There are so many guitar amps on the market these days that the choices are probably greater than any time in music history. In fact, just about every make and model from the past has been reproduced, and some of these designs have even been made better than before (if that’s possible). Since companies like Fender and Marshall already make throwback models of some of their greatest designs, why should you even consider a boutique amp? I’m glad you asked.
Wane Fuday of 45RMP Music Technologies has put together a pretty cool PDF booklet called 11 Key Boutique Amp Secrets: Insider Secrets Mass Produced Amplifier Companies Don’t Talk About that will give you a pretty good idea why you might want to consider looking at a boutique amp alternative the next time you’re in the market for something new. Among the secrets mentioned:
Modern Mass-produced Amplifiers Are Difficult to Repair and Can Be Prone To Reliability Issues
Modern Mass-produced Amps Depreciate Significantly In Value over Time
Mass-produced Amplifiers Aren’t Built With Tone and Playability As The Primary Goal
Where is Your Mass-produced Guitar Amp Actually Built and What Does It Actually Cost?
Wane goes into great detail into why and how a boutique amp might be better for you in the long run, but from a sound and reliability standpoint. He makes a great argument that even though you’ll pay a little extra up front, you’ll get it back over time thanks to years of service and high resale value.
Let’s face it, we all run into boutique amps on the road or in the studio just about every day anymore, so even if you’re not a guitar player, it pays to know what you’re dealing with. Wane’s booklet gives a good look at the differences between the big guys and the little guys of that business.