The Best Jazz Guitar Amps (Top 25) – Survey Results

Tone is an important aspect of any jazz guitarist’s voice and musical output. Whether you are jamming or out on a gig, your tone is what sets you apart from other players, and gives your playing a distinct voice all it’s own. One of the most important aspects of developing a solid tone is finding the right amp for you and your musical tastes.

To help you find that perfect amp, and personal tone, we’ve asked the JGO readership to let us know what amp they prefer when playing in a jazz guitar context.

After receiving more than 5000 responses from readers, we’ve taken those results and graphed them out so that you can see what amps your fellow jazz guitarists are playing in their home studios and out on the bandstand.

Not surprisingly, Fender amps made up the bulk of the responses, with perennial favorites Roland, Vox and Peavey coming in third through fifth place in the survey. Not all amps chosen in the poll were big name brands, as you can see Polytone, Henricksen, Acoustic Image and other smaller, boutique brands on the list as well.

Here they are, starting with the most popular and working down the graph from there, the top jazz guitar amps as chosen by you, the JGO community.


The Best Jazz Guitar Amps



By far the most popular brand of amps is Fender.

Beginning with the KU models in 1945, which were all tubes, and launching a solid state amp line in the late ’60s, Fender amps have long been a staple choice for guitarists of any genre, including jazz.

With a large number of makes and models to choose from, Fender amps are usually categorized by their looks, such as the Tweed, Blonde, Brownface, Blackface, and Silverface models.


Fender Blues Junior

Price Range: $310 – $680

First issued in 1995, this tube amp is designed to emulate the warm tone preferred by blues and blues-rock players of the classic-rock era.

Because of its warm tone, and not being too heavy to carry to gigs as some of the larger Fender amps can be,
the Blues Junior has made the crossover from rock and blues to the jazz world as it has become the amp of choice for countless traditional and modern jazz guitarists over the years.


Fender Blues Junior


Fender Deluxe Reverb

Price Range: $580 – $2,900

First made in 1963, this model is a variation of the traditional Deluxe as it has an added onboard spring reverb tank.

The original Deluxe Reverb was part of the Blackface era of Fender amps but later switched to Silverface in 1968.

In 1982, the Deluxe Reverb II was launched, and in 1993 Fender released the ’65 Deluxe Reverb reissue which is still in production today.


Fender Deluxe Reverb


Fender Twin Reverb

Price Range: $480 – $2,800

Featuring a built-in solid-state rectifier, the Fender Twin Reverb is a common option for players who like the power from a Fender Twin, but with the warm, clean tone that jazz guitar players enjoy, rather than the sharp, distorted sound that rock players prefer in their playing.

The Fender Twin Reverb makes a great studio amp or the perfect choice for a gig in a large room where you need more volume, but don’t want to sacrifice your clean sound at the same time.

Noteworthy players: George Benson, Gabor Szabo, Kenny Burrell, Mike Stern, Wes Montgomery.


Fender Twin Reverb


Fender Mustang

Price Range: $45 – $500

The Mustang features amp modeling and effects technology built-in for those players who want a small practice amp, but enjoy experimenting with onboard amp models and effects processing at the same time.

Featuring Fender’s “Fuse” software, you can connect directly to your computer via a USB cable to access and even exchange presets with the online Fender


Fender Mustang III


Fender Champ

Price Range: $360- $1,900

With the lowest power output and simplest circuit setup of all Fender tube amps, the Fender Super Champ and, to a lesser extent, the Champion 600 were two popular amp choices in our survey.

Though this amp was discontinued in 1982, after a 34 year run of production, Fender revived the Champ series in 2006 with their “Vintage Modified” line of amps.

After lagging sales for the Super Champ in 1982, Fender partnered with Paul Rivera to help redesign this classic amp. The resulting amps are considered some of the best in the series and are highly sought after by guitarists looking for a classic Fender sound.


Fender Champ


Fender Princeton Reverb

Price Range: $800 – $3,200

The Blackface edition of the Princeton Reverb was first released by Fender in 1967, though it was quickly replaced by Silverface version a year later.

After being discontinued in 1981, Fender released the Princeton Reverb II a year later, which was also discontinued in 1986.

Luckily for fans of this classic sounding amp, Fender launched a reissue of the Princeton Reverb in 2008 as well as a ’68 Custom Princeton Reverb reissue in 2013.

Noteworthy player: Bill Frissell


Fender Princeton Reverb


Fender Hot Rod Deluxe

Price Range: $340- $900

Along with the Deville, the Hot Rod makes up the Deluxe line of Fender amplifiers, and both are tube amps with a focus on power in a smaller package than the Fender Twin line of amps.

Originally released in 1995, Fender has released a few limited editions of the Hot Rod Deluxe over the years, as well as the Hot Rod Deluxe III in 2010 which featured a number of cosmetic and electronic upgrades to the traditional Hot Rod design.

In 2013, Fender launched a George Benson signature Hot Rod Deluxe (pictured), a 40W all-tube amp with 12″ Jensen C12K speakers. This amp has been very well received by jazz players and is well worth its cost.


Fender Hot Rod Deluxe George Benson


Other Fender Models (in order of popularity)

  • Blues Deluxe $400 – $800
  • Frontman $25 – $200
  • Hot Rod Deville $385 – $1,100


Founded in 1972, the Roland Corporation is known for manufacturing a wide variety of musical instruments, including their popular line of guitar amps, two of which made our list: the Cube (72%) and JC-120 (25%).

Though they have been known as a cheaper cousin to the big names such as Fender over the years, many players are warming up to the reliability, durability and warm tone of Roland amps.


Roland Cube

Price Range: $100- $450

By far the most popular and commonly used Roland guitar amp, the Cube has long been found in rehearsal rooms and on stage sitting next to jazz guitarists of all backgrounds and genres. The small size, as well as its ability to maintain a strong, clean tone at higher volume levels, has made the Cube popular among jazz guitarists.

Many jazz guitarists who grew up playing in high school or University jazz bands would probably be familiar with this amp model as its durability and reasonable price tag have made it a first choice amp for many school music programs over the past 20 years.

Cube types mentioned in the survey: Micro Cube (7%), Cube 20 (8%), Cube 30 (13%), Cube 40 (24%),Cube 60 (27%), Cube 80 (21%).


Roland Cube 60


Roland JC-120

Price Range: $400- $1,000

In production since 1975, this solid state amp is one that players either love or hate.

There are some players who prefer the clean and chorus tone, while others detest it to the point that they include a “no Jazz Chorus amp” clause in their riders.

The JC remains a popular choice among jazz though, and as was the case with the Cube, a common purchase for high schools and universities.

Noteworthy player: Kenny Burrell


Roland JC-120



Founded in the UK in 1958, and since 1992 owned by Korg, this British born amplifier is more known as a rock and blues amp, but it has crossed over into the jazz world and made inroads with jazzers over the years for its consistent clean tone and performance.


Vox AC30 & AC15

Price Range: $680- $3,350

Vox offers a range of amplifiers, but they are most known for two models, the AC-15 and AC-30.

The biggest reason for Vox’s success over the years was the company’s relationship to the Beatles. During their time together, George Harrison, John Lennon, and Paul McCartney all played AC 15, AC30 and other Vox models as they grew into the legendary band they are today.

Noteworthy player: John Scofield


Vox AC-30


Other Vox Models

  • Valvetronix VT40+ $110 – $250


The Peavey Corporation has steadily produced quality amplifiers as a company since 1965.

Again, as was the case with Roland, Peavey amps seem to fall into the “I love” or “I hate” category when it comes to asking jazz guitar players what they think about these amps.

Regardless of generating a divisive opinion, Peavey has remained a top choice for jazz guitarists for many decades, including their most popular jazz amp, the Classic 30.


Peavey Classic 30

Price Range: $300- $700

The Classic 30 is a commonly used amp amongst jazz guitarists who like its durability, tone and consistent performance when it comes to playing in a small combo, duo, or even a big band setting.


Peavey Classic 30



Though they are not as big of a name as Fender or Roland, Polytone amps have recently become a popular choice among jazz guitarists as their reputation has grown by word of mouth and through the endorsements of legendary players such as George Benson, Joe Pass, Jim Hall and Howard Alden (among others).


