Defining Part of Sound is in the Transformer

For all you know-it-alls and music gurus out there who pride yourselves on your vast knowledge of musical fact, know the name Glen Morris. If you have not yet heard of him, you have at least heard him.  He is the brains and elbow grease behind Morris Amps, the brand gracing the airwaves behind guitarists like Dallas Green of Alex is on fire and James Black of Finger Eleven.

You’ll hear a Morris Amp on the latest release by the Cancer Bats and in countless studio albums from Canada’s top studios. But who is Glen Morris really? What makes him sound so good?

To understand why these artists are swearing by a Morris amp you have to understand the man, Glen Morris. He says it all started for him when he was a boy.  He and a friend overloaded an old fender amp with the output of a small DeArmond amp by disconnecting the speaker and attaching it into the front of the Fender.

“It was the most amazing sound for about 10 seconds.” He says, “Before the amp exploded.”
~Glen Morris

He had to crack it open and study its glorious brains. This was his first rebuild. From that moment on, the sound and structure of an amp has been his passion.  He picked up bits of knowledge wherever he could. Enough for friends to dub him Glen “Can’t-leave-it-alone” Morris.

His father was the head of the Electronics Dept. at the Stelco Steel Co. and worked with Radar  during the Second World War.  From him, Glen learned how to properly saturate a tube to make it sing like a rock and roll song bird.

Now he’s not all wires and solder.  Glen is first a guitar player.  The final sound of his amps starts at the fretboard and works its way through a patiently obsessively built hand wired circuit board before it gets the Morris brand.

“The layout,routing of the wires, is an extremely important factor in an amp,” he says. Not every guitar amp builder is a guitar player and it really shows.


Glen is a graduate of the Electronics program at George Brown College.  While there, he admits that he picked the brains of one special teacher every chance he was given. This teacher was originally from the Ukraine and taught Radio/TV classes. He taught tubes and valves and knew them inside and out, right from the old school. Glen spent countless hours in the library reading old manuals and schematics.

So what’s in a Morris Amp today?  Well, Glen has a longstanding relationship with Mercury Magnetics. They supply his transformers and are a vital part of his sound. Some are made exclusively for the Morris brand.  He says the defining part of a sound is in the transformer.  If any of you readers out there are going to start messing around inside your amp, make sure you don’t skimp on the transformer.


Lately, able artists have enjoyed the sounds of the Morris XSII and XSIII,  both versatile amps for the modern rocker. Morris amps are hard working machines and most sell accordingly.  He has recently designed two tube distortion pedals under his Morris brand “dismorrtion”.  They imitate his bigger sound and are still hand built with tubes at a lesser price.


His new designs are an all steel cab amp head that is specially designed for the boutique pedal players.”So many guys today love to buy and swap pedals all the time. So I designed a very affordable 30-watt single-channel amp that the tone controls work mainly on the harmonics, allowing you to really dial in a great distortion sound with the pedal,” says Glen.

Sound samples and prices are all available on the Morris Amps website,


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