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Guitar Amp Trends In 2018?

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by Kayle McGuire, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. Kayle McGuire

    Kayle McGuire Tele-Meister

    Jul 31, 2017
    What do you guys think?

    Will solid state modelling amps dominate more market than tube amps?

    Should we be seeing a decrease in amp size or increase?

    Do you think the overall price of amps will drop, stay the same, or increase?

    Will see more amps from boutique builders?
  2. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2003
    We'll see more smaller amps. A lot more differentiation in product. Tubes are about 90% of the pro market and they'll probably stay that way. I see modellers continuing to encroach on the home and studio markets.

    More amps of all types will be built. Including tubes amps but the proportion of tubes will fall in comparison with solid state devices.
  3. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Ad Free Member

    Jun 22, 2010
    Osaka, Japan
    There's already a kazillion smaller amps...

    That said, I dunno what's gonna happen. lol
    KCJonez likes this.
  4. raysachs

    raysachs Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    May 21, 2017
    Near Philly
    The reception the Katana line has gotten has gotta mean something. Maybe at the higher pro-level, tubes will dominate for some time to come, but an awful lot of lower level pro's and not quite pros and total amateurs are gigging with the K-100, the head, and a few with the K-50. It seems to have won a lot of converts in a very short period of time. I have to think other manufacturers are paying attention to that. I'm a home player and after playing around with a bunch of modeling amps, I landed with a Blues Cube Hot, which is the best sounding low-volume amp I've ever played. I don't have the space to let a good tube amp breathe anymore and I know I'm not alone, so whether modeling or just solid state, it seems there's a lot of room for non-tube amps to grow. I think they've hit some sort of critical mass in terms of both quantity and quality in the past few years and it's probably gonna get a lot bigger. Tubes won't disappear anytime soon, if ever, but I suspect they're gonna be less and less mainstream and and more of a boutique item over time. Maybe not, but that's my only semi-educated guess...

    It's the same thing that's happening with DSLR cameras - still a ton of them out there, but more and more they're becoming a pro-item and more and more enthusiasts are finding mirrorless and more compact setups to shoot with. And, in a totally different way, with steel bicycle frames. it's not part of the racing scene anymore because of weight, but lots of hard core enthusiasts with some money are getting custom steel frames built and they ride beautifully and can be works of art, but they're years past being a mainstream item...

    troy2003 likes this.
  5. 41144

    41144 Tele-Holic

    Sep 5, 2017
    West Midlands
    Afraid my crystal ball is too cloudy at the moment :rolleyes: .... but I doubt there'll be a seismic shift on SS/Tube supporters, a general/perceived disdain for hybrids and the eternal battle for biggest is best v keeping it sociable.

    However, and I'm too old to know/bother if this is true or not but there are (are there?) Discos where everyone hears the music through Bluetooth headphones?

    Can just imagine U2 (ha ha) having an app made so all xtyhundred thousand fans at a show can set their own volumes for that perfect stereo sound ... Or am I really behind the curve and it's already been done?
    If not, my crystal ball has suddenly cleared and that's my prediction .... :)
    PBO Blues likes this.
  6. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Friend of Leo's

    Apr 3, 2015
    Winchester, VA
    We'll see smaller amps sounding better. We'll also see the power sections of solid state/modeling amps becoming more serious. It's all market driven, and the boxy sound of small amps as well as the weak solid state power sections (compared to tube power amps) are common complaints, so those will be addressed in new products.
    codamedia likes this.
  7. Kev Reg

    Kev Reg Tele-Meister

    Dec 2, 2016
    Some new solid state analogue combos with simple but usable tonestack and shipped with a proper decent speaker. Not just one of those that will do type speakers would be a welcome thing.
    Durberville and codamedia like this.
  8. SolidSteak

    SolidSteak Friend of Leo's

    Apr 27, 2016
    Remember back when Apple automatically downloaded a U2 album onto everyone's iTunes whether they wanted it or not? THAT was weird. Maybe they will make a guitar amp that's free, except that every 30 minutes you have to listen to a commercial for Ford pickup trucks or something. Like some gas stations I've been to where they put screens right on the pump that blast garbage news and advertisements at you while you're stuck pumping gas.

