About Our Amps

Design/Build Philosophy

Hey there, thanks for visiting IronHorse. We design and build IronHorse amps here in Tucson, Arizona. Our prototypes can take us over 100 hours to develop. That’s because we’re incredibly meticulous in our process. Guitarists ourselves, we know what we’re looking for when it comes to tone. We only use the highest quality components in our amps. That includes the gauges, copper wire, oversized metal resistors, and more. Of course, we only produce all-tube amps. These consistently produce that rich, classic guitar tone.

If you’re a fan of classic rock, then you like tube amps! Modern music makes use of solid-state amps that can produce more gain but are far inferior when it comes to tone. If you’re a guitarist that demands excellent tone, IronHorse amps are for you! You’ll love our rich tone, high-quality speakers, and versatile sounds. Our amps can produce a great tone for any genre of music. You can play rock, blues, metal, funk, and more!

Don’t wait to try out our incredible amps today. We’re based out of Tucson, AZ but we can ship our amps nationwide. Don’t wait to order an amp today if you want an incredible tone and sustain! To get in touch, you can give us a call at (303) 902-5194. You can also email us at phillipskey@yahoo.com.

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Our custom chassis are punched and folded in aircraft aluminum by Clean Cut Metals of Tucson. AZ USA–lightweight with welded corners and beautifully finished.


Our cabinets are built from either Birch plywood or solid Pine. We offer a verity of different Tolex options and custom wood front panels.


Our combo cabs and speaker cabinets are outfitted with American made WGS speakers.

Front and Rear Control Plates

We also design and produce the custom front and rear control plates. Almost any image that can be digitized can be used as the background image or we can use the dozens of images we presently maintain—some created by master digital artists. We then super impose the control labels, spacing, fonts, font style and color over the background. You can specify specific control names. We can even add your name to your custom amp. US print shops produce our custom control plates.

Additional Information

Path switching amps often have two, sometimes three preamp stages that feed into a common “tone stack”(1) — most often foot switchable. The most infamous path switching amp is the Dumble Overdrive Special—an amp so in demand that used Dumbles now sell for tens of thousands of dollars. Another is the Soldano SLO and numerous others

The value or desirability of a path switching amp is the ability to set the overall “clean” tone and volume of the amp and then with a simple push of a foot switch increase the gain and response of the amp-with the fundamental tone already set—similar to a variable boost circuit.

IronHorse amp’s Copperhead™ allows the guitarist to set the clean path volume(2) and tone (Hi, Mid and Low) and then, by adjusting the Gain Control and the Lead Volume controls of the higher gain Drive path the guitarist is able to shift the amp from clean to mild crunch all the way through searing sustain with rich harmonic overtones and presence.

With a quick click of the footswitch you can return to clean rhythm and cleaner lead tones. Click again and the high gain path will produce the rich, harmonic and driven lead tones so popular today—no distortion or “fuzz” pedal needed.. The IronHorse Copperhead™ amps are path switching amps.

Channel switching amps have two, sometimes three, fully independent preamps that allow greater flexibility and tonal shaping. Each channel has a full complement of volume and tone controls – typically High (Treble) Middle and Low (Bass). Some amps also utilize a Presence (or Bright) control to further shape the higher frequencies. The higher gain channels often have both a Gain(3) control and a Lead or Lead Volume control in addition to the tone controls.

Some channel switching amps may have a “clean” channel, a “brown” or crunch channel and an over the top, lead IronHorseTM style channel all in one head—like having several amps in one box!! Individual gain and volume as well as tone controls for each channel allows you to “shape” each of the channels to your specific needs . Each channel funnels into a common power amp.

The IronHorse Dragon Series™ amps are full channel switching amps.

The term “tone stack” is used to describe the cluster of tone controls typically used in most modern amps that control the amount of treble, middle and bass frequencies. Some amps may also have a Presence or Bright control that affects the driver circuit and/or power amp section of the amp.

In the early days of guitar amps, the Volume control was often a single control that varied the overall loudness of an amp. In many cases there was a single volume control and a single tone control. There are still many modern amps and clones of older designs that have a single volume control along with one or more tone controls. As you increase the Volume, the loudness of the amp increases. If the amp has two channels, both channels often had a single volume control per channel.

In newer amps you may see one or more “Gain” controls as well as volume and tone controls. A gain control allows the guitarist to “load” or “ store” gain in one or more early gain stages to overdrive that and subsequent stages, thus producing the preamp distortion (of various quality) in many amps today.

Staff and Support

  • Key Phillips – CEO worm whole wizard.
  • Chris Phillips – VP Production — Creative Commander and Assembly Savant
  • Dan Ritenour – Design & Assembly
  • Kelly Manchester – Murphy — wonderful photographer, graphic artist.
  • Mr. Steve E Anderson, EE, MCS Technical consultant, guitarist close friend
  • Mr. Joe Murphy – VP of Musician Relations, friend, and amazing musician
  • Kristopher Ritenour – Web Wizard!
  • Limb Snapper – our promotional monster truck.

Amazing Guitar Dudes and Friends

  • And finally thank you to several of the best guitar players in Tucson who have provided support, advice and deserved criticism over the years that has helped us get where we are today. In no particular order or ability – they are all amazing players.
  • Gary Roberts — head tube sniffer and expert on all things guitar. Musician extraordinaire, friend and supporter. “How does he know all of that shit?”
  • Clark Englebert – extraordinary young guitar player who is destined to set the world on fire.
  • Mike Serres – whoa. Amazing musician and really cool dude.
  • Jeff Englebert – an absolutely fine guitar player who plays louder and harder than any guitar player we have ever known. Lord the man can play.