Polytone Mini Brute I & II

Price Range: $200 – $1000

Developed in 1976 as a small amp with “brute force power,” the Mini-Brute series provides jazz guitarists with some of the most consistent and clear, clean tone of any amp on the market today.

Even though newer models are commonly in use with jazzers of all backgrounds and tastes, players spend hours searching out for vintage models from the ’70s and early ’80s which have a classic tone that many players desire.


Polytone Mini Brute



Henriksen amplifiers have found their way into the on-stage setup of some of the most legendary players in jazz history, including John Abercrombie, Jimmy Bruno, Andreas Oberg, Larry Coryell and more.

Providing a strong, clean tone, Henriksen amps are gaining traction in the marketplace and are definitely an amp to check out the next time you are looking to update your jazz guitar setup.


Henriksen JazzAmp 110

Price Range: $700 – $1000

Retailing for under $1000, the JazzAmp 110 is the most popular Henriksen amp in our survey.

It is a solid state amp that provides a clean warm tone in a small package.

At only 23 pounds (10,5kg) the 110 can cover nearly any jazz gig from small rooms to large ones, and because of the linear design, it sounds just as great at bedroom volumes.


Henriksen JazzAmp 110


Other Brands

To finish up, here is a list of the other amps that were mentioned in the survey, but that didn’t make it into the top makes and modes listed above.

  • AER Compact 60 $700 – $1,450
  • Acoustic Image Clarus (Head) $500 – $1,000
  • Marshall MG30 $200 – $230
  • Mesa Boogie Lone Star $1,200 – $3,500
  • Yamaha THR10 $250 -$300
  • Line 6 Spider IV $40 – $380
  • AER Alpha $680 – $1,000
  • ZT Lunchbox $130 – $450
  • Bugera V22 $200 -$450
  • Ibanez Wholetone $190 -$390
  • Jazzkat Tomkat $440 – $700


Download this popular jazz guitar amps infographic as an image here…


What do you think of this list and what is the best jazz guitar amp in your opinion? Let us know in the comments below…

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154 thoughts on “The Best Jazz Guitar Amps (Top 25) – Survey Results”

  1. Mark S

    I’m an old rocker and acoustic guy who has only recently got into jazz guitar. This year I bought myself a Fender Deluxe Reverb reissue to go with my recently acquired Ibanez Af-200. A beautiful combination. I have a Marshall (JVM410) and Marshall like amp (Carr Mercury V) which are awesome amps but not for jazz. I’ve had a Hot Rod Deluxe and Blues Jr in the past but didn’t care for either. One amp I didn’t see mentioned was Dr Z. Had a Z 28 once – incredible amp. Wish I still had it for what I’m now playing.

  2. Drew

    Hwy 1 Tele and a Blues Jr…just learning Jazz chords and I am pleased that this gear leaves me with lots of potential to improve.

    1. Simon Courtney-Johnson

      I’m surprised that DV Mark amplifiers are still not listed in your selection. I use a DV Mark Jazz 12. It is an amazing amplifier. It has a beautiful warm clean tone and very affordable. The build quality is excellent. These are definitely worth checking out.

      1. Methenie

        I have a DV Mark 12 as well. Great for the weight, but doesn’t come near any tube amp. Stopped using it because of its flat sound, replaced it by blues junior instead. And boy the reverb on the DV mark is one of the worst ever (actually more of a small room delay with chorus).

  3. Dan

    I have a Louis Electric Deltone Reverb, which is essentially a hand-wired blackface Deluxe Reverb. It is a great amp for fat mellow cleans, and the spring reverb is very sweet. I *think* it allows for swapping out the 6V6’s for 6L6’s, which would theoretically add more clean headroom. I have not tried that, but it’s lovely gear overall.

    1. Ed De Bera

      Take care with that mod. It’s still a 22 watt output tx. You could wreck the speaker and the 6l6 uses twice the heater current as a 6v6. The op transformer isn’t matched to the 6l6. You’d get away with that probably. You will need to adjust the bias also. An easier and arguably better mod would be to put in a better more efficient loudspeaker. You’ll get a heap of clean headroom that way and there are no risks so long as you use the same impedance as the original speaker.

  4. Art

    Tender blues deluxe reissue. Super clean and dropping set reverb tank! I play surf too!

  5. Freddy

    I love my circa 1980 Roland Cube 40. So much I’ve got two of them! One is plenty for jamming and small gigs.

    I can get the loveliest jazz tones, it is very sensitive and versatile in this respect. Totally reliable, tiny cabinet and weighs only 10KG. And it has a headphone jack!

  6. fred blount

    Fender Vibrolux should have been included in your list.

    1. Dirk Laukens

      Hi Fred, I didn’t get to choose which amps were included, the list is the result of a survey…

  7. manuel Fraiman

    as a working jazz guitarist, I tend to think the choice of gear is not that critical when it comes to straight ahead jazz guitar… and that the best comfort tends to come from vintage oriented classic recipes, such as a thick jazz box, heavy strings, and a clean sounding valve amp… As a lot of people here, I like taking out my PEAVEY CLASSIC 30, which has enough of everything I need: rugged amp, with unsaturated power, warm sounding, with still enough clarity for chords. For even more clarity, I’ll use my fender Blues Deluxe … For jazz guitar lessons, I use my 1980’s 50 W HH transistor amp, both warm and clear, and easy to play… If i have to cut down on weight, I’ll favor an AER, which happens to be an excellent vocal amp , still usable for jazz guitar

  8. Rog Dog

    Dont forget bass amps. I’ve had great sound through a Genz Benz combo amp, Contour 500, with a 15 and tweeter. Its 35 lbs, a bit bulky, but worth it. I’ll run through a pedal for reverb and
    different voicings or pair it with a Fender super Champ and get a full range sound with a little tube bite to it. Walking bass lines are clear and warm. Playing straight in with no effects is a warm pure sound.

  9. Marc Connolly

    I’m surprised at the lack of commentary of the Peavey Classic. I have a 20 watt head which allows me to switch out 1x12s for better tones for jazz, blues, or some rock. With the article indicating a love-hate attitude spectrum for Peavey, I’m just curious what some of those criticisms are. Personally, I’ve owned a Blues Junior and a Champ in the past and I don’t think they compare at all. I think the Princeton+ range are superior in tone, but for a sub $1k budget, I’ve not found an amp that compares better than the Peavey Classic series

  10. JohnZ

    I’m going to break ranks here with my Carvin Belair. I replaced the OEM speakers with WGS 65 and Eurotubes “Blues 2” set. Very classic mellow tone. Gets as loud as I want. I play my Ibanez AS 153 through it.
    I also have a couple Boss pedals that I use occasionally : “63 Reverb” and “57 Bassman”.
    The only drawback with this amp is that it does not have a spring reverb, only digital and it’s ok anyway with jazz or even blues your don’t use much if at all. The 63 reverb is a COSM/ Fender engineered rverb. Can get very lush or into the Dick Dale/Roy Buchanon style surf reverb.
    Been playing for 50 years and had everything up to a massive 150 watt stack that blew my right eardrum.
    I knew one guy who owned 2 Sunn 1000S amps and a 100S. Probably some of the loudest amps ever made. tried to sell one of them to me but they scared the crap out of me they were so loud.

  11. Russell

    I have a Rogue 120 watts 2 12 s and a acoustic G120dsp 2 12 s also plus a small amp that i got at a flea market 25 $ sounds good too always wanted a big marshall past amps were peavey Duece and i had a Haritage also the duece was a great amp had a fender 120 watt amp didnt like it too much sold it .

  12. Pete

    My amps of choice are a ’62 Fender Super with 2×10″ Jensens and a ’65 Fender TR with Oxfords. I also had a ’58 Magnatone 260A with Oxfords. Great amp! It is the quietest amp I have ever owned and its cleans outdid the TR. Check out the Marshall Astoria. It has tone for days!

  13. Tony

    Wow No one uses Quilter I am suprised small package lots of super clean headroom

    1. Carl

      Tony, I use both a Henriksen 110 and a Quilter MP200 10″ and I love them both. These amps both weigh in at around 20lbs give or take a couple. While I am admittedly moving on in age, I stay in very good shape and can physically deal with the tube amps, but that doesn’t mean I want to struggle with 40-50lb amps when I don’t believe the result is that superior (if it actually is at all) to these 20lb amps. At one time I owned 7 Fender amps, and while I certainly liked them, I grew tired of not only lugging them, but of having to worry about the state of their maintenance. I sold six of them but kept one ’67 Princeton Reverb for myself just in case I ever changed my mind. Even there, I opted for the most practical Fender in terms of size, weight, and power, foregoing the larger Fender amps for that one.

