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Amplifiers

The first amplifiers for musical instruments were used with acoustic guitars during the '30s and '40s. These early amplifiers were used with the lap-top steel Hawaiian guitar. This style of music became widely popular during the '30s. With the evolution of blues, jazz, and rock and roll music, amplifiers were used for other instruments including electric guitars and keyboards. Today, amplifiers are available for many different instruments.

Originally, amplifiers used vacuum tubes to produce power and fluctuations in tone quality. Vacuum tubes were the predominant component in amplifiers until the '70s when solid-state amplifiers using semiconductors were introduced. Solid-state amplifiers became the preferred style due to their smaller size and lower price. More recently, digital technology has been introduced to the amplifier market.

As the '70s era is considered the peak in vintage amplifier production, '70s vintage amplifiers are highly desired by collectors. These amplifiers were manufactured from wood, metal, and fabric and were very durable. Many still produce high-quality sound when used. Amplifiers manufactured by Fender, Marshall, Orange, and other companies are still widely available on the collector's market today. Vintage amplifiers in excellent working condition with quality sound will fetch the highest prices.


Quick Facts

  • Some musicians prefer tube amplifiers over solid-state amplifiers due to their sound quality and ease of repair
  • The 1958 to 1959 Fender Twin was one of the first high-powered amplifiers. This vintage amplifier is currently valued at $11,500 to $14,000
  • The most valuable vintage amplifier available to collectors today is the Dumble Overdrive Special. It is estimated that there are fewer than 300 Dumble Overdrive Special amplifiers. Models in excellent condition consistently sell for more than $50,000

Recommended Items at Auction

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A Pearl spark MINI positive grid amplifier
Dec 10, 2:00 PM AEDT
A Pearl spark MINI positive grid amplifier
by Theodore Bruce
Est: AUD0- AUD0
AUD151 Bid
Ameritron AL-811 Ham Amplifier
Dec 07, 9:00 AM PST
Ameritron AL-811 Ham Amplifier
by Grant Zahajko Auctions, LLC
Est: $400- $500
$3000 Bids
SANSUI STEREO TUNER AMPLIFIER. SOLID STATE 1000
Dec 06, 10:00 AM EST
SANSUI STEREO TUNER AMPLIFIER. SOLID STATE 1000
by Uniques & Antiques
Est: $60- $100
$500 Bids
Peevey Amp 400 Solo Series
Dec 09, 8:00 AM EST
Peevey Amp 400 Solo Series
by Keystone Auctions LLC
Est: $50- $150
$250 Bids
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Fender Frontman 15g Amplifier
Dec 06, 9:00 AM EST
Fender Frontman 15g Amplifier
by Lion and Unicorn
Est: $10- $200
$100 Bids
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Hartke Amplifier, B14G0076
Dec 06, 9:00 AM EST
Hartke Amplifier, B14G0076
by Lion and Unicorn
Est: $10- $200
$100 Bids
Larry Flynt McIntosh Eight-Panel Power Amp
Dec 13, 9:00 AM PST
Larry Flynt McIntosh Eight-Panel Power Amp
by Abell Auction
Est: $700- $1,000
$250 Bids
Larry Flynt McIntosh Eight Channel Power Amp
Dec 13, 9:00 AM PST
Larry Flynt McIntosh Eight Channel Power Amp
by Abell Auction
Est: $700- $1,000
$250 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Amplifiers


Abell Auction

Abell Auction

Lion and Unicorn

Lion and Unicorn

Uniques & Antiques

Uniques & Antiques

Theodore Bruce

Theodore Bruce