History

Gartone Amp History

I first got into electronics building radio kits and a fuzz pedal whilst still at school. Later I spent 8 years as an autoelectrician, and hold a City & Guilds qualification in electronics.

In the mid-nineties I had several reissue amps, and soon started modifying and improving them. My first vintage amp was a 1967 Pro Reverb, and that was followed by a succession of vintage Fender and Marshalls.

For the next few years I bought old amps, fixed them up, used them for a while, then moved onto the next one. Soon word of mouth meant I was servicing, restoring and repairing vintage amps for others.

In 2001 I built my first amp, a plexi 45, and spent the next 18 months modifying and improving it. By now the amp building bug had really bit and in 2003 I formed Classic Amp Co and started building amps professionally. I specialised in high quality tweed reproductions, using many new old stock components.

By 2005, now as MG Amplification, I was making as many black face and plexi style amps as I was tweed amps. For the next few years I was selling highly modified versions of popular black face amps.

By 2009 these had evolved into my own circuit designs, built on chassis custom-made to my specifications. There was a final name change, this time to Gartone Amps.

Since then the amp range has expanded to almost 15 models, plus a large amount of custom builds.

In recent years my amps have been onstage at Glastonbury and the Isle of Wight, plus a host of other festivals and gigs across Europe. They've also been on several tv (notably Jools Holland) and radio shows (lots of Radio 2 sessions).

My customers are a wide mix of professional and semi pro players and enthusiasts. I've never chased endorsements, and the most well known are probably Larry Gott of James, and The Coral. Others include top session player Paul Farr (Tom Jones, Lily Allen, Joss Stone, Errol Brown, Corinne Bailey Rae plus many others), Simon Brady of the Swing Commanders, and the awesome Steve 'Billy' Buckley of Wagon Train. My amps have also been hired or used by John Squires, Cast and The Charlatans.

I've also done service, set up and repair work for Johnny Marr, The Buzzcocks and The Coral, and set up the amps used by Albert Lee and James Burton on their 2012 UK tour.

 

Acknowledgements

Thanks to all the guys who have bought amps from me and helped spread the word.

Special thanks to Mark Hopkins for great cabinets and lots more

Thanks to Paul Farr and Johnny Heyes for the soundclips.

Thanks to Dave Webster for work on the logo.

 

Disclaimer

All trademarks mentioned on this site are the property of their respective owners. All known trademarks are listed below. Gartone Amps has no affiliation with any of these companies. All trademarks are mentioned for information and reference purposes only.

Fender (FMIC), Marshall, Vox, Gretsch, Dumble, Selmer, Watkins, WEM, Soldano, Mesa Boogie, Gibson, Philips, Mercury Magnetics, Accutronics, Belton, Electro Harmonix, Winged C, Svetlana, Tung Sol, Musicman, Carlsboro, National, Valco, Tayden, Celestion, Jensen, Sprague, Sprague Atom, F&T, Mallory, Alpha, RCA, Carling, CTS, PEC, GE, Roqsolid, Silvertone, Supro, Sovtek, JBL, Mullard, Cinch, Drake, Dagnall, Pacific, Radiospares, Axiom, AC15, AC30, JTM45, JMP50, JCM800, JCM900, Superlead, Bluesbreaker, Les Paul, Strat, Tele, Bassman, Bandmaster, Princeton, Vibroverb, Pro, Pro Reverb, Deluxe Reverb, Twin Reverb, Super, Super Reverb, Vibrolux Reverb, London Power, Power Scaling.