tube amplifiers

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Swart Amplifier Co. was founded by Michael Swart, a musician and recording engineer and studio owner from Wilmington, NC. Swart started building custom tube amps to satisfy his need for a small recording amp for studio and home use with great tone and distortion characteristics, but flexible and quiet enough for recording use. This led to the development of the Swart Space Tone amp, soon followed by the Atomic Space Tone model. The Swart range now includes a wide range of retro style amp heads and combos as well as guitar effects pedals.

Source: Swart Amplifier Co. website (19 June 2022)


Lyman Guitar Company was founded in 2017 by Art Tantiyawarong and Sophia Woods . Art & Sophia initially ran a music store Yellow Mama Music in Lyman, South Carolina. In 2017 in collaboration with Thai Musical Instrument Distributor Bank they established BAS Industries (Bank, Art & Sophia) a musical instrument distributor selling various brands. They launched Lyman amplifiers in 2018 soon followed by the Lyman CS (Custom Shop) range of electric guitars. In 2019 Lyman Guitar Co. and TYMA Guitars entered into an exclusive partnership (Tyma by Lyman) to expand the Lyman acoustic line while introducing the TYMA name to the United States. In 2020 Lyman introduced a line of more affordable imported guitars.

Source: Five Minutes with Lyman Guitar Co.'s Staff. Music & Sound Retailer August 2021, Vol 38 No 8

Acoustic (Amps)

Acoustic is an amplifier brand name of Acoustic Control Corporation of Thousand Oaks, California. The company was founded in the late 1960s by Steve Marks and his father - initially working out of a shack on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. The company became known for its powerful Acoustic 361 bass stack, Acoustic became a popular bass amp brand in the 1970s and 1980s as larger venues demanded amps with more power. The majority were solid state amplifiers but there were a few tube amps as well. Acoustic Control Corporation went out of business in the 1980s, but returned in 2007.

Source: Acoustic Amplification website (13 May 2022)


Kelt Amplification is a French maker of tube amplifiers. Kelt is a one-man operation: each one is hand built with point-to-point wiring. They are so confident in the build quality they offer an unlimited guarantee (except for the tubes & speakers). The cabinets are hand made from solid teak with dovetail joints.

Source: Kelt Amplification website (20 April 2022)


Tom Jennings founded his UK firm in 1957 and found success with the introduction of the Vox AC15 and AC30 tube guitar amplifiers. Jennings Musical Industries was re launched in In 1997, by Richard and Justin Harrison, then owners of Hiwatt amplification UK and Music Ground Ltd. At the time the Vox brand was owned by Korg, and unlike the Korg Vox amplifiers being manufactured then, the Harrisons wanted to make exact reproductions of the original Jennings-Denney designs. In early days of the new JMI, a small number of 50W and 100W hand-wired heads were produced, as well as cabinets. In 2005 the company decided to make models JMI 15/4, JMI 30/4, JMI 30/6 and the JMI 30TV Front. The amps were made available in the classic black, smooth tolex and a 100% replica of the original fawn tolex. Other options included a choice of speakers, either Celestion Greenback or JMI (Fane made) Blue Alnico Speakers.


Dunable Guitars was founded by Sacha Dunable, the guitarist and singer of prog-metal band Intronaut. Dunable has been making guitars since 2011: he started out in his garage and by 2014 he was able to go full time as a guitar builder. Dunable USA Custom Shop instruments and pickups are still built in Southern California by a small team of 6-7 people. There are also mass produced Dunable instruments like the DE series introduced in 2020 which is made in South Korea. They also make effects pedals and previously made amp heads.

Source: Dunable Guitars website (17 March 2022)


Synergy Amps works with both boutique amp builders and popular mass amp builders alike to design their preamp sections  into a compact module, that slides into a compact preamp housing made by Synergy,  This enables guitarists to get the preamp tone of a boutique amp, like a Soldano, Bogner, Diezel etc. at an affordable price (each module is around $400). The modular preamp system was original invented by Bruce Egnator, who then collaborated with Randall on their modular Randal MTS series. The Boutique Amps collective has revived the concept with the Synergy brand name - but this time with more boutique amp brands on board to provide a wider choice of modules. The design means the modules are easily swappable.  Each module is 2 channels, so it can hook up to an existing amps effects loop, giving that amp 2 extra tube channels, and has a silent line out with cab sim for recording studios or to go straight into the mixing board.


Milkman Sound amplifiers are hand made in San Francisco. Tim Marcus has been making boutique amps in San Francisco since 2006 and launched Milkman Sound in 2011. As a pedal steel player, Marcus initially designed amplifiers with plenty of headroom for his high output pedal-steel pickups. The Milkman product range has since expanded to include a wide range of designs from low-power amplifiers such as the One Watt Plus to the 700W Bass Half And Half. In 2018 he introduced The Amp - a 50 watt tube amp in portable box the size of a large effects pedal.

Source: Milkman Sound website (14 March 2022)

Greer Amps

Greer Amps was founded by Nick Greer and produces amplifiers and guitar effects pedals in Athens, Georgia. The company has its origins in the late 1990s when Greer started out making pedals for friends. All Greer effects pedals are hand wired one at a time. Greer amplifiers are also hand built and feature Mercury Magnetics transformers.

Source: Greer Amps website (March 22 2022)


Chord is a brand name of UK consumer electronics & musical instrument distributor AVSL Group. Launched in 2010, the Chord music brand covers everything from guitars and percussion to amplifiers and stands, with a multitude of accessories such as cases and covers, tuners, pick-ups and metronomes.

Source: Chord website (14 March 2022)


Radial Engineering was founded in 1996 by Peter Janis. Janis had a background in music and pro audio industry having worked for TMI for 10 years before starting his own company. He took over Canadian cable company, Cabletek in 1991 and renamed it JP Cabletek Electronics Ltd. in 1992. JP Cabletek imported various brands including Presonus, Audix Microphones, Hafler, Microtech Gefell, Mogami cables, Jensen Transformers and Sonex acoustical products. Over the next few years the company grew to making custom snakes while Janis decided to expand globally. He chose a company name that could be easily translated into many languages (Radial Engineering) and a logo that represents the inside of a quad cable, in 1996 he launched the first Radial product, the Radial JDI. In 2022 Radial employed over 100 people and produced a range of pro-audio gear including: direct boxes, splitters and audio interfacing devices.


The Gurus brand was founded in Italy in 2013 by Guglielmo Cicognani. GURUS started with a small range of pedal effects and tube amplifiers - the amps could interface with smartphones, tablets and PCs. In 2014 the Gurus SRL company was formed with 2 new partners: Chicco Bellini and Alberto Pagani. The company focus shifted more to effects pedals and accessories.Cicognani left the company in 2017 (around the time of the Foxgear launch which moved GURUS production to China) - to focus on continuing to make effects and amplifiers in Italy.

Source: Guglielmo Cicognani website (14 February 2022)


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