Calabasas, CA—May 10, 2018 – Yamaha Guitar Group, Inc., the newly formed U.S. subsidiary of Japan-based Yamaha Corporation, today 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 1940’s, 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 Director 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, CA at the Yamaha Guitar Group, Inc. offices.
About Yamaha Corporation
Since its founding in 1887, the Yamaha Corporation Group has developed its business activities focusing on musical instruments, audio products, Yamaha music schools, semiconductors, and other products and services related to sound and music. With its unique expertise and sensibilities, Yamaha is committed to creating excitement and cultural inspiration together with people around the world.
About Yamaha Guitar Group, Inc.
Yamaha Guitar Group, Inc. (YGG) is a U.S. based wholly owned subsidiary of Japan-based Yamaha Corporation, that is now dedicated to serving the needs of guitar players through three distinct brands: Yamaha, Line 6, and Ampeg.
Yamaha began making classical guitars in Hamamatsu, Japan in 1941 and launched in the U.S in 1966 with the legendary FG180 acoustic, the forefather of the best-selling FG series. Since then, Yamaha has gone on to create class-leading instruments including the SBG and Pacifica electric guitars, BB basses, APX electro acoustics, the unique Silent Guitar and, most recently, the TransAcoustic guitar, all combining craftsmanship, technology and engineering excellence to redefine what a guitarist can expect from their guitar.
Line 6 is known for products which leverage groundbreaking digital technology to inspire guitarists. With a long history of firsts, Line 6 has a proven track record of creating category-defining products. Their best-selling flagship Helix® guitar processor has received numerous accolades and awards, including the Guitar World “Platinum Award”, the Premier Guitar “Premier Gear Award”, and the Guitar Player “Editors’ Pick” award.
Ampeg has produced some of the music industry's most innovative amplification products including the first bass combo amp, the first guitar amp with reverb and the de facto stage bass amp, the SVT. Since the 1940s, Ampeg has offered unique and often first-to-market features and performance capabilities, resulting in six U.S. patents under the Ampeg brand name.
About LOUD Audio, LLC (“LOUD”)
As the corporate parent for world-recognized brands EAW®, Mackie® and Martin Audio®, LOUD engineers, markets and distributes a wide range of professional audio and musical instrument products worldwide. Its product lines include sound
reinforcement systems, analog and digital mixers, and studio products. These products can be found in professional and project recording studios, video and broadcast suites, post-production facilities, and sound reinforcement applications, including houses of worship, stadiums, nightclubs, retail locations, and on major musical concert tours. LOUD distributes its products primarily through retail dealers, mail order outlets and installed sound contractors. The Company has its primary operations in the United States with operations in the United Kingdom, Canada and China.
About Transom Capital Group (“Transom”)
Transom (www.transomcap.com) is a leading operations-focused private equity firm in the middle market with more than $500M in assets under management. The firm’s functional pattern recognition, access to capital, and proven ARMOR℠ Value Creation Process combine with management’s industry expertise to create improved operational efficiency, significant top-line growth, cultural transformation and overall distinctive outcomes. Transom is headquartered in Los Angeles, California with an additional office in Seattle, Washington.