      So, you’re right- the Quilter at the time of the greatest activity of this thread (2014?) was relatively unrecognized. I hope that’s changed.

  14. Paolo

    I use Sonic Guitars Jazz Reverb 150, is the best I have ever tried, all tube preamp that drive a hi end 150 watt class D power amp. Accutronics digital reverb, Jensen 12″ speaker, very powerfull, very lightweight, warm tone and great headroom.

  15. Opp3

    This survey is nice. should do every year

  16. Mario

    I’ve been playing Gibson ES175 and Fender Strat on Tech 21 amp for the past few years. I like the clean tone options and in adition reverb is quite good as well. I also play sometimes through ADAM active speakers, but the sound is too clean that way. Tech 21 Trademark 30 is light and fits nicely below my home office desk, so it’s quickly out of the way when the space is needed.

    Last time I visited a great guitar shop, I’ve tried 65 Princeton Reverb and liked the sound a lot.
    Now I’m not sure whether to get another guitar for xmas, or a new amp. Probably amp.

  17. Mike Foster

    Hi all, I’m in the same boat as most it seems. We all had the big cabs 30yrs ago but now the trick is to find the right tone out of a light rig and low watts. I’m finding I can use a single 15 cab and any small power source (tube) and sounds fine to what’s left of my hearing. Actually, and to my surprise, I found a 15 watt Ibanez head sounds plenty good using 6V6s, like an early Fender. That got me to try another little 15 watt Fender champ that I use as a head driving a cab with 2x12s. The cab is about 35Lbs and that little Champ really powers it well. I don’t like not have tube reverb, but that’s not a deal breaker, the digital effects have a reverb. These little 15 watt heads are a blast now that there’s more to choose from. If you want real clean, that 15 cab really delivers low end and clean mids – perfect jazz tone.

  18. Jeroem Engelberts

    actually, I’m pretty curious about the DV mark jazz 12… anybody try one out?

  19. Ronnie Raygun

    Hi Ya’ll,

    I don’t play a lot of guitar much anymore. I switched to fiddle and I love it! But my many years with the guitar gave me an ear and prepared me for the fiddle. Now just to clarify for those who are wondering. The Violin and the Fiddle are one and the same, no difference. The actual difference is the style of playing. With Classical Violin, one is trained to play it. Very traditional course progression. With the Fiddle it’s basically Freestyle, doesn’t matter how you play as long as it sounds good. Violin basically only has one tuning scheme, Fiddle has 3 or 4.

    Jazz, Blues, Rock, Rockabilly, Real Country music (old school), Bluegrass, Cajun, Celtic, Eastern European styles and my most favorite of all… Swing! Western Swing too! I love it all! No one can say that Swing doesn’t rock, it rocks and then some. I have a pretty nice traditional Viola (love the warm, rich tones, similar to Cello), and an old beater Violin that I bought for $30 at a flea market. At the time I could barely get any good sounds out of it, but I kept at it until I began to sound better and better. Of course, I wanted to be able play with other musicians, so I got online and began researching.

    I knew that Barcus-Berry had pioneered pick-ups for the violin and other acoustic instruments, so I immediately decided that would be the best choice for my needs. I went out and got the Barcus-Berry clamp-on type, (clamps onto the bridge via 2 small screws) violin pick-up and a preamp. Because the the pick-up is a piezoelectric type, it requires a preamp. There are violin, viola and cello bridges that have built-in piezo pick-ups. You wouldn’t believe what they cost! One cello bridge w/ built-in pick-up I looked at, cost over $750.

    A traditional violin, being essentially an acoustic instrument, requires a piezo type pick-up because an electromagnetic pick-up doesn’t really sense string vibrations as well as you might think. The primary reason being because violin strings generally do not contain ferro-magnetic material (i.e. steel). Steel strings are available and there very inexpensive, but there tone is not as desirable as that of higher quality strings. There are various kinds of strings with various compositions. The most widely used strings are silk, wound with silver. They’re slightly more expensive than steel strings and have a nice overall tone. I however, use the steel strings. After all, my fiddle’s just an old beater. It does the job. I’ve been thinking for a long time, about what it would take to design and build an electromagnetic, humbucking pick-up for my fiddle.

    Now because I’m playing fiddle, I wanted a good clean sound to begin with. So, intuitively I went to the Fender website to look for an amp. Almost as soon as I got online, I was very quickly introduced to the Fender Acoustasonic Junior. It’s designed specifically for use with acoustic guitars that employ a piezo pick-up (as opposed to electromagnetic) and has 2 channels, 40 watts per channel, a stereo effects loop in the back, another stereo input for keyboard, built-in Chorus and spring Reverb, a patented, adjustable String Dynamics circuit and a Notch Filter for feedback. The more I learned about it, it quickly became clear that it would be the ideal choice for my needs. So, I got one and don’t regret it all. Though i must say, having read some of the comments here, I agree that weight is an issue. Even though my amp is quite small physically and solid state, it’s still unbelieveably heavy. On the order of 45 lbs. or so. The weight is due mostly to the cabinet.

    Even though I wanted a good clean sound initially, I figured there would be times when I wanted to “dirty-up” the sound now and then. Of course, a tube amp would be ideal for that. But, I figured that Distortion and Overdrive pedals would work pretty nicely. So in addition to the amp and pick-up, I acquired a Boss BCB-60 pedal board, 7 Boss pedals and a used Morley Wah. I think I like the Cry Baby better. I was in 2 bands, but transportation is an issue now and the guitar player of one of these bands lives quite far away. We always practiced at his home. So just the one band now.

    I try to get out as often as possible to play open mic nights. Ok, this is where I put in a plug for Fender. Of all the guitar players I’ve encountered, the vast majority use Fender amps. This would verify your websites finding that Fenders are the most prominent amplifiers across the board. Clearly, they speak for themselves.

    Well, that’s my 2 cents. Sorry, I didn’t intend to be so long winded. i just thought I would share that bit. But, after reading most of the comments and looking over many of the pages on this website, ya got ma wantin’ to play guitar again. I’m thinkin either a Les Paul or a Fender Jaguar. Great website!

    Rock n’ Roll!

    Ronnie Raygun

  20. N Smith

    Is anyone useing an EBS Drome classic combo?It sounds great to me using a Peerless Port Town through a Fishman ToneDeq!I can use the same amp for bass guitar too.

  21. Hans

    Hoi Dirk, je zal verbaasd staan.
    Ik heb Joost Zoeteman zaterdag op het Loosdrechts Jazzfestival er op horen spelen en dat was een flinke ruimte, wel over de PA natuurlijk, maar hij is er als professional zeer content mee, vindt hem zelfs prettiger klinken dan de Henriksen die hij hiervoor had.



  22. Hans

    Hoi Dirk,

    Ik hen nu een Mark DV 12 jazz op proef, slechts 45 w, 12 ” speaker, weegt maar 8,6 kg en het en prachtig clean geluid, ook op hogere volumes.
    Kost de helft van een Henriksen!
    Ik bn er erg tevreden over.

    Groet, Hans

    1. Dirk Laukens

      Hoi Hans, die heb ik nog nooit getest, zal ik eens doen als ik er één tegenkom. Grtjs!

  23. David Miles

    Within each brand, are the amps listed in order of popularity per the survey?

  24. Kaona

    Just bought a Blues Junior III w/ factory Cannabis Rex speaker upgrade; sounds extremely fine for my style of play. BJs now typically sell for $529 new, but are still a great deal if you don’t require a lot of high volume clean headroom (my ’65 Twin had far more of that than I ever wanted, not to mention 63 pounds vs. the BJ’s 31.)

  25. Donn

    The article/survey/comments are simply wonderful and sorely needed for aspiring players. Is there any chance, with the survey results turning two years old, of a new survey. With the rapid technology developments in neodymium speakers, power amp design (smaller,lighter,cooler running), miniaturization of circuitry, and new product like Henriksen’s “The Bud” and Pat Quilter’s second generation of micropros, not to mention the recent revelation that the Eminence Cannabis Rex is a match made in jazz heaven for the star of the current survey… I rest my case.

