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Buy *Amped: The Illustrated History of the World's Greatest Amplifiers* by Dave Huntero nline

Amped: The Illustrated History of the World's Greatest Amplifiers
Dave Hunter
Voyageur Press
208 pages
May 2012
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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If you're a guitar player, you will fixate over the beautiful amplifiers pictured and described here. Hunter has engaged in a world of research to describe and explain why these 50 or so amps were--and still are--the most played and sought-after pieces in the world. Included here:

  • Silvertone 1304
  • Gibson GA-50T
  • Fender Champ 5F1
  • Fender Deluxe 5E3
  • Vox AC30
  • Ampeg M-15
  • Marshall Model 1958
  • Hiwatt Custom 50 DR504
  • Mesa/Boogie Mark 1
  • Dumble Overdrive Special
  • Matchless Spitfire
The amps listed in this book have been or still are being used by probably 75 percent of all the guitar players out there. They are classic pieces, and Hunter painstakingly tells you why. He runs through the circuitry and the internal layout of the amps by describing everything from the types of tubes to the actual construction of the cabinets and the types of speakers they house.

Here is an excerpt from the author's sonic description of the incomparable 1994 Matchless Spitfire:

The tonal result of all this workmanship, arguably, is that archetypal Matchless chime and shimmer, with a flowing bloom to notes and chords and a rich, thick harmonic grind when you crank it up and dig in. Even in this little 15-watter, the balance of harmonics and overtones just screams, well, Matchless, and defines a genre that was arguably established by this maker some twenty years ago (on the heels of Vox, sure, but in a different and original way). And thanks to this sonic splendor, the Spitfire can turn its hand to an unusually wide array of playing styles. 'The Spitfire is surprisingly versatile for an amp with three knobs,' says Phil Jamison [owner of Matchless].
This is a terrific book even if you only look at the pictures. But if you're a hardcore sound nerd in need of a big dose of technical information, pick this up.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at Steven Rosen, 2014

Also by Dave Hunter:

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