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Why no Markbass-ish guitar heads?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by CodaPDX, Apr 21, 2009.


  1. CodaPDX

    CodaPDX

    Feb 2, 2009
    After a night of hauling my guitar player's gear all over the place, I couldn't help but wonder why you don't see more lightweight guitar heads and cabs out there. I mean, I know a clean tone doesn't go nearly as far with a guitar as it does with bass, but I would think that with all the pedal options that are available, you could get just as much tone (or a reasonable facsimile thereof) as you could with a traditional half-stack at half the weight.

    Then again, Markbass is supposed to be spinning off a line of guitar gear soon...
     
  2. I suspect that most guitar players believe there to be a linear relationship between weight and tone. More weight = more tone. Not that some bass players don't believe the same thing, but I do believe a micro-amp would be a hard sell to much of the guitar world.
     
  3. Crate used to make a Powerblock head. Didn't sell too well - then again, at one point it was priced down under $100, so it wasn't exactly a mid-level piece of equipment to replace an $800 combo.
     
  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    One simple reason...tubes. Most guitarists like tubes, which require heavy output transformers. So tube amps are heavy.
     
  5. adam precision

    adam precision

    Mar 26, 2008
    Ireland
    Its called markguitar!

    Markguitar makes its debut with the Hiram Head, a 250W, solid state, stereo head with separate speaker and DI outs for each of the two inputs. This amp was co-designed by the late, great Hiram Bullock, who sadly passed away shortly after the project was completed. There's also the Super Jazz Head, another solid-state, 250W head with EQ filters and DSP effects that suit a wide range of jazz guitar styles. The Guitar Cab is a lightweight 2x12" with custom neodymium speakers, and the Super Jazz Combo 122 combines the Jazz Head and the Guitar Cab!
     
  6. PSPookie

    PSPookie

    Aug 13, 2006
    Ocoee, TN
    A guitarists needs, in terms of power and timbre, are different from those of a bassist.

    As a group they also tend to be very resistant to new technology and take the vintage fetish to unprecedented levels.
     
  7. mat666

    mat666

    Apr 3, 2007
    montreal
    I agree totally, they always want to use old gibsons and fenders instead of getting a handmade guitar for half the price but twice the quality...
     
  8. fivestringdan

    fivestringdan Supporting Member

    Dec 4, 2001
    Little Rock, AR
    GK had some small guitar combos way back in the 80's and I thought they sounded great but didn't sell. Guitarist love vintage and "guitar" type name brands.
     
  9. fivestringdan

    fivestringdan Supporting Member

    Dec 4, 2001
    Little Rock, AR
    Don't forget new Gibsons! When I left that company they were making and selling 600 Les Pauls a day.
     
  10. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    Exactly. It has nothing to do with vintage or brand, it's tubes. No self respecting guitarist (outside of jazz guitar where clean is king and a JC is a top notch choice) would play a SS amp given the choice.
     
  11. hasbeen

    hasbeen Commercial User

    Sep 23, 2004
    Vice President, KMC Music. Warwick U.S. distribution, Ampeg distribution
    Both Jimmy and Pookie are spot on. This is where I make my living.

    Guitarists want tubes in amps that sell at pro price points. AND, they are MUCH less likely to embrace new technology and lesser-known brands.

    As an indicator, look at how many boutique bass brands started as guitar brands......only to switch predominantly to bass, where the market is more accepting.
     
  12. middy

    middy

    Mar 14, 2007
    Texas
    As a gui****, it's all about the tubes. I don't care about vintage this and that, but there is no replacement for a tube amp. None.
     
  13. jimb213

    jimb213

    Nov 2, 2005
    Austin, TX
    http://fractalaudio.com/

    My guitarist plays fractal audio's AxeFX. It's basically like a Line6 modeler, but it actually sounds good. He goes direct into the PA, and doesn't need an amp.

    Here's a picture of me from one of our shows where you can see his setup on the right side:
    shapeimage_4.

    It's a 4-space rack case on a portable percussion table.

    Granted, it's not a full amp setup, but it's definitely lightweight, and it does sound great. If there was a guitar version of a Berg IP cab, say a 212, he'd be completely set for any situation.

    So lightweight, modern, good-sounding solutions are out there for guitarists... but others here are right that they worship at the altar of vintage, so I think they're more resistant to change than bass players, generally speaking...
     
  14. Greyvagabond

    Greyvagabond

    Aug 17, 2007
    Los Angeles
    Nothing beats glowing glass anachronisms for guitars...or bass, for that matter! Also, a guitarist can get away with a 1x12 combo for almost any sized gig, but they are usually hefty little buggers.
     
  15. Yep, this is the biggest part of it.

    Which is not to say that teeny SS heads for guitar don't exist. The OP is slightly misinformed in that respect. Acoustic Image, Evans, and JazzKat are all used by jazz guitarists, for example, as is Polytone. I even remember seeing a guitarist with a big band who was playing through a Walter Woods. Crate makes a small SS guitar head, the name of which I forget, and Fender has a small SS head designed specifically for jazz guitarists.

    But it's undeniable that the majority of electric guitarists prefer tube amps, and that preference mandates a certain size. It's true that all the main manufacturers make SS guitar amps, but in reality, IME, most (though not all) of those are bought (1) for low-volume practice purposes, (2) because that's what the buyer can afford, or (3) because the buyer doesn't want the weight of a tube amp. Of course there are some electric guitarists who play SS amps by choice, but they aren't the majority.
     
  16. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    ...shudder...

    stryper.
     
  17. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    no doubt,

    i regularly gig w/ an evans, too.

    but ironic enough, these days, been lovin' my bigger iron stuff, and its making going back to my lightweight stuff rather disappointing.
     
  18. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    While maybe not Markbass-ish, there a few SS-DSP type amps out there. Line 6 is one and many other manufacturers make small and lightweight DSP style amps. It also depends on the type of guitarist. While Rock guitarists prefer tubes and power, many pop, r&b and jazz guitarists have no need for huge rigs!
     
  19. I hear you. Lately I've been using my B1500 for smaller stuff as well as larger stuff (rather than reserving it strictly for the bigger gigs), and now it's hard to go with anything else.

    And when I play guitar, it's still gotta be a tube amp for me, PITA though it might be.
     
  20. The other issue is weight. A solid state 100 watt amp simply doesn't weigh a great amount. Since guitarists get massive volume from much lower wattage than bass players, they don't have as heavy gear to lug around. Their speakers have smaller magnets, their cabs doesn't require as much bracing. They got it pretty good when it comes to weight issues.

    Well - unless they play with tubes! :D Then let the game of heavy combo amps begin! (try lugging a '65 Twin RI around gently from the car to the stage...) And they usually have amps with a single handle on top. Yeah, that's great for lugging 60-90 pounds around! (bass players get those cool side handles that can be shared with another person to help carry)
     

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