Established in 1946, by pianist/bassist Everett Hull and engineer and amp technician Stanley Michaels, Ampeg made its name, quite literally, with a pickup they designed for upright bass named the “amplified peg.” From there, Ampeg would become known for their bass amps, with the Portaflex debuting in 1960 and still sold today. Their flagship SVT line was designed to provide enough output for massive rock concerts that were becoming the norm in the late ’60s and would usher in the era of the iconic “fridge” bass stack so many think of when they picture a bass amp.
Ampeg had been owned by LOUD since 2005. It now will join Yamaha’s portfolio of brands, which includes Line 6 and Steinberg. Yamaha’s own brand of course produces gear in various categories, from guitar and bass to mixers and keyboards, not to mention the company’s swath of automotive, watercraft, and other products. The acquisition of Ampeg will give them a huge boost in the bass market.
“We couldn’t be more excited,” Marcus Ryle, Co-President of Yamaha Guitar Group, said in LOUD’s press release. “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.”
For LOUD the sale gives them a chance to focus on their Mackie brand.
“Simplifying the LOUD business so that the Mackie brand, in particular, could be free from the constraints of a complex organization was always a cornerstone of our thesis for the LOUD acquisition,” Ty Schultz, Managing Partner at Transom Capital Group, said in LOUD’s press release.