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Discussion Starter #1
I think I can justify all of mine, maybe.

1) Fender Deluxe Reverb RI, used at home for a tube sound
2) Roland Blues Cube Artist, used at home to complement the DRRI (I run both amps at the same time)
3) Fender Hot Rod Deville 2 x 12 combo, kept at my bro's place where our band jams so I don't have to haul heavy amps up and down narrow staircases
4) Line 6 Amplifi 150, used to play BT backing tracks at home
5) Peavey Bandit Red Stripe, sitting in the corner, waiting for the garage to be completed so I can use it in there
6) Orange Micro Dark, setup in the living room and connected to a Traynor cab for playing upstairs
7) Roland Cube Lite, on the desk at the office so I can play a bit when I have a few minutes free
8) Vox Adio Air GT, which I just bought so I can leave the heavy amp at home when I play at my coffee shop gig

My wife thinks I'm nuts. Do you guys buy amps for a specific purpose or just because you happen to like the brand, the look, the sound, the good Kijiji deal?
 

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It has been more guitars than amps for me
 
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Imo not a lot of peope amass many amps at one time. This is from what i see on forums and with people i meet. Mostly multiple guitars and pedals, maybe 2-3 amps beyond the practice realm.

I only have 1 gigging amp at a time. Two practice amps now for stereo shenanigans when I mess around at home.
 

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I do it for two reasons.

The first is the various sounds of the amps, from Vox to Fender to Marshall to Mesa. They all have their own tone thing going on - so all must be represented. I think this is common with many people.

The second (and less common, IME) is varying power levels. I want my amp's power section to work hard so that it compresses and perhaps distorts a bit, adding it's own components to the sonic stew I'm trying to create. Not everyone goes this way, some people are happy with a really big output section and getting their tone more from the preamp or pedals. Top each their own. So I have amps that go from 5 watts to 7.5 to 12.5 to 15 to 22 to 30 to 35 to 50 watts. I choose the amp based on the size of the room and the type of material we are playing. I don't have all sonic types in all different power levels so there has to be some compromise (or maybe I should just buy more amps??).

At least that is my excuse that I tell my better half, and I'm sticking to it.

My Mesa LSS and TA15 are probably my most used amps because they have a lot of variety, both tonally and power output. So they are the jack of all trades amps for me when I'm going into a more unknown environment.
 

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I don't have a ton of amps, mostly for space reasons. I totally get people owning several though. There are SO many flavours. In that respect they're a lot like guitars. If you're the type of person that's happy with one guitar and one amp...cool. However, if you're the type that appreciates the tonal variety of several guitars...then why should amps be any different?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have to admit that I've amassed more guitars than amps but I play them all at least weekly. The amps other than #1 & 2 in the list above are played monthly at the most.
 

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An evolution for me...

Younger, no money and struggling. Being the bass player and singer, not having amps powerfull enough to compete with 2 guitarist in the band with 100watts Marshall 800... Being the only person at home working made it hard for me to have any money left over at the end of the month... that all changed when 2 salaries happened at home !!! ;) The amps were upgraded right away and got me several PA systems to be able to hear myself...

I then went nuts on instruments... then a phase in pedals... now in amps... Fell in love with Canadian made tube amps... Undiscovered treasures we have in Canadian history...

I love having gear, I collect but play with them also...

Im a collecting musician. Play and live my passion...:cool:
 

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I do it for two reasons.

The second (and less common, IME) is varying power levels. I want my amp's power section to work hard so that it compresses and perhaps distorts a bit, adding it's own components to the sonic stew I'm trying to create. Not everyone goes this way, some people are happy with a really big output section and getting their tone more from the preamp or pedals. Top each their own. So I have amps that go from 5 watts to 7.5 to 12.5 to 15 to 22 to 30 to 35 to 50 watts. I choose the amp based on the size of the room and the type of material we are playing. I don't have all sonic types in all different power levels so there has to be some compromise (or maybe I should just buy more amps??).
I think that's more widespread than you think.

Adding to that would be instrument type. This can be guitar/bass/keys for those of us who wear multiple hats or less drastic, electric/acoustic or even humbuckers vs single coils (personally I don't get that specific though I have heard others say they do).
 

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I think that's more widespread than you think.

Adding to that would be instrument type. This can be guitar/bass/keys for those of us who wear multiple hats or less drastic, electric/acoustic or even humbuckers vs single coils (personally I don't get that specific though I have heard others say they do).
Yes, it could be. I would even think of the amp choices as a matrix.

Along the horizontal axis is the different amp voicings and some people will want a variety of those, but maybe at only one power level of each (all the boxes checked along one row). The vertical axis could be amp powers. If someone likes one voicing, they might have that amp in many power configurations (all the boxes checked down one column). I don't know which of these groups has more members, I just have my own experiences and what I've seen out there.

