Flynn Amps and the value of enthusiasmK is for Knopfler, MarkM is for Modes

S is for Stack
November 27, 2014

There are guitar amps, and then there are guitar amps. While many musicians (mostly singers) will tell you that a guitar player doesn’t need a huge amp to sound huge I’m of the opinion that there is something about a big stack of amps that provides you with a little something extra.

A guitar amp stack has two or three parts. On top, the head or amplifier which does most of the work but has no speakers of its own. and below that one, or preferably two large open faced cabinets usually containing  four twelve inch speakers.  There are variations to these rules but the classic stack is an amp and two 4×12 cabs as they are known.

When placed together on the stage or in the studio these separate parts can often exceed six feet in hight, leading to the name “stack” simply referring to the stack of gear. Once upon a time the amp in a stack would almost always contain valve circuitry. This is still predominately the case but in recent years solid state technology has made an impact, mostly due to reliable travelling toughness although the sound of these amps has improved.

The use of full stacks has declined over time since their heyday in the late 1970’s due to a number of factors such as the rise of the number of semi-pro bands with smaller touring potential, legislation requiring venues we reduce noise pollution (philistines!) and the sheer weight of all three parts making using a full stack a labour of love.