Guitar Amps: What’s in a Brand Name?

This month’s article is interactive! That’s right, you have an opportunity to voice your opinion and I’ll publish the collective feedback next month.

The topic is… branding.


Before you click the back button, hear me out.

The simple definition of the word ‘brand’ is the image that a particular product has in a person’s mind. Let’s use some examples to illustrate this idea.

If I were to say the word… facial tissue… and ask you what product name comes into your head first, those of you in North America would likely say… Kleenex.

If we were talking about cars and I said… safety… what car would you think of? Most likely Volvo. Staying on the car theme, what if I said… ultra-luxury? Rolls Royce, right?

OK, you get the picture. Now, let’s play the same game only related to guitar amps. Here’s a couple to get you warmed up.

Metal. Let’s see, I would probably say… Mesa Dual Recto. Jazz. Hmmm… I’d go for Polytone Mini Brute. Rare. Easy! I’ve only ever seen one of these… on stage behind Robben Ford… Dumble.

Wanna have a go at it? Just copy the following table, paste it into an email (click on the link at the bottom of this article), fill in as many answers as you want and click on send. I’ve left some blanks so you can even write in a few of your own categories. Easy! I’ll tabulate the results and Next month we’ll see if there are any surprises! I’ll also let you know how the answers varied in each category.

Category Amp Category Amp
Jazz Chime
Country Classic Rock
Shred Meltdown
Metal Solid State
Punk Traditional Boutique
Blues Budget Boutique
Reliable Rare
Built-Like-A-Tank Ultra-Expensive
Beautiful Good Value
Ugly Wacky
Fender Clone Vintage – Cheap
Marshall Clone Vintage – Expensive
Over-Hyped Favorite
Most Complicated Vox Clone
Clean Most Drool-Worthy
Off-Brand Vintage Best Kept Secret
American Sound British Sound

Let’s have some fun!