Legendary amp designer Alexander “Howard” Dumble passes away aged 77
19.01.2022

Legendary amp designer Alexander “Howard” Dumble passes away aged 77

howard alexander dumble
Words by Eli Duxson

Vale Alexander "Howard" Dumble

Famed amplifier inventor, builder, and designer Alexander “Howard” Dumble has passed away aged 77 as confirmed on Dumble Amps’ Instagram account.

What you need to know:

  • Famed amplifier inventor, builder, and designer Howard Alexander Dumble has passed away aged 77 as confirmed on Dumble Amps’ Instagram account.
  • His list of clients includes the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jackson Browne, Carlos Santana, Eric Clapton, Robben Ford, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and many, many more.
  • The engineer’s celebrated two-channel Overdrive Special and single-channel Steel String Singer designs remain some of the most lucrative and desired guitar gear on the planet.

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“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Howard, his work brought joy and inspiration to countless musicians and engineers,” the post read.

 

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His amplifiers have been heard over decades as he gained notoriety for his custom building process and personalisation for the musician he was crafting amps for.

Some of these include the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jackson Browne, Carlos Santana, Eric Clapton, Robben Ford, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and many, many more.

The latter told Music Radar in 2017 that the amps Dumble built for him inspires him in many ways.

“I’ll sit around and we’ll hang out and be playing guitar for hours and hours. The whole time he’s listening. He’s got great ears. I mean, obviously. He hears how a person plays. He knows what it is that I’m trying to get out of the amplifier. He hears how hard I play, the attack that I use, the touch. All of it. You can tell his mind is working the whole time. He’s just listening.

“Then he goes and he works on the amp. Then you come back, you play it again and we see how it’s responding. Then he further refines it if necessary. He’s built it around my style of playing. In theory, if anyone else was to be playing through my amp, it naturally would not necessarily respond the way that it was intended to because it’s a different person playing.”

He initially modified Fender amps at home and through word of mouth, he gained a reputation among the guitar community.

His work became so impressive that eventually the only way to get a custom built amp was if he approached you.

The engineer’s celebrated two-channel Overdrive Special and single-channel Steel String Singer designs remain some of the most lucrative and desired guitar gear on the planet, his legacy will always remain.

Check out the history of Dumble Amplifiers.