ugly amps

Scorching distortion meets vintage cleans in a lunchbox that's featured filled, light, and easy on the pocketbook.

Light package, heavy sounds. Interesting variety of brutal to vintage-y clean sounds. Handy features.

Clean-channel volume can't always match dirty channel's. Slight scratchiness in dirty channel gain control.

$1,250

Ugly Amps "Lil" Ugly
uglyamps.com

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In approach, if not aesthetic, Steve O'Boyle of Ugly Amps got his start much like the folks at now-defunct Analog Outfitters. Like A.O., Ugly Amps initially used parts salvaged from vintage PA systems—thus the tongue-in-cheek company name. These days, he stocks his small-batch designs with all-new parts. His latest offering, the 5881-powered, 20-watt "Lil" Ugly, puts a high-gain channel alongside a clean channel whose tones are a welcome departure from many amps in this category—all at just 12 pounds.

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