Rhett Shull teams up with Port City Amps for the Grandville – a head and combo inspired by an early ‘50s Gibson amp

Port City Amps Grandville
(Image credit: Port City Amps)

Session ace and influential social media guitarist Rhett Shull has partnered with Port City Amps for a new collaborative guitar amp called the Grandville.

Available in both head and combo formats – the latter of which has a matching 2x10"/12" cab – the Grandville took nine months to design, develop and fine-tune, and is inspired by an early ‘50s Gibson that Shull personally favored.

The boutique amp maker originally sounded out Shull for a collaboration three years ago, but it was only after Shull experienced the tone of the Gibson amp that he reached out to Port City Amps to get the ball rolling on a project.

According to the company, the resulting unit “became a completely unique amp” and ended up delivering “the quality of tone, features and aesthetic that Rhett demanded”. Indeed, the relationship between the two goes way back – all the way to when Shull purchased his first professional amp from Port City almost a decade ago.

As Port City Amps notes, “Whether it’s being used at bedroom volumes or on stage, the Grandville is more than capable of delivering great tone. Guitarists that use effect pedals to achieve an overdriven tone will be amazed at how the Grandville brings the best out from their pedals.”

The Grandville features a streamlined front panel, which comprises Bass, Treble and Volume knobs. These are joined by two toggle switches – one that engages a tremolo effect, and another that switches between Fast and Slow mode. Two final parameters, Speed and Intensity, are used to sculpt the tremolo.

Under the hood, the 50-watt amp features TAD-matched 6L6 power amp tubes and a pair of 6SJ7 preamp tubes, as well as a 6SL7 tremolo oscillator and 6SL7 phase inverter.

For the head, there’s also an external speaker jack, which works alongside a four, eight or 16-ohm impedance switch.

While on the subject of the Grandville head, Port City Amps says it tried a handful of different speakers to pair it with, though claims the combination of a 10” Jensen Jet Tornado and 12” WGS G12-CS is “the perfect pair” for the job.

Price-wise, the Grandville head is available now for $2,550 – the custom cab is an additional $875 – while the combo carries a price tag of $2,950.

For more information, head over to Port City Amps.

It's not the first time Shull has worked with a boutique gear company to design a new piece of kit. Last summer, he teamed up with Novo to create an all-new offset electric guitar called the Idris.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.