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chocolate chip cookies Identical

Like chocolate chip cookies, no two guitar amps are identical.  To find a standout, you may have to play several of the same model !

This is partly because, like guitars, guitar amplifiers are musical instruments, not high fidelity components.  Their tubes and transistors often operate outside of linear guidelines.

This can result in wave-shape distortion, nonlinear frequency response, compression, and other goodies.  Electrical circuits can also ring, adding harmonics and tonal sustain.

Meanwhile:  The true electrical values of the components used in guitar amps can vary between 5% and 20% of their rated values.  These subtle variations can have subtle effects on the amp's sound.

Sometimes, these differences can pile up to make an amp sound better than average and sometimes they can pile up to make it sound less better !


However, if your amplifier tone is lacking, here are four things that might help:


  1. Re-cone or replace your speakers - they lose their mojo over time.  You could also switch to speakers of a different size or magnet material, add speakers, or switch between open-backed and closed-back cabinets.

  2. Re-tube your amp or even switch to an alternate but compatible tube type.  Check out our PDF Tube Pinouts chart for compatibilities.  You can find replacement suggestions on the blogs but, remember, your results may vary because no two amps, or vacuum tubes, are exactly identical.

  3. Use a clean booster pedal or preamp to shift your guitar's signal level before it hits your guitar amp.

  4. Try differently alloyed guitar strings or a different, after-market guitar pickup.


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