guitar amps

Room to get raunchy and clean, with reverb and tremolo that sound like a dream.

Great tremolo and reverb in a combo that’s relatively portable. Fantastic looks. Powerful enough for big clubs but not too loud.

Overdrive tones can sound rather ratty and ragged—a cool thing, if that’s your jam, but don’t expect refined lead tones.

$999

Harmony H650
harmony.com

3.5
3.5
4
4

Hot on the heels of their very cool vintage guitar reimaginations, the revitalized Harmony’s new tube combos are bound to stir up excitement for their tasty retro looks alone. But while the navy blue vinyl covering and white woven-fabric grille cloth with gold piping make the H650 reviewed here a head-turner, its power and clean-to-dirty tone range will garner double-takes, too.

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A DSP-driven blackpanel Deluxe that dares players to differentiate between tube and digital.

Super-accurate emulation of blackface Deluxe Reverb performance characteristics. Effective attenuator. Super light. Fair price.

Odd, thinning compression characteristics when paired with extreme fuzz.

$899

Fender Tone Master Deluxe Reverb
fender.com

4.5
4.5
5
4

A legacy as weighty as Fender's can be a curse and a blessing. On one hand, the visual simplicity, elegance, and enduring appeal of most Fender products means that they don't have to reinvent the wheel every day. On the other, deviation from classic formulas can incite minor riots among purists.

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Coming full circle from the Marshall multi-stack excess of the ’70s, today’s sound-system technology would allow a guitarist to use the tiniest of amps as a backline rig in a stadium setting.

In the early days of rock, high power and huge volumes pushed equipment to the limit.

Mr. Shoe came flying into our rehearsal space, shouting and waving his arms as if he were flagging down a taxi. “Your amplifiers are distorting," he shouted above our Yardbirds-style rave up. Obviously upset, he continued, “Your amps—they're making square waves."

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