  26. Hans

    Hi, any comment on Mambo 10 or 12 from the Uk?

  27. Max

    I’m an older but new guitar player; learning how to play jazz. I have a Japanese made Washburn J6 (L5 CES copy) hollowbody with new Seymour Duncan Seth Lover PAF HBs. The amp is a Fender Super Champ x2 head into a custom made pine cab based on a Fender Deluxe Reverb cab with an Eminence Swamp Thang. I am striving for late 1950s early 1960s pure tone. It may be a practice set up but it is heaven to me. No, Wes was not an influence in any way….wink…..wink.

  28. Vic

    Another amp than has recently come on the scene is the Quilter, developed by Pat Quilter. I play an Eastman 805 through a Quilter Micropro 200. It’s very light to hand carry with only an 8″ speaker yet it delivers 200 watts, 100 per channel.

  29. Bill

    I have a Gibson 335 and play through a 1972 Fender Twin Reverb……amazing clean tone….

  30. Fishman LoudBox Mini

    I was shocked… sound quality amazing… it weighs under 20lbs.
    Fishman LoudBox Mini

    1. Carl

      Couldn’t agree more. I just saw your post. See my post of November 17 which I put up here a few hours before I saw yours.

  31. Jack

    Thanks for the interesting Survey, the Fender domination did not surprise me at all.
    I recently bought a Mesa Boogie Mark IV A 1×12 Combo, i get exactly the tone out of it I always wanted, but that amp is very heavy (85 pounds) that’s the only downside.

    1. Jerome

      Hi Jack,

      The Boogie is fine for this kind of application (I’ve owned a few Mark IIB’s, and they were great)- but indeed, they weigh a ton. Another amp I’m not seeing here that’s worthwhile if you can find one is the Pearce amp. Also great: a Yamaha GA50 112. They’re both indestructible, and will not let you down tone-wise.

  32. hans brinker

    for use at home with clean, warm sound, for use of a Fender strat and gretsch. What do you recommend to obtain the silverface sound as an alternative for fender 68 silverface amps ?

  33. std testing ATL

    By no means be impolite or arrogant when it arrives to
    making adore. Kids may suffer from fever, runny nose, sneezing and cough for a 7 days or longer.
    It is stimulated by parasitic organisms, predatory the genital area.

  34. Tony

    I have a hotrod Deluxe and a ZT lunchbox and I’m real
    picky with the sound in both sometime you get a nice
    sound sometime not. One day last week i was at guitar
    center playing a peavy 30 watt tweed amp… and the
    customer were coming around me like i was grant green
    are something ,of course the attention felt good.
    That peavy my next amp the quest for tone continues.

  35. Aad

    Thanks for the survey Dirk, great Job!
    As expected the usual amps are the most used. But my favorite amp is in the ‘Other Brands’ category, it is a ‘Jazz & Blues 50’ Tube amp, build by Matamp. Jazzguitarist Adrian Ingram was involved by designing this amp. This combo is the result of several years of Adrian’s involvement in designing, testing and tuning MATAMP prototypes for Jazz and Blues guitarists. Very straight forward to use “set and forget” amp. Designed with no compromise for the professional Jazz and Blues player who wants pure tone and who isn’t afraid to use the guitars on board volume and tone. Sounds great with single coil and humbucking pu’s. Depending on the gig I also use older Polytones, Mini Brute II and III and a Baby Brute. Or a Gallien Krueger Backline 100, the older model, also a very nice amp. Thanks Dirk for your efforts and your absolutely great and very informative website!

    1. Vernon Fuller

      Yes, I remember when Adrian Ingram was demo-ing the Matamp. I never got my hands on one but think the sound is ‘just right’ and so it would be, with Adrian involved in the development. Thanks for this post Aad 🙂

  36. Rob Harvy

    Hi all, have had Marshall’s for rock, a Fender 30, and currently a Mesa Boogie Road King, Express 25, Nomad and Mk2c.
    The Mesa RK is the best I’ve had but is heavy and cumbersome. The Boogies take some fiddling with tone controls to get the best from them and be pleasantly surprised at the range of sounds available, but are expensive. For me a friends Fender twin sounds fabulous for “jazz” with a beautiful sparkling clean valve tone – the GB Fender amp is a fantastic amp for jazz too, but it’s always a case of differing tastes based on experience (or lack of!) and being able to sample the large range of amps out there.
    Fender being first on the list for jazz really isn’t a surprise for most of us I would think. Great warm/clean/valve sound straight out of the box and affordable.


    Dirk,Thanks for the input from you and and the players around the world.I actually have a Blues Jr but have rarely used it for jazz playing due to a lack of head room.My main Jazz amps,a Crema Wheat and an XITS X10,give me the tonal variety and head room needed.I also use a SWR Blonde which allows me to put an upright bass and my guitar in when playing a small club.I also always try to match guitars to different amps to get the tone desired.Reading the comment today gives me chance to rethink my approach to what other players have tried and had success with.
    Keep Jazz Alive.

  38. Zack

    Pretty solid list, although I wouldn’t think much of someone who primarily uses any Mesa-Boogie for jazz. I know their clean channels have mids that cut through well, but it’s just not pleasing to my ears. I use a Henriksen Jazz Amp 112 or a Fender HRD if there’s a need for distortion as I’ve never found a great mix of pedals with the Henriksen that works for me.

  39. hottentot

    Hi everybody, when we talk about fender amps and jazz we all know that they work very well together, but in my experience the fender twin is the only one that makes the difference, i mean, the hot rod deluxe it’s a nice amp but the drive channel sucks, i use to have it but when i tried a roland jc 77 i sold it immediately for different reasons, the jc clean channel it’s almost unbeatable, it takes pedals like no others, i have a wampler ecstasy ovedrive and it’s far better than hot rod drive channel and for other reasons, i always wanted to play with a stereo set up so i sold the jc 77 (but i still think that it’s one of the best amp for clean sound) and i bought two small amps by Eko, Italian brand, pure solid state amp, i compare it to a fender mustang and no way, the Eko won, i never liked digital amps, these little amps sounds just amazing and they are very cheap, 109 euro each, yesterday a played in a small theatre and i didn’t even mic them, i don’t know if you can find them in Usa but they are great, also playing with two amps it’s a dream for effects like delay, rotary, tremolo etc.
    Ps. I’m sorry if i made some writing errors but i’m not english

  40. Rotris

    Love the survey! Although I’m now play not a Acoustic Image Clarus/Razor’s Edge 10-ER, I am surprised the Fender ’63/64′ Vibroverb with the 15″ didn’t make the hot list. I am also surprised that the Rivera Suprema 15″ didn’t make the list either. All good set-ups.

  41. losaltosjoe

    Thanks for the survey/info Dirk! I’m curious how many other members use Brunetti or Headstrong amps.


    1. Dirk Laukens

      Hey Joe, there are 10 Brunetti and 7 Headstrong users.

      1. losaltosjoe

        Thanks Dirk! So I’m not alone.

  42. Trevor

    Interesting survey Dirk. I replaced my Roland Cube 20 with a Fender Blues Junior at Christmas. The Blues Junior is a wonderful upgrade with warmth and far greater clarity to my ear, making my instruments sound alive.

  43. Peter M Noll

    I have 2 Kendrick amps (a 2×10 and a 4×10) which are built like the old Fenders and sound great. They are heavy. I also have a Tech21 Trademark 10 for practice. They don’t sell the 10 anymore but it’s a nice little practice amp.

  44. Paul

    The warmest sounding amp I have is my old Ampeg Gemini 1 (1965) but my gigging amp is a JazzKat. Can’t beat the sound,volume, tone and versitility in such a small light weight amp. Put my guitar through one ch and my female vocalist through the other. I put a slave speaker on the other side of the stage and we have a guitar amp and PA in one simple set up.

  45. Dave F

    Thanks Dirk. Interesting that “Other brands” represents 25% of votes, which is the 2nd biggest category after Fender. If those brands are getting less than 0.5% of the vote each (your threshold for displaying the brand name), then there must be at least another 50 brands voted for, in addition to the 25 shown. It just shows how personal our choice of amp is!

    I’m currently using an AER Bingo with my Eastman archtop, and awaiting delivery of a Mambo wedge 10″.

