Tag Archives: nifty fifty

The Danelectro Amps of 1998 – Dirty Thirty, Nifty Fifty, Nifty Seventy

The company Danelectro was started by a man named Nate Daniel, he made amps and guitars from the 50s until 1969, then sold the company to MCA, who closed it down just one year later. In 1997, Steve Ridinger who had made Gorilla Amps and Banana tuners bought the trademark for the name. They started making pedals first, then guitars, both of which were a HUGE success. Then in 1998, the new Danelectro briefly dipped it’s toes back into the amp making waters. They produced a trio of amplifiers, two for guitar and one for bass.

The guitar amps were called the Dirty Thirty and the Nifty Fifty. The bass amp was called the Nifty Seventy. As far as I can tell, these amps were only made for a single year (correct me if I’m wrong). They were all solid state, and all came in a really cool looking tan and brown retro-looking cabinet. The amps were very inexpensive when they came out, and still have not gained much value, but are starting to gain a cult following. You can usually find them on Reverb for between $100 and $200!

The naming scheme for these amps is completely confusing and misleading. Is it possible this is why they weren’t much of a success upon their release? The Dirty Thirty is 10 watts RMS, the Nifty Fifty and Nifty Seventy are both 15 watts RMS, however all three are far louder one might think.  I personally own a Nifty Fifty and it is far too loud to play past 1.5 in my apartment. I have also owned a Dirty Thirty in the past, and it was also quite a beast. The only one I’ve never personally owned or heard is the Nifty 70. I would love to have one though. Need to move to a bigger place first haha.

 

The clean tones on the Fifty are especially nice. Especially when I pair it with a compressor pedal and some light chorus and reverb.

If you have any information you would like to contribute to this page, such as more accurate history and backstory, as well as technical specifications, please comment below. I feel like these amps deserve a place on the internet.