The guys who probably buy the most amps, I would suspect, are the ones who like a variety of amp voicings at various power levels. They have a lot more boxes in that matrix to check off than the guys who are happy with a variety of voicings at one power level or a variety of power levels with one voicing.

And then, of course, is the interaction between the various guitar types and all those amp options. I don't have a specific sound I'm chasing so I like to try different combinations and permutations - I like to mix it up, sonic repetition isn't that important to me (it's mostly classic rock and I can get there lots of different ways). But I know a lot of guys that only chase one or the other. And I know a few guys that will, for instance, exclusively use a 100 watt JCM 800 or a Deluxe Reverb for everything the do. Vive le difference.
 

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The guys who probably buy the most amps, I would suspect, are the ones who like a variety of amp voicings at various power levels. They have a lot more boxes in that matrix to check off than the guys who are happy with a variety of voicings at one power level or a variety of power levels with one voicing.
I assume you are excluding collectors from this discussion because the guys with the most amps tend to have a lot of the same thing. See Bonamassa's room full of tweeds or this guy:

 

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Im just happy that those that wish to have various amps to get their fender/vox/marshall/mesa tones have the means and live comfortably enough to do so.

To be honest though, the best and hardest working musicians I know typically use one or two amps and stick with what works for them as they get to know it better all the time. Sometimes a long time relationship can be more satisfying than a one night stand, so they say.

Personally, I've had all of those amp varieties at some point, and mainly changed it up due to portability or gendre. From one extreme, packing all my gear on a hand truck and taking transit to rehearse and play shows and on the other driving an SUV with the seats down to haul my 'tone' around.
 

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I assume you are excluding collectors from this discussion because the guys with the most amps tend to have a lot of the same thing. See Bonamassa's room full of tweeds or this guy:

I'm not excluding them, they are just a subset of the guys who check all the boxes in one column. They just check some of those boxes over and over again.

For what I'm into, this has no point. For what he's into, it obviously does. There's a guy down the block from me that has a fairly new M3 and a similar year 335Is. Both 2 doors. That's a lot of money to tie up in what amounts to twins. If that were me, I would have a 4 door 5 or 7 series sitting beside that M3. His wants/needs and mine are vastly different. Vive le difference.

{edited}
I got thinking about it and realized, in the month of June, I played out with:

Mesa LSS and Les Paul
Mesa TA15 and Epi ES175
Mesa TA15 and Gretsch 6120
Trinity TC15 and Strat

Played the same music on each outing, but the tone was slightly different for each. Some I liked more than others, depending on which song we were doing at any one time. But I learn a little the more of this I do. And I get that others would never do this. That's cool, too.

July may be a completely different set of combinations. I just play it by ear.
 

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I think I hit my apex last year. I am slowly letting some go. A couple from this pic are gone and I have a couple more in mind to move later this year. Owned several more but not
all at the same time. Why? Because if owning one or two amps is so totally awesome, 10 or 12 can only that much mo'better. Right?

 

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I have more amps than I need. The brunt were simply bargains I stumbled onto. The last time I spent more than $100 on an amp was in 1973. At the moment, there are probably more amps that qualify as "practice" than giggable, and more that need work than are ready-to-go. It's the backlog of repair-work that tends to put the kybosh on acquiring any more.
I have a couple of these Altec video-game things as well. And after seeing the TPS videos on wet-dry-wet setups, I'm curious to try them out as the side channels. Since they're used for ambience, they don't need tons of power and huge speakers.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
An evolution for me...

Younger, no money and struggling. Being the bass player and singer, not having amps powerfull enough to compete with 2 guitarist in the band with 100watts Marshall 800... Being the only person at home working made it hard for me to have any money left over at the end of the month... that all changed when 2 salaries happened at home !!! ;) The amps were upgraded right away and got me several PA systems to be able to hear myself...

I then went nuts on instruments... then a phase in pedals... now in amps... Fell in love with Canadian made tube amps... Undiscovered treasures we have in Canadian history...

I love having gear, I collect but play with them also...

Im a collecting musician. Play and live my passion...:cool:
Traynor?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Im just happy that those that wish to have various amps to get their fender/vox/marshall/mesa tones have the means and live comfortably enough to do so.

To be honest though, the best and hardest working musicians I know typically use one or two amps and stick with what works for them as they get to know it better all the time. Sometimes a long time relationship can be more satisfying than a one night stand, so they say.

Personally, I've had all of those amp varieties at some point, and mainly changed it up due to portability or gendre. From one extreme, packing all my gear on a hand truck and taking transit to rehearse and play shows and on the other driving an SUV with the seats down to haul my 'tone' around.
Good point. Getting to know your amp can help you get the tones you need without the endless search for the perfect amp.
 
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