  46. Jesse Boggs

    Recently replaced Acoustic Image/Raezer’s Edge setup with a Rivera Chubster. Love the tube thing, really makes my guitars sing. Lots of tone range, plenty power. Built to last, too. The Acoustic Image was a great amp, but the tube sound is better to my ear.

  47. Allen Weber


    For my recent jazz-rock/fusion release: Allen Weber Hot Shock I used a Mesa Boogie Mark I. It can get a very clean warm undistorted tone (which I did not use) or a nice crunch.

    For my jazz duo, I have done something no one will believe, but the tone is gorgeous! I have been using a Godin Freeway Classic (looks like a super strat), into a Marshall 30 FX. I am getting a very rich, warm undistorted tone that sounds like the tone Herb Ellis, Barney Kessel, and Howard Roberts were getting from fat hollow body jazz guitars.

    The Marshall is 100% transistor.
    My Mesa Boogie is of course tube.

  48. Dennis

    I used to play country music – pedal steel guitar. I have an Evans FET LV500 (because that’s what this guy played ). It has a 15″ speaker and clean power to spare. To my ears this amp sounds fantastic with my Fender D’Aquisto, and the next time I need to take it out of the house I invite all you guys over to help me carry it.

    (Bonus points: The late Herby Wallace on “Almost Like Being In Love” )

  49. Mark Rhodes

    Interesting list. I have a Polytone Mini-Brute that I like, though if I got a new amp, I might want one that offers more tonal variety. (I don’t always play jazz…)



    I have been playing chord melody solos through a Roland Cube 40XL for about three years and really think it’s a great little amp. Loud enough to play out with a small combo but with the ability to reduce the output from 40 watts to 2 watts makes it a great practice amp as well. Beautiful clean tone ala’ JC120 at a ridiculously low price.

    I also recently bought an AMPEG GVT15-112 on closeout. The 15 watt setting is great for straight ahead blues play and like the Roland, it switches to 7.5 watts output in triode mode. Very nice little tube amp for jazz.

  51. Vernon Fuller

    I love my older style Polytone. I used to use a Roland JC 120 when I was a lot younger but it was and is a back breaker for me now. My Polytone which I got from guitar legend Adrian Ingram in exchange for my smaller Polytone, gives me just the great sound that I want to go with my archtop. Thanks so much Dirk for putting this survey together, Vernon Twitter @FretJazz

  52. Ray NAYLOR

    Some interesting remarks and points made here. For 25+ years I have been using a Laney Linebacker 50 Reverb Combo which I have appreciated for its extremely clean tone and full middle and bass response (but a bit muddy in the upper register)- no surprise for a solid state amp. About 4 years ago a bought a Fender Princeton Recording Model and appreciate three aspects on which it outperforms the Laney.

    Firstly the pristine clear trebles are available when you want them (I rediscovered the ultra clean sounds of the Carlsboro Super Stingray I used in the early 1970s before it was stolen).

    Secondly, the treatment that any natural harmonics receive when the tubes are pushed to their sweet-spot (just starting to break up, and no more). Obviously subjective for everyone, I know, but for me there is a responsiveness to pick attack that is exceptional.

    Thirdly the volume attenuator allows me to achieve the sweet-spot at acceptable volumes when playing at home – much appreciated by the neighbours.

    The first downside is the price – it was very expensive. The second one is the ten inch speaker, which although great for 99% of what I want, can sometimes lack punch in the lower register. In those instances I go back to the Laney.

    I use three guitars currently – a 1961 ES 175D, a Peavey Omniac JD and a very recently acquired Ibanez AR420 (an impulse buy, but in my view worth at least 3x its price). The 175 switches between the Princeton and the Laney depending on what I play, but I only plug the others into the Princeton. The single coils on the Peavey are well accomodated by the Fender, and the Super 58 pups on the Ibanez have a harmonic sensitivity that I have rarely come accross – when the Princeton is pushed just a little bit harder then the expressiveness from the Ibanez/Fender combination is very satisfying.

    I guess we are all seeking our own particular sounds and that’s part of the richness of what we do.

  53. Raymond

    I use the Fender hot rod tube amp and love it.But I also play a Fender Strat and Telecaster so what do I know??

  54. Ade Holland

    Probably the best amp. I ever had was a 1970’s Fender Twin Reverb silver front, sadly I had to sell it although it was on castors I still have a perminant click in my left elbow with lifting it in and out of the car and on and off the stage !!!
    I now use either a Sessionette 75 or a Peterson with Electrovoice speakers……both great amps even tho they are over 30 years old. Best W.

  55. John

    Interesting results. No surprise there regarding Fender amps. Just goes to show you that there are many options out there. One piece I would ultimately like to see is the breakdown of the amount of each amp model for each brand. Maybe that is coming up in the future. I am currently trying to figure out my next amp purchase and would love to see this type of info. Shopping for amplifies and not having access to a good variety to test out is difficult. Right now I am leaning toward the Twin Reverb Reissue but you never know. I would love an old vintage blackface but just cannot afford one of those and will likely never even get to try one out. Thanks Dirk for the info.

  56. Chris Cartledge

    Due to severe G.A.S. issues, I have owned just about every amp there is and others you’ve never heard of… My favorite Blues fusion amp was the Two Rock Custom Signature amps. They inspire the soul. As I have gotten older, my gear has gotten lighter and I like to run stereo. I either use the 1985 Polytone mini brute II with a Henriksen 10″ or a Vox AC 15 handwired or Badcat Classic Cat with 6v6’s. They were originally combo amps but I removed the amp and put them into a head config for easier handling. The solid state amp running stereo with a tube amp is very nice, especially with stereo effects. I’ll prolly try a Quilter next… I hear they are light to carry :o) I would like to mention, I have a Pritchard Golden sabre amp that sounds very nice as well for you Solid State lovers.

  57. Cemil

    Thanks for the great survey.

    I’ve got an old Fender Pro Reverb (lower powered version of the twin), a Henriksen Jazzamp, and AER Classic 60, but my current favorite for an arch top is the AER Cheeky d vintage 12. Not cheap, but gives a gorgeous tone. The tube input stage gives a warmer sound than the henriksen.

    1. Paul

      I too use a Schertler, a ‘David’, mainly because of the 48v phantom power mic channel I couldn’t get with the Henriksen or AER baby amps and because as an acoustic-type it produces a very clean if rather bass-heavy tone from my D’Aquisto archtop. Also it has lots of outputs I never use! But I found it disappointingly quiet for £800.

  58. joe

    I’d be very interested to hear what people think of the valve vs. transistor debate; I switched from a Marshall Valvestate20 to a Laney VC15 (with the Jensen speaker option) – and haven’t looked back since!

  59. Robin

    I play an Ipad thro a PA amp. I can now read the newspaper whilst the drummer sets up!

  60. nolimore

    I got a roland microcube. It is ultra-light weight and v. compact, I bought it because i use public transport and wanted something to hand-carry or put in a backpack carry-rig and it satisfies all that. At around 4w It’s loud enough for a bar/restaurant, busking, or practice, etc. It is digital not analogue, does very well as an all rounder. It has several channels; acoustic, JC-120 jazz chorus, black panel, and a overdrive and stack. I tend to use JC-120 (nice clean chorus) and black panel for jazz playing. Also a mic channel, a line in (playback a backing track MP3 player). Onboard effects (delay/reverb on one dial, chorus/flanger/phaser/tremolo on the other dial) Also A440 tuner. Powered through mains or x6 AA batteries. If you want something to practice on or do small gigs and you walk/public transport, this is a good option, otherwise it is not an analogue amp will give you the real harmonics/enharmonics or that jazz guitar tone, you might want to explore.


      Hi Nolimore,

      You really should consider upgrading that little Roland Micro Cube. You can’t be getting worthwhile tone and volume. You can get a very serviceable solid state amp for under $200. In my opinion, it would represent a significant improvement in tone.

    2. kempini

      I agree, this is a great little amp which covers nearly all tones you could ever wish for!

  61. Ollie

    Thank you Dirk

    I do have a hand wired Super Reverb copy (Tube Amp Doctor), but because I only play at home, I built a small 5 watt single ended tube amp, with Fender style tone stack. Only 3 tubes and it is super silent. A very nice tone with a 1×12 cab.

