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What was the first guitar amp...ever?

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First Commercial Electrical Amplification

The first electric guitar amplifier was likely made by Leo Fender and was a modified valve-based public address amplifier. Fender's early guitar amplifiers had no controls and simply amplified the electric signal produced by early magnetic pickups. Although early prototypes exist, the first commercially produced guitar amplifier was made by Fender in 1947.

 

Read more: Who Invented the First Guitar Amplifier? | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/...l#ixzz0zXEcYidy

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Tooling around the net, it looks like there was a Dickerson brand from the 30s that was used for lap steels, then Hawiian guitar, and on to electrics.

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The first guitar amp was somebody's rewired radio or similar...(needs must)...

 

My first amp was my Dad's HiFi. I rigged a guitar cord to an RCA jack. Sounded like crap, but it amplified the guitar.

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An ordinary radio. I used to plug my little one pick-up Kent electric into my parents' Magnavox Hi-Fi back in the '60s. They were nice enough to buy me an electric guitar, but no amp.

 

Dang Bill and Versatile. Good timing.

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An ordinary radio. I used to plug my little one pick-up Kent electric into my parents' Magnavox Hi-Fi back in the '60s. They were nice enough to buy me an electric guitar, but no amp.

 

Dang Bill. Good timing.

 

My Dad bought his HiFI from Reader's Digest, as a special.

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Well... I don't think Fender is first by any stretch of imagination.

 

"Gibson's first production electric guitar, marketed in 1936, was the ES-150 model ("ES" for "Electric Spanish"; and "150" reflecting the $150 price of the instrument, along with a matching amplifier)."

 

The question might almost be who had a famous mass-produced amp earliest, and at that point I think there's an argument for either Gibson or nobody until after WWII. The point has been well made that almost certainly some folks were using radio amp circuits before that. There were some really nice console radios in the 1930s with big speakers and relatively significant power. It was a matter of matching numbers of electric guitars with available equipment prior to WWII. After that, wow.

 

Electronic amplification was available relatively recently. They didn't even have voice radio as an experimental thing until 1900.

 

In the early 1920s the local rodeo had the same public address system used in the presidential swearing-in speech. It was brought in by train, complete to the tech folks to make it work. The first PA outside use was 1915. You're talking around the 1920s before the technology got to the point that home radio and movie theater "talking pictures" could have electronic amplification.

 

Around 1931 a batch of folks started making "electric" guitars of various sorts. The history of technology for electronic amplification of sound for musicians' use is far less than a century. And yet even at my age it seems as something that's always been there. It wasn't. Even early radios for home use lacked electronic amplification.

 

Here's another factor to consider: There weren't "standard" guitar pickups and/or electronics until the mid 1930s. So... it kinda evolved. Again, after WWII there were a lot more standard electronic parts in the world and a lot more folks who could build stuff from those parts. That's why the post-war explosion, along with more cash to buy stuff, especially in the U.S.

 

m

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Well... I don't think Fender is first by any stretch of imagination.

 

"Gibson's first production electric guitar, marketed in 1936, was the ES-150 model ("ES" for "Electric Spanish"; and "150" reflecting the $150 price of the instrument, along with a matching amplifier)."

 

The question might almost be who had a famous mass-produced amp earliest, and at that point I think there's an argument for either Gibson or nobody until after WWII. The point has been well made that almost certainly some folks were using radio amp circuits before that. There were some really nice console radios in the 1930s with big speakers and relatively significant power. It was a matter of matching numbers of electric guitars with available equipment prior to WWII. After that, wow.

 

Electronic amplification was available relatively recently. They didn't even have voice radio as an experimental thing until 1900.

 

In the early 1920s the local rodeo had the same public address system used in the presidential swearing-in speech. It was brought in by train, complete to the tech folks to make it work. The first PA outside use was 1915. You're talking around the 1920s before the technology got to the point that home radio and movie theater "talking pictures" could have electronic amplification.