    More seriously though I wouldn't be surprised to see more Class D stuff, and stuff like the "nutube" Vox MV50 series, Blues Cube, "alternative" tubes?
    Durberville and noah330 like this.
  9. SolidSteak

    SolidSteak Friend of Leo's

    Apr 27, 2016
    That would be awesome!
  10. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Telefied Ad Free Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    Austin, Tx
    I predict they’ll make, and sell more!
    nojazzhere likes this.
  11. noah330

    noah330 Friend of Leo's

    Feb 10, 2009
    Trend is towards smaller maps with lower wattages. Also, the cheaper the better.

    Every year there are less and less people who have spent time owning and playing out (what the bloozemen call "giggin'") with high quality boxes and more people who have experienced models and plug-ins.

    There's nothing wrong with this, it's just where things are going. In some ways it makes sense because the average bedroom player doesn't need a 100 watt Plexi or even a Twin or Vibrolux.

    Low cost, disposable along with "high tech" features like programability and blue teeth are where it's at.
  12. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 16, 2014
    Auburn, California
    I'd like manufacturers to start moving knobs to the front instead of the top, and handles from the top to the sides. Makes it hard to stack on.
    Kayle McGuire and troy2003 like this.
  13. boredguy6060

    boredguy6060 Friend of Leo's

    Mar 28, 2012
    Sou Cal
    I think that far more SS amps will be sold, nothing new there.
    The constant need for entry level stuff drives the need for cheap low volume SS stuff.
    Intermediate players are a mixed bag, but I think SS still dominates.
    Pro’s mostly dominated by Tube amps, the high cost is hard to justify for amateurs.
    SS is going to continue to expand and improve.
    Innovation in SS amp design and improvements in manufacturing will keep prices relatively low.
    Cost for tube amps will continue to climb, not much can be done about that.
    Labor and materials are not getting any cheaper, at least for now.
    SS amp designers are free to reinvent the wheel, Tube Amps are locked into 15 or so models, which are being judged
    By 50’s and 60’s standards down to the most minute detail.
  14. thegeezer

    thegeezer Tele-Holic

    Jul 5, 2010
    West Michigan
    I really think this is the long term trend. I still gig and swear by my old school gear but I only use 15 watts anymore. There are fewer venues using full bands, volume is a bigger issue all the time and there are more and more acoustic only venues. Actually, most of the bands I see are made up of old farts like myself.

    So yeah, I see things over the long haul trending much more towards amps geared towards at-home players and very low volume applications which lends itself towards modeling. Besides, the availability of old Fenders and the like for those who actually need them should be more than adequate as people like me pack it in and keel over in the coming years;)
    noah330 likes this.
  15. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Ad Free Member

    Jun 22, 2010
    Osaka, Japan
    I predict the Gibson and Guitar Center will go under.

    This time for sure!
    pdcorlis likes this.
  16. Doug 54

    Doug 54 Poster Extraordinaire

    Dec 12, 2004
    People like me w heavy tube amps, will sell em. Maybe more so.

    nojazzhere likes this.
  17. KC

    KC Friend of Leo's

    Mar 16, 2003
    Missoula, Montana
    solid-state amps have been coming to replace the tubes since I was in high school, which is a long, long time ago. cheap tube amps have never been better. I don't think they're going anywhere.

    actual amp trend: orange and Vox will continue to gain market share.

    possible amp trend: everybody who's gigging gets tired of their 15-watt amps running out of gas and trades them in for big stuff.

    other possible trend: 90% of the gigs dry up and the ones that are left won't let you turn up past a whisper. the 5-watt Swart is the amp of the future.

    only certainty: I will be as dumb / ignorant / bad at predictions next year as I am this year.
    PBO Blues likes this.
  18. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

    I am no longer in the market for amps, having settled on a Helix modeler floor unit.
    Modelers can emulate Fender cleans, Marshall crunch or Vox chime and they do it at listening levels that won't shake the foundation of your home yet, when paired with the right powered speaker can handle a gig.
    I am surprised that more amp models haven't incorporated "power scaling" into the circuitry. Even smaller amps are too loud for home use.
    LPTyler likes this.
  19. SolidSteak

    SolidSteak Friend of Leo's

    Apr 27, 2016
    The end is nigh! Bain Capital... mom and pop stores... it's all true!

    It's like the the Grinch Who Stole Christmas - we have to have that story at least once a year. And GC is the Grinch. Or maybe it's Bain... or maybe us. We're the Grinch! No wait, Millennials. What was the question?
    nojazzhere likes this.
  20. stormin1155

    stormin1155 Tele-Meister

    Sep 26, 2010

    The measure of how good a new amp is will continue to be how well they sound like old amps.
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