  62. Paul

    Interesting if predictable survey. Coincidentally, I got an email last night from an online supplier, promoting the new Line 6 ‘Amplifi’ amp. I think if you conduct this survey again in a year’s time you may get a surprise. It looks like the future for amps is to become creative sound centres, programmed using apps from Bluetooth devices, iPads and so on, and with the ability to sample, model, create and store thousands of tones, effects and backings. It even promises that if you download your favourite Pat Metheny riff to it, it will reset itself automatically so your guitar sounds just like his…. I almost bought one on impulse, until I realised I wouldn’t even understand the instructions. It’s not my world anymore!

  63. Marty Lennon

    Hi, I bought a Roland Cube 60 based on reviews on the forum about 4 years ago and not regretted it. Great amp with good range of sounds plus built in effects aren’t bad and plenty loud enough for live work. I play mostly Blues based music with a little funk and it works for me. Oh yeah and it’s so light too

  64. Gitterbug

    Hi all and thanks again to Dirk!

    Somewhat less Fender dominance and definitely less variety in the mainstream than I had anticipated – but a lot of variety at the tail end, behind Henriksen’s tiny share which would barely count in a political election.

    My trustwothy allies have been a Henriksen Convertible for pure jazz, Fender Super Champ XD for allround gigs and quick change settings (e.g. jam sessions with alternating bands), and the Cube 60 for the practice room, where it’s shared by many fellow players. Built like a tank and entirely carefree.

    A Koch Studiotone 20 sits idle, mainly due to its weight. As well, I think it’s much easier to keep the bottom-end blur from humbuckers at bay with a 10″ speaker or two. In larger venues, a small amp will probably be miked through the PA system anyway.

    Someone was wondering about the Fender Super Champ XD. It became a serious tool after upgrading the tubes and changing the flimsy speaker element into an Eminence Ragin’ Cajun, as suggested on many dedicated fora. Another alternative would be from Eminence’s Professional Audio Beta series, which you will find inside the Henriksen and Raezer’s edge cabinets instead of dedicated (= branded, more pricey and more sound-colored) guitar speakers, which often are judged by how easily they break up and how they handle heavy distortion. It’s like rating camera lenses solely by how they reproduce the out-of-focus area.

    As an aging, brokeback amateur musician I have for years experimented with homebuilt speaker cabinets that weigh less. This has taken me into the realm of Neodymium speaker elements, which begin to sound quite ok. Jensen’s Jet Tornado gets praise from the Koch people, and I’m happy with my Eminence Lil’ Texas, both 12″. Eminenc’s Basslites, both 10″ and 12″, do basic jazz guitar quite well, without too much brightness.

    Our bassist bros and sis’s have for years been using neodymiums. They are also happy with their extremely light yet powerful Class D amps à la Markbass and Gallien-Krueger. Fender’s new Rumble 200 weighs 2 kg and delivers very good sounds, with 4-channel eq and three filters, with the “vintage” button adding just a small amount of reverb. I’m in the early days of testing, and after decades of noisy aeromodelling and noisy music, my ears aren’t the sovereign judge anymore.

    It’s too bad that guitarists are such a conservative lot. Pity that Crate’s Soundblock was a flop. In a world that worships “vintage”, we could take some steps forward for a change. I’d like to see a Class D guitar head with a decent reverb, or a Lunchbox Acoustic head,which you could hook up to a serious speaker cabinet of your preference.

    I have so far managed to build a 1×12 weighing 4,5 kg, a 2×12 of 8 kg (both with neodymiums) and others in the 6 kg range with ordinary 12″ speakers. My heavy metal guitarist son says they lack bottom, but for clean jazz they’re ok.

    Unless I go brokebank before breakthrough, I will post images and data on “final” versions, as soon as I’m happy with the tone and have some degree of model/patent protection in place. These babies won’t be your ordinary squares.

    1. Rudy Wuertz

      Thank you, it.’s a pleasure to read your comment because it’s so much ” off the track” as my own opinion about “amps”, “sound” and , most of all, the wood used for guitars by the 3 big US companies and Asians. Too much Voodoo and no, use to write about that here.

      I myself play 2 simple wrecks from the early 80s , worth 125$ or 125€ on ebay, named Studio Lead and Stage Lead. Pure transistors, a quiet useless 2nd destortion channel , abandonned by Fender after 3 years as a complete failure . Last week and a week before I played Jazz in front of 100 people… Among other guitarists with much more extensive equipment and less applause. Can I be that much wrong? :))

    2. Eddy Troxler

      I love my 25w Rivera Clubster. Nice old school tones with my Eastman AR580. I also use the same amp for blues, rock and country gigs with a Tele. Seems perfect for my use. For smaller lighter, recently experimenting with Quilter 101.

  65. Anton

    The ususal suspects, indeed. That provides ample opportunity for players looking for low-budget but high-quality amps: start looking from the bottom of the list upward. Apart from several exotic boutique brands, here you can find the ugly ducklings that nobody wants, because they don’t carry a Fender or Vox decal. I use a Hughes & Kettner Club Reverb solid state amp for jazz. It can be had for 80 euros or less and rivals the jazz guitar sound of many better known amps costing ten times more.

  66. Paul Gerards

    Duidelijk!En te verwachten … maar ik mis de Rivera Suprema Jazz Amp!! Met name voor
    het versterken van archtop gitaren!! SUPERB!!!! Waouw!!!!

  67. Johnny

    I use a Quilter Micro Pro 200 solid state amp. Aprox. $900.00
    Uses next generation technology to produce a tube amp sound without the hassels of “tube care”. This is not a modeling amp but can produce the sound of many botique amps by just adjusting the control knobs. Mine has a 10″ speaker,pushing 200 watts (100 watts/channel) but weights only 21 lbs. 8″ and 12″ speaker also available. Made by Quilter Labs, Costa Masa, CA. I play clean most of the time, but I have power and all those other weired sounds without modeling when I need it.

  68. Scorpion~

    I’m surprised that the amp I’ve favored for the majority of the past 50 years isn’t shown, by model. Fender Concert 4×10 for live sessions, nothing better. For smaller venues Mesa Boogie .22 (miked) for smaller rooms, however, I prefer a Fender Blues Junior III with an EV12″ speaker … clean, loud, proud … and a bit more portable than my Fender Concert. I wish I could have my old Fender Bassman back – all around it’s the best one I’ve ever owned. Playing either my L4CES, my Byrdland, or my custom built ‘telecaster’ style with recovered Gibson pickups from a destroyed 25/50 LP Custom.

  69. David

    Very interesting results, thank you.

    I use a Vox VR30R that has a solid state pre-amp but a valve power amp; a great compromise if you’re on a budget, and has genuine spring reverb.

  70. pat

    my Mesa Maverick sounds good with external speaker cab I sold a ‘rivera 12/50 because no low end punch. Traded an early Mesa Studio..great for rock..much nicer distortion than the Maverick but no low end punch. I have founr nothing that works as well as Fender 62 Concert or black face super Reverb for quick snap and punch..I play mostly a super 400…so like the multiple 10″ speaker punch..

  71. maxoumax71

    Le meilleur et le moins cher pour moi c’est le nouveau FENDER MUSTANG (57 Deluxe,59 Bassman, 65 Twin Reverb, British 60 et 80,American 70,Super Sonic, Metal 2000) avec son logiciel FUSE et sa connexion USB au monde entier! Il n’a pas de concurrent.

  72. Joris

    Nice job, Dirk!
    The usual suspects, I would say but a nice read.
    One thing I can’t understand: the Fender Princeton Reverb. I tried it a few times but no clean sound after 4, maybe 5. No headroom, it broke on half the dial. Just curious; how do you guys use it for jazz?
    Found a nice ’84 Princeton Reverb II that keeps clean all the way up to ten.

  73. J-DuB

    Years ago, sold “my baby”… Mesa Boogie Studio Caliber with a 12” Avatar extended cab. Great set-up, honest.

    Very pleased though with my mid-50’s Maganatone Varsity. Pretty much an A Class 8w Champ that I managed to grab for CHEAP off eBay. No regrets in holding on to. I really don’t “play out” on gigs and this lil’ amp is perfect for apartment/ home playing… But the Mesa Boggie Studio Caliber was a BEAST when you wanted it to be.

