In 1946, Everette Hull, an acomplished pianist and bass player, organized a partnership with Stanley Michaels under the name "Michaels-Hull Electronic Labs." Their mission was to produce a new microphone pickup that Hull designed. The pickup was fitted on the end of an upright bass and was dubbed the Amplified Peg or "Ampeg" for short.
In 1949, Hull became the sole proprietor and changed the name of the company to the Ampeg Bassamp Company. Since that time, Ampeg has produced some of the music industry's most innovative and memorable products, satisifying the needs of musicians all over the world. Many of these products feature incredibly unique features and performance capabilities resulting in six U.S. patents under the Ampeg brand name.
In 1960, a design engineer by the name of Jess Oliver created a combo amplifier with a chasis that could be inverted and tucked inside the speaker enclosure, protecting the inner workings and increasing the portability of the the amp. Nicknammed the "Portaflex," this amplifier became the standard in bass combos throughout the 60's and 70's.
Also in the early 60's, Ampeg was the first company to incorporate reverb in an amplifier. The Reverbrocket preceded Fender's Vibroverb (often thought of as the original) by nearly 2 years. In 1969, Ampeg set out to design the most powerful amplifier ever made. At that time, 50-watt amps were considered more than adequate. 100-watt amps were considered "plenty loud." Ampeg, however, not only harnessed 300 watts of pure tube power but actually created a new valve (tube) technology - Super Valve Technology, or the SVT. Now the most sought after stage amplifier, the SVT has proven its road worthiness on stages around the world.
In 1986, St. Louis Music, Inc purchased Ampeg and continues the tradition of making quality, musician-satisifying products. The current series of Ampeg Classic models, Pro Series products, "B" Series heads and combos as well as the updated re-issue Diamond Blue Series are among the latest in the evolution of the professional, innovative and feature laden amplifiers available.
Winding through 288-pages, authors Gregg Hopkins and Bill Moore detail the epic history of a music industry giant: From Everett Hull's ground breaking patent, the first "Amplified Peg", to the creative and developmental processes involving over five decades of electronics. From instruments and amplifiers, to the eventual rebirth of Ampeg after incorporation by St. Louis Music, Inc, The Story Behind the Sound supplies readers with every thing they ever wanted to know about Ampeg, but were afraid to ask. Not only does Ampeg recount historical fictions, but also serves as a fifty-year corporate and musical chronicle containing product descriptions and time lines. Ampeg also features spotlight articles on key amps, instruments, people, and features technical appendices, not to mention foreword by Les Paul. Long live bass.
"The creations of the Ampeg Musical Instrument Company have played a major role in the development of popular music. This book tells the tale of this extraordinary company on its fiftieth anniversary, weaving together the American success story of the company, founder, the role of key inventors and inventions, and the development of innovative music equipment products—all against the backgrounds of American pop music and corporate competition in the music industry".
Besides detailing Ampeg's epic journey and revival with SLM, The Story Behind the Sound is also an excellent refrence guide for any Ampeg owner. To purchase an Ampeg book, visit Amazon.com.