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Equipment and guitars etc.

Amps, and effects etc.

Having been a pro’ guitar player for longer than I care to remember and played with people in situations all around this planet , much of which I cant remember! I've had the dubious pleasure of having to use most of the amps that are considered to be designed for the guitar player so you may be interested in my opinions on some of them? No? Okay, here we go.

Vox AC30 combo

In my opinion, simply the best medium powered unit ever produced for rock guitarists in it’s original form. The simplicity of it’s original pre-amp with no tone circuits as such(apart from top cut) delivers warm and usable overdrive for both chordal and solo playing. Second and third generation models added tone circuits( hiss and hum!) and ironically and sadly destroyed the tone and musicality of this classic.

Vox Supreme.

Vox’s late 60’s attempt at building a high power guitar rig using transistors instead of tubes. Festooned with useless tone options. Very unpleasant bit of kit but it did look the bizz at the time!

Hiwatt 50/100

High quality tube amps in the late 60’s and along with Marshall were designed and built in response to the demand from guitarists for high power rigs using the :old: technology (valves). Pretty ineffectual tone circuits (good), and good for spreading it about a bit! Oh, and a very important note on these space heater monsters, they were reliable!


Probably the most famous guitar amp of all time so I’d better choose my words carefully whilst commenting on them. I think they are shite! Still here? Sorry all you Marshans out there but I was lumbered with a 100 watt top and cabinet for 5 weeks back in the 80’s on a European tour with Eric Burdon and it really did make me question the meaning of life!

Why? It’s toneless(even with 4 tone controls) and noisy and only came into it’s own when played flat out. Make off that what you will, suffice to say, not to popular with a rock Icon who fancies himself hugely! ( Sorry about your hearing Eric!).

Messa Boogie

Here again is a dead famous product which I used extensively whilst touring Australia with dear old Eric(!) . Not for the faint hearted (or weak!) .Like another American weapon, the Colt 45, this is lethal and liable to go of without provocation! Not for me this Boyo. Overrated, overpowered, pointless and useless tone circuits but, very good for warming your hands on a cold outdoor gig!


If you are a professional guitar player who relies sometimes when touring, on amps being supplied by promoters act, you will more than likely find yourself faced with the infamous ‘twin reverb’ combo. Like the Boogie, this amp is too powerful for it’s own good, but again, a fine source of heat! Not a nice device in my humbled opinion which again suffers from lack of musical tone. I actually own two Blues Deluxe combos at present which are based on the old medium powered Bassman circuits and like the old AC 30’s, have an inherently sympathetic and musical response to the electric guitar irrespective of where the tone controls are set. The late great Ollie Halsall used a Princeton linked to a four by ten Bassman so check out the old Patto albums and weep!

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