For 60 years and still counting, guitar players everywhere are always looking for a specific guitar tone. The tone comes from their guitar, then your guitar pedals (if any), and the last in the chain is the amplifier. But the core of everything is the amp. From the dawn of the invention of the first guitar amps which were specifically designed for the rapidly growing new music genres based on guitar riffs and melodies, a few  big names were shaping the sound of rock and roll. One over the Atlantic ocean in America, and one in Great Britain.


We can start with a short and simplified list, in which we can put a number of brands in categories for a clean and overdriven tone. Those are the top of the line. Of course there are many other manufacturers, which are well established and innovating further the legacy, but we will focus on the American and the British forefathers.


British Amps: Marshall, Vox AC30, Orange


  1. British Amps often use EL34 or EL84 output tubes 
  2. Pronounced mid range, being very high in the upper mids, creating the signature crunch and growl of them.
  3. British distortion tends to use a lot more power amp gain. 
  4. Their cleans tend to be jangly and really specific to each amp’s brand or type.
  5. British amps are known for the power amp musical distortion that comes when the power amp valves are pushed hard into more volume.

Some words about Vox Amps and Kuassa Amplifikation Lancaster:


Vox AC30* were built as the demand for louder amps increased in the late 50s where the rock and roll culture began to shine. Known for its bell-like chime and bright jangly sound, undoubtedly the Vox AC30* is very influential in defining the sound of the British movement with the faces of The Beatles, Queen, The Who, The Clash, Ritchie Blackmore, Oasis, U2, and


Consistently in production for more than 50 years, the Vox AC30s* went through many incarnations and models throughout its history of different owners. Kuassa took three of their most distinguishable tones and compiled them into one amp simulator to rule them all: Amplifikation Lancaster.

Some words about Marshall Amps and Kuassa Amplifikation Caliburn:


In the history of music, British-made amplifiers have an undeniable influence to the evolution of rock music. The loud, crystal clean, and thick crunchy mids of Marshall amps were popularized by big acts such as Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Motörhead , and Guns N Roses. It is the sound of rock music that lasts through generations until today. If there was only one name that represents the sound of rock music, it’s absolutely Marshall* Amplifiers. Founded by Jim Marshall in 1962, Marshall* amplifiers have taken the lead to be the top choice of many guitarists, such as Jeff Beck, Tom Morello, Andy Summers, Slash, Angus Young, Yngwie Malmsteen, to Kerry King of Slayer.

Following our extensive experimentation and never-ending quest to be the prominent guitar amplifier on your PC, now you can have the famous “British crunch” right on your PC or Mac. Kuassa Amplifikation Caliburn brings the soul of the iconic sound to your desktop.

Some words about Orange Amps and Kuassa Amplifikation Clarent:

There are no other guitar amplifiers other than Orange Amplifiers* whose looks and presence is as unique as its sounds. Instantly recognizable by its bright colorful appearance, delivering thunderous tones used by world class acts such as Fleetwood Mac, The Black Crowes, Oasis, Mastodon, High on Fire, Slipknot, Orianthi, Deftones, Korn, and many others!

For the Amplifikation Clarent, Kuassa uses a different approach where we mix and match the tones from different inspirations of Orange Amplifiers* for each channel, resulting in six distinct sounds of British heaviness on your personal computer. 


American Amps: Fender, Mesa/Boogie:


  1. The American style amps would often use 6L6 or 6V6 output tubes.
  2. Features a more rounded low end and scooped mid range.
  3. American distortion is somewhat more scooped with more emphasis on the bass, like a Mesa Dual Rectifier. The US gain or distortion will be mostly preamp, and will have a slightly scooped overall sound.
  4. Cleans are warmer and smoother, like a Twin Reverb or Bassman.

Some words about Fender Amps and Kuassa Amplifikation Matchlock:


There are many great names in the history of guitar amplifiers, but there’s probably nothing more influential and intriguing than the one who guides along the birth of rock n roll: Fender* amplifiers. It was the choice of the pioneers of rock n roll such as Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, Keith Richards, Dick Dale, and even The Beatles.

Fender* amps are still hugely popular today as they’ve been for the last 60 years. With its thick, loud, and harmonically rich tone, Fender* amps are known to be the choice for clean sound. Not only for electric guitars, but also for instruments such as harmonicas and synthesizers. Numerous guitar players also call these amplifiers as “pedal platform”: The perfect companion for tone building mastery via effect pedals. Guitarists who love to fiddle around with effect pedals will surely love these amps


Some words about Mesa/Boogie


It’s another big and well-known brand, with a great presence in the guitarist community.  Considered as one of the first “boutique” amp manufacturers, Mesa/Boogie has taken the legacy and developed its own name and presence, even defining many new music styles and genres. To tighten up the low end and add more edge and boost to the amp preamp, put a Tube Screamer type of pedal in front of the amp with settings like: Volume at 15 o’clock, Tone at Middle and Gain almost at zero. Play with the settings and fine tune them to match your guitar pickups. You can hear the Mesa tone in the biggest bands of the 90s to  2000s like: Dream Theater, Linkin Park, Creed, System of a Down, and Incubus.


All those variations in the tone and the voicing of the amps are coming from different values in the tone stack, the position of the tone stack: between the 2nd stage or after the preamp, the numbers of the preamp and power tubes and one important thing, the size and the quality of the power amp transformers. The last and huge part of the big picture is the cabinet and the speakersPutting an amp through different speakers will change the tone in a dramatic way!


The vast sea of guitar tones that are available in our modern and digital world could be overwhelming. But nowadays life is much easier. We at Kuassa carefully choose the best of both sides.  Switching between them in your DAW and finding your voice could not be much easier. You can not go wrong by choosing the American voiced amp for the slightest crunch, or the greatest clean chord harmonies, played through our Matchlock Amp. When you are starving for the British rawness and that true “on your face ” sound, like that raw AC/DC’s tone  to cut through the mix, just load and crank up the Caliburn. If you need the heavy and crushing distortion from the british citrus, just fire up Amplifikation Clarent. Of course, if you are looking for the bell-like chime and bright jangly sound, your Lancaster won’t betray you! It’s so dynamic!

And last one: Brits say: Valves, Americans: Tubes. But those are only words. The most important thing is: they shaped many musical genres and musical endeavors of countless guitarists giving them satisfaction. From The Shadows, The Who, Jimi Hendrix, SRV to Dream Theater ,Incubus, and many more, we as musicians are lucky to have both characters and tonal varietes coming from the lands separated by the big ocean. There is no competition, just pure joy of developing the sound inside our heads and enjoying the result!