Six of the best: classy combo amps
Brunetti Singleman SM 16W
This single-channel 1x12 with reverb is an example of the ‘less is more’ principle - a well-sorted non-master volume design that has the kind of tonal muscle that sound engineers spend many hours perfecting.
We said: “Responds exceptionally well when you put stompboxes in front of it. Few amps can match it for playability”
For more information visit the official Brunetti Amps website
Marshall brings back the mythical Bluesbreaker 2x12 combo via its flagship Handwired range, remaining as close in spec to the original 1965 models as modern build regulations allow.
30 watts of jumpable twin-channel power, plus tremolo, will have anyone of a blues persuasion dusting off their early-Clapton riffs.
We said: “Turned up, the Bluesbreaker’s response is organic - almost alive. Marshall’s homage to the past is still a potent tool for today’s players”
Read our full Marshall 1962HW review
For more information visit the official Marshall Amps website
BUY: Marshall 1962HW currently available from:
USA: Sweetwater | Full Compass
Fender '68 Custom Deluxe Reverb
Fender’s new version of possibly the most recorded amp of all time merely tweaks a winning formula.
You get 22 watts, two channels, reverb and tremolo through a 12-inch Celestion, but there’s a new voicing from a modified Bassman tone stack, the effects are global, and breakup happens earlier along the dial.
We said: “Far more than a means of amplifying your guitar sound, the Deluxe Reverb is a musical instrument in itself”
Read our full Fender '68 Custom Deluxe Reverb review
For more information visit the official Fender website
BUY: Fender '68 Custom Deluxe Reverb currently available from:
USA: Sweetwater | Full Compass
FR: Thomann | Michenaud | Star's Music | Woodbrass
Magnatone Twilighter Stereo
This resurrected brand from the Golden Age of guitar design’s latest retro beauty comes in 1x12 or 2x12 combo formats.
It has spring reverb, fantastic stereo vibrato and a valve rectifier, and is an old-school Americana/blues amp par excellence with a monster price tag.
We said: “Its uber-cool looks, authentic vintage tone and quirky effects will endear it to many indie/roots players”
Read our full Magnatone Twilighter Stereo review
For more information visit the official Magnatone website
Hamstead Soundworks Artist 20+RT
This 20-watt pro combo, with reverb and tremolo, sports three 12AX7s, two EL34s and a Celestion Creamback.
However, it somehow defies easy characterisation: it’s not Fender, Vox or Mashall in character, and not one for the dirt lovers, but is a great British amp in every sense.
We said: “For classic roots, pop, country or jazz, the Hamstead is ideally matched and already building itself a serious following”
Read our full Hamstead Soundworks Artist 20+RT review
For more information visit the official Hamstead Soundworks website
Lurking beneath that stern 1970s exterior is a serious tone tool.
With twin JJ EL84s powering a Jensen C10Q speaker, the GTA15J is a stealth boutique amp, simple yet capable of providing creamy smooth overdrive.
We said: “The noise performance beats most valve amps we’ve tested. You’re getting a top-quality hand-made valve amp for the cost of a mass- produced solid-state product”
Read our full Yerasov GTA15J review
For more information visit the official Yerasov website