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.


Ugly Amps "Lil" Ugly


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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