    Can still find them for reasonable and I DO recommend the extended cab for being a “mini-stack” with a tilt-back stand for the amp. Clean jazz/ blues to PUSHED rock and straight up METAL… Very flexible rig. At home, can’t wind it beyond 2, it really gets LOUD fast.

    Unfortunately, the market picked up on these “off brand” Champ types and Magnatone got reissued. Out there though, there are some low-watt PA units or brands like this Magnatone that just need a bit of love and are worth diming in. It’s a straight ahead 5A Champ with the addition of a tone control that works. Very sweet and clean with very roomy and open drive when pushed. Ideal for apartments/ practice but records well, because you can naturally PUSH the tubes at lower volume.

    I stack a Marshall Bluesbreaker clone pedal with an authentic Guv’nor in the signal chain for dirty/ pushed blues sound. Crank the Guv’nor for harder rock, but can wind back the guitar for sweeter tones.

  74. DrG

    Unfortunately nothing else than “Infographic of the most popular jazz guitar amps” shows up on my iPad. Too bad…

    1. Dirk Laukens

      Have a look on a PC, the image is too big for iPad…

    2. RudyWuertz

      You’ re not the only one …

  75. matthew

    Nice article but I don’t think it is truly representative. Are the results of what we play right now or what we would play given the choice. If the results are of what we play right now for many that isn’t a preference due to circumstances. It might be the amp ‘at the moment’ cos that’s all I got right now sort thing. One graph is not 100% accurate of this nor representative of peoples gear or choices of, or what is their desired gear.

    1. Carl

      Reply to Matthew’s post:

      This was my favorite post because it addressed the exact question I was asking myself while I was reviewing the survey results. I too think that the survey question might have been more valuable if it had asked, “If you had the choice of any amp, which would you choose”.

      I felt that the results may have been skewed by two factors, one being what many players were locked into (from the ‘old days’) and the second being price, always a mitigating factor. Sometimes, a normal reaction is for people to defend their decisions.

      I think that a lot of new solid state amps provide tone equal to the old tube amps. And I think that many of your favorite artists seem to agree with this.

      I am fortunate enough to have several original Fender tube amps (50’s to 60’s), but also a Henriksen 110, Quilter Micro Pro 10″ and a Fishman Loudbox Mini (the last two not even making the list). Not that I pretend to be anything close to an expert, nor do I think I have a wonderfully discerning ear, but for me, I chose to move away from the hassles of tube amp ownership: maintenance issues, questionable reliability, and weight issues, in favor of this new breed of solid state amps that are a pleasure to carry, almost unquestionably reliable, and absolutely maintenance free. In addition, they produce wonderful tone. Imagine 100w with a 10″ speaker in a 21 lb package…

      Perhaps one of the most underrated and under-discussed amp, of course imho, is the Fishman series of Loudboxes. They are virtually unbeatable in function and sound and definitely in price.

      I explored the Henriksen and the Quilter because amongst jazz players that I know, they were talked about a lot, and I needed more power and volume than the Mini I have could provide. Of course, they are a lot more expensive.

      Don’t ask me to choose between the Quilter and the Henriksen though. They are both great as jazz amps with beautiful clean tones. If you like the bells and whistles provided for no extra charge (compared to the Henriksen), go for the Quilter. If you want the one trick pony (sans flashy lights and myriad of effects) that does its trick very well, look into the Henriksen.

      That said, while I don’t have direct experience with them, a lot of guys speak very highly of the Roland Cubes, especially at the price point they’re at.

      Anyway, just trying to add to the conversation…

  76. Bill

    I’m a newbie and I only play in one room in my home so I didn’t need to go nuts on my Amp so I got a Roland Cube20XL. It has most if not all the bells and whistles so I’m very satisfied with it. I play my entry level Ibanez semi-solid w/double humbuckers and I’m happy with that too. Great participation on this survey!

  77. pat

    I have listened to sound clips of Quilter and Pritchard solid state jazz amps..curious if anyone here has tried either or both for jazz?

    My favorite amps were my 61 Concert and 65-67 Super /Reverb and 62 Pro but the Pro needs an external speaker I think to make sound better..
    but those old tube amps are too expensive and heavy to carry around and very limited in vol output

  78. charles quek

    Hey thanks for the survey, really appreciate the hard work in compiling this. it open my eyes to see the cross section of the people who uses ‘what’ amp and this helps to consider for future purchase

  79. lou

    I have several amps. I like an amp that projects the sound of the guitar I am playing and I prefer my Fenders. I have a Vox 120 that sounds best to me when I use a clean amp model. But I always come back to my Fenders. I just wish I had bought a twin instead of the ampeg. It’d be worth a ton by now.

  80. Scott

    I’ve played Fender amps since 1974. Currently play an L5 through a Deluxe Reverb reissue and I love it.

    1. Gerald

      My exact gear! Love the tone and feel. Also use a Blackface Bandmaster head through a 15″ Closed back cabinet

  81. Daniel

    My blackfaced 72 fender deluxe reverb works wonders with my es 339. I prefer the controlled low end of a closed back cab like a vox ac15 with a jazz box guitar. I know Marshalls really aren’t jazz amps, but I would like to try a 20 watt handwired head or a bluesbreaker……

    1. Paddy O'Strat

      Hey Daniel-nice-I like your choice of gear. I have an ES-339 myself, and love it. I only dabble in jazz, being more of a rock, blues and a bit of traditional country/folk/ Irish music on my acoustics( three flat-tops, and one nice old arch). I also have had a large number of Fender tube amps over my career-incl. a sweet SF DR like yours (which I stupidly traded in the 80’s for a Laney AOR with all kinds of knobs, bells and whistles). Now I have a couple of Twins left in the Fender side of my arsenal-but an awful lot of other vintage tube amps. As far as Marshalls go- I love them-for rock, metal and blues they are the #1 go-to for most guys. But the typical marshall topology of EL34 output tube isn’t a particularly great choice for clean, mellow and warm full-range hi-fi tone. But the one you mention, the BluesBreaker combo-which originally came with the now ultra-rare KT66 is a somewhat different Marshall beast. The re-issues are outfitted with 6L6 GC’s -same tube as the Twin and Super Reverbs-and probably the #1 tube for jazzy sounds. Although the 12″ Greenback Celestion RI speakers are more noted for a slight break-up more useable with rock and blues distorted tones-they can be found with an upgrade to the 12″ Celestion alnico “Blue”-the highly-regarded speaker that had a lot to do with the legend of the 60’s Vox and Marshall sounds. One amp not listed here, and one that is quite common and reasonably priced here in Canada-is Traynor (both vintage and contemporary versions). with their Baxandall tone stack they make an excellent clean and warm-sounding amp. The only issue being that the original ones came fitted with Marsland speakers-a cheap unit made close to Toronto-and not liked by anyone I ever talked to. Stick a good speaker in them and they can sound awesome. IMHO, they are a really decent alternative to many of the more famous brands.
      Another great amp, known for nice warm cleans-and an excellent reverb and tremolo, if that is your thing-are the old Ampegs. One caveat,though-some of them use oddball tube types-kind of like Gibson did back in that era as well. (Btw-I’m sorry, you’ll please excuse me for the excess verbiage of this little amp novella.)

    2. Adam

      I’ve got a ’68 ES-330 strung with flat wounds that sounds splendid through a Marshall SL-5-the clean channel really surprised me.

  82. Don Hartman

    ok, I don’t think my first post made it. So, here goes… Are you trying to tell me that a Standel 25L15 doesn’t make the cut for “other brands”? I’d be GLAD to send you some pics if that’s what it takes…

    1. Dirk Laukens

      Hi Don, only 3 Standels in about 5000 results. Never played on a Standel, but heard good things about them…

      1. Don Hartman

        Dirk thanks. By the way, I think this survey is outstanding! And, the rest of your content is great too! Thanks, I know it’s got to be a labor of love… Kudos!

  83. Donno

    hmmm… I didn’t see my amp of choice listed within the “other brands” section… I was/am disgruntled. Does not a Standel 25L15 make the cut??? gimme an option, and I’d LOVE to send a pic ar two or three or four…

  84. Magic Biddie

    If you ever play a Fender Super Reverb, and if you are able to lift it, you can never play anything else. Unbelievably rich, complex tonality.

