Talk to anyone who’s been lucky enough to play a Dumble amp and they’ll tell you that they are the voice of God.

Dumble amps are shrouded in more myth and mystery than the Unicorn, but this much is fact:

  • they were hand-built by a sonic genius from Los Angeles, California – Alexander “Howard” Dumble
  • there are fewer than 300 in existence
  • you had to pay for the amp upfront and arrange your own shipping
  • when you ordered, you signed an agreement never to let anyone open the amp and analyse the build and circuitry
  • to protect his concepts and designs, Alexander Dumble covered the inside of his amplifier circuit boards with a compound to hide components and their values
  • if you can find one, an old Dumble amp will cost you a small fortune – we are talking tens of thousands
  • current details about Dumble’s whereabouts and activities are as rare as his amps.

As an introduction to sonic heaven, here are a few videos.

1979 Dumble Overdrive Deluxe guitar amp

Dumble explains why valves are better than solid state

Doug Doppler on the Dumble Overdrive Special – Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

There are lots of amp manufacturers that claim to get close to the Dumble sound, but the Fuchs Overdrive Supreme does a better job than most and it will cost you considerably less than a Dumble.