 

Around 1931 a batch of folks started making "electric" guitars of various sorts. The history of technology for electronic amplification of sound for musicians' use is far less than a century. And yet even at my age it seems as something that's always been there. It wasn't. Even early radios for home use lacked electronic amplification.

 

Here's another factor to consider: There weren't "standard" guitar pickups and/or electronics until the mid 1930s. So... it kinda evolved. Again, after WWII there were a lot more standard electronic parts in the world and a lot more folks who could build stuff from those parts. That's why the post-war explosion, along with more cash to buy stuff, especially in the U.S.

 

m

Very well said Milod!

Thanks! [thumbup]

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My first amp was my Dad's HiFi. I rigged a guitar cord to an RCA jack. Sounded like crap, but it amplified the guitar.

 

Same here [thumbup]

 

My first real amp was a Peavey Renown, but it just wasn't loud enough for outside back yard parties.

 

Second was a SMF 200 watt head... Sounded great, but it caught on fire during a backyard party [biggrin]

 

Third amp was two Mesa Boogie MarkII B heads which I ran in parallel with a high buck A/B box... Best sounding rigg I ever owned.

 

Fourth amp, two Mesa Boogie MarkIV amps... PIA in getting a tone I liked. [thumbdn]

 

Fifth amp, VOX AC50CP... Just a few mods and it really kicks serious butt [thumbup]

 

Sixth Amp.... Mesa Boogie MarkII B-head combo, currently in shop getting preamp and FX loop mods.

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Same here [thumbup]

 

My first real amp was a Peavey Renown, but it just wasn't loud enough for outside back yard parties.

 

Second was a SMF 200 watt head... Sounded great, but it caught on fire during a backyard party [biggrin]

 

Third amp was two Mesa Boogie MarkII B heads which I ran in parallel with a high buck A/B box... Best sounding rigg I ever owned.

 

Fourth amp, two Mesa Boogie MarkIV amps... PIA in getting a tone I liked. [thumbdn]

 

Fifth amp, VOX AC50CP... Just a few mods and it really kicks serious butt [thumbup]

 

Sixth Amp.... Mesa Boogie MarkII B-head combo, currently in shop getting preamp and FX loop mods.

 

I had a Peavey Renown 400, I'm surprised is didn't kick it for you. I remember that it was a great amp for the 80s

 

-108322206414275300.jpg

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Well...

 

Yeah, sorta for Epi. Gibson in those days was a much bigger name and around 1935 there were a lotta things happening in electronics.

 

Note that the Epi piece has that it came with both alternating and direct current inputs for New York City. Nationally AC already was pretty much the standard by the mid 1930s unless you were on a farm or ranch. In the '20s a lotta folks were wiring older houses - and even adding "indoor plumbing."

 

Seriously, there was stuff there, and there was available technology, but standardization after WWII is what made a major difference. Even then a lot of it was a matter of standardizing jacks and such - and even then a lot of that was courtesy of WWII that not only improved on, but brought increasing standardization and cheaper parts for 1930s technology. It wasn't until solid state that some real leaps took hold.

 

m

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I had this cheap (even at the time) 70's/80's bass amp which had a really terrible distortion channel. I used it for guitar. It sounded like carp, but I could imagine the chords sounding bad to the bone... lol

 

 

holmes_amp.jpg

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My understanding is that resonator cones were part of initial messing with the idea of electrifying a guitar - but so also was the concept of converting early "record player" stuff that converted movement of the needle to an electrical signal that could then be amplified by early amplification products.

 

The cone is more along lines, though, of earlier efforts at mechanical amplification.

 

For example, the needle on the old wind-up non-electric record players had a mechanical connection to a diaphragm that then would be run through what amounts to a megaphone. I think one reason the older flat records (that came in after Edison's invention and both worked and stored better than cylinder recordings) ran at 78 rpm is that the higher speed gave more "whumph" to the grooves for the needle and mechanical amplification to pick up.

 

I'd add that Bose "wave radio" concepts are awfully old. My Grandma's console wind-up record player had some interesting twists and turns of a tube from the phonograph needle to the output in the front of the "furniture."

 

m

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