Hong Kong doesn’t have the mega music stores you can find in the U.S and Japan so you won’t be swimming in a sea of guitars and amplifiers but there’s still a fair amount of choice here.
Just over a year ago, I spent weeks searching for the right guitar amp and ended up with the Fender Super Champ X2. It’s a cool little tube amp that suited me just fine— until it stopped working just after the warranty expired. Fixing it will cost about the same as a new one so once again I’m shopping for a guitar amp in Hong Kong (one of my favourite pastimes if truth be told!)
On Monday I spent hours in the reigning king of Hong Kong music stores: Tom Lee Music Tsim Sha Tsui.
There’s always a sale on here so there are often a few good deals. British amps, particularly Vox, tend to be better value than American amps.
The best buy in store was the Vox AC15 Hand Wired at around $700 USD:
As much as I love Vox amps, I do prefer the sound signature of the Fender so might have to pass on this one.
In the Fender range, the 65′ Princeton Reverb (Reissue) stood out. Perfectly portable at 13kg and at 12 watts you can turn it up without bringing down the ceiling of your house on top of you. The sound this amp produces is bell-like, beautiful and instantly recognisable. It’s been used on so many hit records that you couldn’t even begin to compile a list:
For another $50 USD you can get a 65′ Deluxe Reverb. Another beautiful, iconic amp with considerably more headroom and a bigger (heavier) 12″ inch Jensen speaker:
They had other bigger Fender amps like the Twin — but at an ear-shattering 85 watts you can barely switch the thing on if you live in an apartment. It’s also 30+ kilos so basically an immovable object:
The shop also stocks lots of Mesa-boogie, Marshall, Boss and Blackstar:
I made the mistake of using this Fender Road Worn Telecaster to test some of the amps and had serious problems placing it back in the rack when leaving. It was an absolute beauty. Even looking at these pictures makes me happy:
So it’s looking like a battle between the Deluxe reverb and the Princeton. The superior tremolo circuit on the Princeton may end up swinging it — but who’s knows — it’s too close a race to call!
More guitar/amp shopping updates as they come to hand!