In the early days, limited finances meant that I was forced to play through home-made solid-state amplifiers. However, these never seemed to provide the sounds I heard on the records to which I listened, so as soon as money was available I moved to valve amplifiers. Sound City, ancient Vortexions, HiWatts and Selmers all passed through my hands – collector’s items now, worth a small fortune if I’d kept them all. Usually they were plugged into the obligatory 4 x 12 speaker cabinets, of which I had two in a tall (and dangerous) stack – a Sound City and a HiWatt. Eventually I settled on Marshall and Vox amps, initially a 1971 100 Watt JMP “Super PA”, which was far too loud so this was exchanged for a 1966 Marshall JTM45 Plexi which, to my great regret, I no longer have. I do still have a 1959 Vox AC15 twin-speaker, one of only ten made and a treasured possession, which I used throughout the 80s and 90s, latterly slaved through a Marshall JCM800 100 Watt combo. The AC15 is currently in need of some work but I will get around to it.
For recording the Lonesome Road album I used a Marshall 40 Watt Valvestate hybrid combo with an ART FXR digital delay plumbed into its effects loop. I’m not a big fan of pedals and effects generally, but when the song demands I have a range of pedals I can choose from including a Vox wah-wah.
Mostly I rely on the gain in the Valvestate boost channel to give me what I need in terms of sustain and “crunch”, but I also have a preamp that can be used to drive the amplifier harder and provide a little compression. Most of the time, though, a little reverb or delay is all I use.