I’m not sure if you knew, but I recently made a music that I don’t hate (I’m trying very hard to turn made a music into a popular saying by the way). What I perhaps didn’t make as obvious as I should have was the fact that the bass on this track was recorded in AmpliTube on an Ampeg (emulated) bass amplifier. This is all lovely you’re no doubt thinking, but what does that have to do with this week’s amplifier head article? Well impatient person, this week I’ve discovered the Ampeg GVT5H amplifier head and it’s for the six string variety of guitar. My favourite.
This amplifier head is similar to some of the recent amplifier heads I’ve written about. It’s simple, it looks cool and it has a clear focus on one simple thing. Tone. I love that approach. If you start with a good tone, then everything you add to that (if you feel the need to add anything at all) can be done at the pedal level. That works perfectly for me because I’ve become addicted to guitar pedals.
Anyway, what’s in this amplifier head exactly?
- 5 watts of blistering output/tone
- 1 x 12AX7 tube (preamp)
- 1 x 6V6GT tube (poweramp)
- Baxandall treble and bass controls
- Master volume control
- Three-way switch for full power, standby and half power (2.5 watts for the mathematically challenged)
- Speaker outputs (1 x 16 ohm, 2 x 8 ohm and 2 x 4 ohm)
- Solid state rectifier
One thing I love about this amplifier and its website is that last bullet point. Solid state rectifier. Do I go looking for that in an amplifier head? No. Do I care either way or fully understand exactly what the difference is between a tube and solid state rectifier? Oh goodness no! But for something that I’ve noticed generates some discussion on guitar forums—“it’s not a full tube amplifier if it uses solid state rectifiers”—I do appreciate an amplifier manufacturer putting it out there.
Having said all of that, I know I’ve listened to the amplifier in this company driven video and this other company driven video and loved the sound of the guitars (clean and overdriven). I’ve even watched and listened to third party reviews like this one and remained impressed. What impresses me the most though? Price! I’ve seen this advertised in Australia for under $300. That is something that appeals to me and my dreams of owning a tube amplifier head greatly. I don’t think today could get any better. I’ll therefore call it a day* before something bad happens to change that.
Disclaimer: I’ve not played through this head. I have not experienced the sound or tone of this head other than through video. That doesn’t matter. It looks awesome, it’s obviously played by winners and I want one.
* I’m not actually calling anything a day. Somebody defined what a day was well before I thought of it.