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Yamaha Guitar Group Acquires Ampeg

by Christian Wissmuller • in
  • Upfront
• Created: May 11, 2018

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Yamaha Guitar Group, Inc., the newly formed U.S. subsidiary of Japan-based Yamaha Corporation, has announced the acquisition of the Ampeg brand from LOUD Audio, LLC., a portfolio company of Transom Capital Group.

The addition of Ampeg to Yamaha Guitar Group’s portfolio alongside the Yamaha and Line 6 brands adds an iconic selection of bass amps, cabinets, and pedals to the solutions already available to bass guitarists through Yamaha bass guitars and Line 6 wireless and modelers.

With roots that go back to New Jersey in the 1940s, the same decade that Yamaha started making guitars, the seeds of the Ampeg brand were planted when Everett Hull and Stanley Michaels began designing pickup and amplification systems for upright basses. In the early 1960s, Ampeg was the first company to incorporate reverb into a guitar amp and in 1969 they introduced the most powerful amplifier ever made – the 300-watt SVT, an amp that has graced the backlines of almost every tour and festival imaginable in its 49-year history.

“We couldn’t be more excited,” said Marcus Ryle, co-president of Yamaha Guitar Group. “Ampeg is arguably the most recognized bass amp brand in the world. They can even be credited with having invented the first bass amp. We are honored to take the baton in continuance of that legacy.”

“There is enormous respect for Ampeg within Yamaha,” added Shoji Mita, Yamaha Guitar Group co-president. “Both Yamaha and Ampeg have histories in the guitar market that stretch back over seventy years, so we see the two brands as great companions for one another. We intend to maintain the outstanding quality and commitment to tone that the Ampeg brand has long-exemplified.”

Ampeg has remained a leader in bass amplification throughout their history, most recently under the stewardship of LOUD Audio, LLC. Both LOUD and Yamaha are working carefully to ensure a smooth transition.

“We are enjoying the opportunity to work so closely with Yamaha Guitar Group on this hand-off,” stated Alex Nelson, president and managing sirector of Music Gear brands at LOUD Audio. “Ampeg is loved and respected by both customers and by our LOUD employees, so we are happy to see it move into the hands of a company like Yamaha. We are confident that we have found Ampeg the best possible home.”

The addition of the Ampeg line completes the total offering for bass guitarists that already includes legendary Yamaha bass guitars such as the BB and TRBX alongside Line 6’s Relay wireless and Helix amp and effects modelers.

“Looking at the range of what we’ll be able to give musicians across all three of our brands, we hope to provide bass players with complete solutions that include the most inspiring collection of gear to be found anywhere,” Ryle added. “And we are, of course, just getting started.”

Yamaha and LOUD will be working together over the next several months to ensure a smooth transition for all customers, dealers, and distributors, after which Ampeg operations will be headquartered in Calabasas, California at the Yamaha Guitar Group, Inc. offices. 

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