  85. RonD

    Thanks Dirk,

    I’d love to see the actual numbers, instead of percentages.

  86. owen

    I play through a Gibson Gold Chorus . . . beautiful beautiful.

  87. Danny

    I’m not surprised by the Fender domination. Nor that Fender Twins were popular (I run a Frontman 212). Very good stuff here, Dirk. It would be cool if we could get one of the top guitars and one of the top amps donated or acquired otherwise as a prize in some sort of lottery with the participants. I’d love a 1 in 5000 chance at a dream rig like that!

  88. Tommy B

    Rivera Jazz Suprema…the best!

    1. Steve

      Yep, I have one too – beautiful tones.

  89. peter ugrich

    I tried a Fender , didn’t like it at all . Musicians Friend took it back and I bought a Cube 20—Love it!

  90. Dave Lincoln

    I use a Henriksen Jazz Amp head with a Raezer’s Edge NY8 speaker.

  91. Russ

    I love my George Benson Fender amp.

    1. Dirk Laukens

      Hey Russ, just bought one myself, great amp!

  92. Jesse

    I just got a Quilter amp (solid state, 8″ 200 W combo + their 12″ cab). I’ve used every major amp you can name, including most of Fender’s line up. This Quilter has surpassed them all to my ears, and weighs nothing. It can do other music idioms brilliantly too, you can tweak the dials for blues, fusion, rock, etc. The jazz cleans are pure sweetness, they have a clarity, definition, and roundness that I have been looking for for years. Try one if you can find a dealer near you, you won’t regret it. Not that expensive either, relatively.

    1. ADDIE

      I also use Quilter for jazz.. have the Aviator 1 12.. it’s light for the size and I can get any tone from it.. really stellar new amps.

    2. Donn

      I have the same and agree with you. A must-hear-to-believe scenario. Sweetness, absolute sweetness.

    3. will

      Ive had a quilter 101 mini head for a couple of months. I use a 1×12 cab wigh an eminence speaker. The sound is amazing ill probably never buy another tube amp when i can get ghe same tone from a 2lv pavkage.

    4. will

      Ive had a quilter 101 mini head for a couple of months. I use a 1×12 cab wigh an eminence speaker. The sound is amazing ill probably never buy another tube amp when i can get ghe same tone from a 2lb package.

  93. steve harrop

    Not surprised that fender came top. I started playing in 62, used every amp on the market until i got my first fender amp in 72. Not used anything else since. I have 15 fender amps, can’t beat them

  94. bill

    recently bought a fender super champ XD off a friend. only 4yrs old. he had trouble 6mths ago capacitor replaced. i have just had a new set of valves???? not good for a top rated amp!!!
    ive had a WEM clubman for over 30yrs (15watts), had it checked a cupla times and NEVER LET ME DOWN. likewise a roland cube 60.
    bought the XD for a bit more ooomph in a big band. i’ll give it a bit more time, but watch this space………..

  95. Luc B

    Hallo Dirk,

    Ik bezit beroepsmatig (herstellingen) over vele amps, de Roland jazzchorus 60 en de cube 60 (2 stuks) gaan toch mijn voorkeur uit om zelf te spelen. Daarnaast de Fender princeton chorus ea zijn zeker ook goede versterkers.
    Dank u voor deze website!

  96. Tim

    Both the guitar & amp surveys were off the chain; very helpful. Thanks Dirk!

  97. Rhoderick

    I have had my Vox AC30 since 1964, I have it checked regularly and it still sounds as good today as the day I bought it. I also have a Vox AD15 and a Vox DA5. Moreover, I would never consider another brand.

    However, I am really surprised that Vox came third in the in the survey result:
    I did not expect such a high rating. There must be more old guitar players left than I thought.

    Well Done Vox keep ’em coming

  98. Peter

    I use a nice old Fender Champ Amp which is a tube amp; those amps sound great clean.

  99. Marjo

    Leuk om te lezen: ik heb een polytone en ben er helemaal blij mee. Trouwens ook met al jouw super mails! veel dank.

    1. Dirk Laukens

      Hey Marjo, waar heb je je Polytone gekocht?

  100. Francois

    Thank Dirk, I will be reading this and the comments with intent.

    I have had a deposit on a Fender HRDL George Benson for a few months now, and was waiting for the survey results and user comments to help me with the final decision. The other option for me is a Henriksen.


    1. Silverfoxx

      Hi Francois,
      i suggest the Fender GB is a good choice, but depending on ability to tote an amp
      weighing approximately 43lbs against a Henriksen Jazz amp at on 32lbs. The
      reasonI disposed of my Fender Hot Rod was purely lack of portability, many of our
      older players defer to Smaller lighter amps for this reason ( eg Mambo. AER, &
      let us hear of your decision !

      1. Alastair Longley-Cook

        Yes, the Hot Rod is heavy (54lbs!) but worth the muscle strain. I use a baggage trolley with good sized wheels to tote mine around. Once it’s on there no sweat.

        1. Silverfoxx

          You must appreciate that a number of older players can no longer tote heavy
          amps due to ailments like arthritis, and sciatica, so rather than reclining in our
          bathchairs we choose lighter portable amps,Can you hear me over your HRDL ?
          regrettably I had to dispose of mine for those reasons. Yes we can recall those
          days of 4×12 or 2×15 cabs.or Fender 18″ Cv cabs,
          BTW the Hot rod deluxe weighs 45lbs not 54lbs unless you have an EV speaker.

          1. Alastair Longley-Cook

            I hear ya, Silverfoxx! My days of toting the Hot Rod around May be numbered as well, but I just love the warm rich sound.
            BTW, 3 (out of 12) is the highest I’ve ever had the volume.
            My only problem is getting it in and out of the trunk of the car. Maybe I’ll get one with an hydraulic lift!
            My church won’t spring for a roadie.

          2. JIm Kennedy

            I had a Hot Rod Deville (2-12) and a Hot Rod Deluxe at the same time. Sold them both. I can still lift them, but I choose not to. I now use a Blackstar HT HR5.

        2. Silverfoxx

          Hi Alastair,
          Thanks for your reply, i must say I would dearly love to have a George Benson
          HRDL , you are perfectly right in that they are hard to beat in terms of value
          for money and superb tone quality plus volume a plenty. If only Fender could
          produce it 20lbs lighter !

          Kind regards

          1. Jerome Engelberts

            actually, you could lighten a HotRod Deluxe quite a bit biy simply mounting one of those new Celestion speakers with the neodymium magnet, whichs weighs roughly 1/3d of the original spoeaker. And yes, they sound fine.

          2. 290East

            Guys, man up! these amp are not that heavy. I have a number of the Fender HRDL and sometime I use two for a stereo effect. I have carried other amp that were much heavier than this. I like the tone of the Gibson super goldtone amps and Mesa boogie which are way heavier that any of the Fender hotrod series.

          3. Nick Pantloni

            Anyone else using Black Star ? How is the volume on the HD5? Is it gig-able, or would one need the HD 20….

    2. Dirk Laukens

      I bought myself a Fender HRDL George Benson a few weeks ago and I absolutely love it! I’ll post a review soon…

      1. John Lusk

        I got the Geo B a few months ago and love it. Only complaint is there is a huge tonal difference when switching channels. It is bass heavy compared to my Super Reverb, but I’m learning to deal with that. But I love it, I play in a small jazz group and it has been great. Looking forward to using in other styles cause I think it will be just as good for roots rock, country etc.

      2. Erwin M

        Yes please, Dirk. I’m anxiously waiting for your review on the Fender HRDL George Benson!

        Bij voorbaat dank 😉

      3. Carl

        I recently had the chance to play a HRD George Benson brand new out of the box. The clean sound is really great. However, this amp had terrible tube rattle. When I played certain notes or even when I touched the bright or more gain switch there was a clearly audible rattle. Is this just a regular behavior of this amp or did I pick a bad one?

        1. John Ellard, Sr.

          I don’t know how old your question is, but check the speaker baffle. A rattle should not be occurring, so no, not regular behavior.

    3. Craig

      I just purchased a Soldano Astroverb…what an incredible amp…it produces wonderful Fender Twin Reverb sounds with a beautiful tube-driven reverb…and it can also produce incredible hot rodded Marshall sounds…for the price, quality, and variety of tones…I choose Soldano over any other amp.

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