Yamaha Corporation (Yamaha) formed a new U.S. subsidiary, Yamaha Guitar Group, Inc. (California, U.S.A., hereinafter, YGG), on April 1, 2018, as a U.S.-based business entity that will formulate and implement Yamaha’s guitar business strategies. As part of its strategic initiatives, Yamaha now announces that YGG has acquired the Ampeg brand, which is world-famous for its lineup of bass amplifiers, cabinets and effect pedals, from LOUD Audio, LLC (which is based in the U.S. state of Washington).
The purchase of Ampeg from LOUD Audio LLC will allow LOUD to focus squarely on their core market (Pro-audio sound reinforcement) with their EAW and Mackie brands.
Yamaha now establishes a bit more credibility in the electric guitar/bass market with a premier brand of Bass amplifiers and a small line of pedals. It would not be surprising if they expanded the Ampeg brand into guitar amplifiers and guitars, although the current lineup of YGG products does include the lackluster Line-6 and Yamaha electric guitars.
In my opinion, Yamaha had established positive brand recognition in the Acoustic guitar market but somewhat negative in the Electric guitar market due to the Pacifica line. Line-6 products are often scorned although in many cases that isn't warranted. I believe the Ampeg acquisition is the first of many slow and careful steps to position YGG as a significant player in the EG market.
Interesting, not only for the acquisition of the Ampeg brand, but also in that they saw the need to form a separate US guitar division. Worldwide, Yamaha is one of the largest manufacturers of musical instruments, mostly pianos/keyboards. And, the company has been an innovator; things like their "Silent Guitar", electronic pianos, and so forth.
If they brought back Ampeg guitar amps, it would be good. Those old tube amps were great. And, back in the 80's, Yamaha made some terrific solid state amps, they had a real tube feel and sound to them, years before all the current modelling technology.
"Gotta buy a tank and an aeroplane When she catches up with me won't be no time to explain . . ." (non-PC lyrics courtesy of Pete Townsend)
Whenever I think of the old ampeg outlook, I'm reminded of this open letter by Everett Hull and the emphasis on the musical element, and how antiquated it seems (sadly) in light of the way products are sold now. I wonder where Yamaha will take the name. I too would like to see a resurgence of their old guitar amps. The little gemini and rocket/jet types being some of the most revered recorded sounds with the likes of Jeff Beck using them, and the wonderful big V series the stones, faces and dregs etc used.
Post by blademaster2 on May 18, 2018 9:00:30 GMT -5
I have an AMPEG V4 (made around 1973), a small Marshall combo, and a VOX AC15.
The most versatile is the AMPEG by far, and although it has a nice 'smokey warmth' it sounds a little too sterile and clinical for me sometimes and that is where the VOX fills the gap with a little more colour. The AMPEG has excellent reverb and also the most variation in tone control of any amp I have seen. It is also ridiculously loud.
I'm a Yamaha fan boy. I have a 1978 SG2000 (and you can keep your Lesters thanks). I also have an SA2000 from 1982 and I cannot imagine that any 335 (or SA2000"s") would play or sound any sweeter.
Add to that two second series G100-112 combo amps, an all solid LS400vt Japanese hand made acoustic and an all-solid CG200 classical. Those second series G100 amps are indeed deserving of recognition. They were one of the first mos-fet amps. As an exercise, I have set up an Ibby TS808 re-issue Tube screamer through the clean channel and adjusted the distortion channel such that there's no discernable difference at all when you kick the switch, yet there are those that say the distortion channel sucks on those amps? Pffft.
I also have a Pacifica 904 and I've yet to find any S-type that plays anywhere near as well with its Warmoth compound radius neck. If it has any fault it's that it morphs over towards Gibson feel rather that the "S-type" it's clearly based upon.
I have a Digi-Stomp which is an extremely capable and surprisingly good sounding multi effects- speaker and amp simulator. It gathers dust here but that's mostly a reflection on having too much gear.
I have three AA-5 amps which are absolute dogs, so it follows that there may well be more stinkers in the Yamaha stable, but based upon my Pacifica 904, I cannot agree about Pacificas in a generalised way like that. If that's what was meant of course?
Ampeg is a tremendously respected brand. Didn't they pip Leo to the post for integrating reverb into an amp? I hope Yamaha do justice to the marque rather than just buying it to mothball and shut down competition.
b4nj0 , I've only had my hands on a couple of Pacificas (PAC 012 or something like that) and I couldn't get my hands off them quickly enough. The most awful POSs I've ever had the displeasure of seeing. The necks were like rollercoasters.
You're right about Ampeg beating Fender to the punch for reverb inside the amp. Fender fans really aren't happy about that fact and seem to want their own version of history in that regard.
Ampeg also introduced a ridiculously powerful (for that era) tube amp in 1969. (SVT) Fender eventually countered with the 400PS but it never gained any serious traction.