Magnatone Varsity


I came across this post on The Gear Page about Magnatone amps:

I think there are probably a lot of you out there looking for an amp this good, and hardly have the slightest idea that Magnatone exists.

Well, for me, the slightest idea was really whether Magnatone still existed.

Magnatone’s path through the first twenty five years of the guitar amplifier is an interesting study of the business of music. On one end of the spectrum there were moments of great innovation and sound design, and on the other end there were the effects of business dealings, bad investments, and poor business decisions. No doubt, all of those decisions were made in hopes of growing the business and fostering more innovation and better products, but, that’s not always how it goes.

This insight about the company came from a terrific article on the history of Magnatone by Douglas Ahern.

Magnatone was based in California where they sold amps and guitars from 1937 until the mid-1970s. Ted Kornblum revived the brand in 2013:

Magnatone”™s President and CEO is Ted Kornblum, whose music industry career began as Artist Relations Director for his family”™s business, St. Louis Music. From his teen years on, he formed relationships with such notable talents as Crosby, Stills & Nash, Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir of The Grateful Dead, Sting, Keith Richards and Ron Wood of the Rolling Stones, The Who, Black Sabbath, Metallica, Ani DeFranco, and many others. Today he”™s focused on the new Magnatone line of amps ”“ 100% tube powered, handmade with point-to-point wiring, made in the USA.

The Magnatone Varsity pictured above looks like an amazing amp and one that I would really love to hear and play.

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