When shopping around for a reggae guitar amp the factors you are most likely going to consider are:
- Tube amp vs. Solid state
- Wattage Output
- New or Used
- Good Clean Channel
- Budget $$$
nEW : $1,200 uSED: $400- $800
This amp is a favorite among reggae guitar players because of the cyrstal clear response you can hear while using the clean channel. It was used by reggae jazz guitarist Ernest Ranglin and Junior Marvin when he played with Bob Marley & the Wailers.
It’s a solid state, combo amp, and features two 60 watt speakers which sounds good in live music venues in addition to a recording studio.
The main disadvantage of this amp is the weak distortion channel, so if you are going to play some reggae rock solos you will definitely need some effect pedals. On the other hand, this amp is very versatile becuase it can also be used for acoustic guitar, keyboards, and even vocals.
Fender Twin Reverb
New: $1,450 Used: $900+
This is the guitar amp that was used by Bob Marley along with his lead guitarist in the Wailers, Al Anderson.
The main appeal of this guitar amp is the classic, vintage sound you get when the tube’s are warmed up. Also by using the vibrato channel you can get a natural distortion & reverb effect from the amp that will sound much better than any guitar pedals you will find.
This amp is 85 watts and is suitable for any live music setting. If you need something smaller check out the Fender Hot Rod Deluxe which is a 40 watt combo amp for half the price.
New: $1,000 Used: $600-800
The Vox amps were made popular by the British rock bands like the Beatles, The Kinks, and Queen. In addition to the authentic vintage sounding rock n’ roll tone, it also sounds great when playing reggae. It features 30 watts of tube power and two celestion “blue” speakers.
The older, original AC30 amps where known to have wiring problems which have since been fixed with the reissues. There are several variations of this amp available including the valve reactor, custom, and handwired. This is a high quality, boutique amp which has a awesome sounding clean and dirty tones.
Peavey Classic 30
NEw: $650 Used: $300-450
This a solid sounding tube amp for the price. It features a good sounding clean channel for reggae rhythm guitar, and warm crunchy tones for lead playing in the drive channel. The amp features 30 watts of sound with a built in reverb effect. Good for live music in bars and small clubs. I personally own one of these amps and can vouch for them. Also check out a Peavey Classic 50 if you need more sound.