Home2018-12-16T16:50:08+01:00

Quality hand-built valve amplifiers

designed to last a lifetime.

Three models: 5w combo; 20w combo; 35w guitar/bass top.

Our amps are born out of a combined history of over 40 years of playing in bands – designed and made by guitarists for guitarists.

They are deliberately minimalist and utterly functional – entirely rugged – no frills, meaning that there’s less that can go wrong. They are ‘amps for life’. They are not, heaven forbid, ’boutique’ amps. They are work-horses designed to survive the actual onslaughts of serious sustained gigging. They will endure pissed-up teenagers vomiting on them (yes, that happens in real Rock & Roll life). They will survive having a pint poured over them (over-hanging edges, no grilles on top) – yes, that happens too – inevitably some dick will put a pint on top of your amp, then knock it over.

How much time do you want to spend lugging an extremely heavy combo up three flights of stairs? Do you really need an amp that is so obscenely loud that it will drown out the rest of the band and permanently damage your hearing?

We’ve taken inspiration from the best bits of the best amps that we’ve used over the years and put them all together then added a few details of our own.

2 channels and four inputs?

Most guitar amps these days have a single input. Once, many years ago we (one of our many guitar, bass and drums trios) played at an all day event at a fairly large venue.

The PA packed in, so nothing was happening while they tried to fix it. We had an old Vox AC30 at the time. We set up in the middle of the floor and used one of the AC30 channels for vocals. It worked a treat and we had a captive audience. Two channels are great, because you can use one for vocals at rehearsals and small gigs. Also good for keyboards.

Construction

We have a time-served engineer on board. We make everything in-house. We cut, drill, fold and punch the chassis from sheet metal. All three of our models have the same robust construction – the combos are open-back (you can put your leads and effects pedals in there). The 3/4 ply gives a density that contributes to the sound – especially the 5 watter.

Cab: Open back; 8 metal corners; glued and screwed plywood; captive nuts for back; metal speaker and chassis cover grille; tough furnishing fabric covering; 3 coats of varnish. 15 degree upward slanting speaker baffle; tough durable handle; flat plywood base (better sound transmission through floors).

We’ve paid minute and impeccable attention to detail.

Best quality components; hand-wired eyelet board.

Badge: aluminium printed with letterpress and lacquered – made in house.

Iron

There’s no getting away from the fact that the sound quality of a valve amp is proportional to the quality of the transformers and speakers. At the moment we use Canadian-built Hammond transformers (we’re looking for a UK manufacturer) and AlNiCo speakers sourced from the internet.

Effects

We’ve been asked if we’re going to build a reverb model. No we’re not. Our amps handle pedals beautifully.

Selling

We had no intention of going into business. We just wanted an amp that suited our needs and there weren’t any out there so we built our own (the 20 watter) – we’ve used it for every single gig, rehearsal and recording session since. We built another because the other guitarist (in the Strange) wanted one. Then guess what? The bassist wanted one too so we made a guitar amp that can be used for bass too (with switch-able fixed and cathode bias). Every gig we’ve played, we got positive comments on the amps.

Loading...

Hartley amps

V5 back