amplifiers since 1904, and are still considered by most guitar and amp enthusiasts as the ultimate format for making things louder! Almost all high end guitar amplifiers are powered entirely by valves and it doesn’t look set to change any time soon.
So how has a technology so old not been indisputably improved on? Well, put whimsically, they are a force of nature, contained by science; raw electrons getting freaky in a glass tube containing a vacuum, sounds cool huh? This creates a warm and distinctive sound as well as a desirable natural overdrive.
The alternative being transistors, introduced in the 70’s as a means of lowering production costs and weight, amplify things through a digital circuit, this not being analogue in nature means that although it is an effective means of making things louder, it can sound artificial.
And that’s why I love valves, over 100 years old, and still turning heads, how many can make that claim? Felicity Kendall?
My favourite valve combos:-
Fender Supersonic 22: This amp really cooks! It’s loud, large, and in-charge. I also like it because it reminds my of my Mesa Boogie, but it’s a bit more affordable at only £899.
Vox Night Train: It was love at first sight when we met in the stock room after a hectic delivery. It’s an amp the size of a lunch box but a sound as big as Ford Mondeo. This is one buff little amp, that you can buy for only £369 or £548 with a matching Vox Cabinet.
Fender Champion 600: Perfect little all valve practice amp; brimming with vibrant tone, a no-brainer for only £179.
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