Friedman Mini Dirty Shirley 20-watt Tube Head

1-channel, 20W Guitar Tube Amplifier Head with 3-position Gain Switch, 3-band EQ, and Effects Loop
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Friedman Mini Dirty Shirley 20-watt Tube Head image 1
Friedman Mini Dirty Shirley 20-watt Tube Head image 1
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Friedman Mini Dirty Shirley 20-watt Tube Head
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A Compact Tone Machine

The Friedman Dirty Shirley Mini 20-watt tube electric guitar amplifier head gives guitarists a high-quality and simple-to-operate amplifier that will sound great in any musical situation. The straightforward control layout on the front dials in tones that cover hard rock, country, pop, and more. The 20-watt EL84 power section is perfect for today's lower stage volumes, and additions like Friedman's famed transparent effects loop make the Dirty Shirley Mini 20-watt head an ideal centerpiece of your guitar rig.

Friedman Dirty Shirley Mini 20-watt Tube Amplifier Head at a Glance:
  • Wide-ranging tones
  • Simple to dial in great tones
  • Ideal power and features for performance
Wide-ranging tones

The Dirty Shirley series of tube amplifiers were designed around getting great British-flavored tones. The Dirty Shirley Mini nails these sounds with a gain knob that will take you from spanky to high gain without losing any clarity or punch throughout its range. A 3-way gain switch further helps you tailor this amp head to your exact guitar and technique. Sweetwater guitarists are in awe of how well this single-channel amplifier can tackle any style of playing.

Simple to dial in great tones

Five knobs are all you need to find your ideal tone in the Friedman Dirty Shirley Mini. Passive bass, middle, and treble controls handle their jobs perfectly. And the master and gain controls interact to deliver just the right amount of grit and sheen to your tone. And the Dirty Shirleys are incredibly responsive to your playing. Getting sparkling cleans from your crunch tone is as simple as playing a bit lighter or rolling back on your guitar's volume knob.

Ideal power and features for performance

The Dirty Shirley Mini is set up to be your new favorite performing amplifier. Its EL84 power section pumps 20 watts of power, which is often perfect to get above the band without overwhelming the room. And there's more than enough headroom for your pedals to work wonderfully with the amp's front end. Friedman's famous transparent effects loop rounds out the package and gives you a perfect way to use your favorite time-based effects.

Friedman Dirty Shirley Mini 20-watt Tube Amplifier Head Features:
  • 20-watt tube guitar amplifier head
  • EL84 power tubes for British tone
  • Wide range of driven tones from the gain knob
  • 3-position gain switch further dials in the voice
  • Friedman's transparent effects loop
  • Compact and lighter-weight design
  • Simple control layout
The Friedman Dirty Shirley Mini effortlessly delivers any shade of British tone you need.

Additional Media

Guitar Amp Buying Guide

Tech Specs

Type Tube
Number of Channels 1
Total Power 20W
EQ 3-band EQ
Preamp Tubes 3 x 12AX7
Power Tubes 2 x EL84
Inputs 1 x 1/4"
Outputs 2 x 1/4" (8 ohms), 1 x 1/4" (16 ohms)
Effects Loop Yes
Height 8.5"
Width 18.25"
Depth 8.25"
Weight 20.5 lbs.
Manufacturer Part Number MINI DIRTY SHIRLEY HEAD

Customer Reviews

Based on 5 reviews
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If you have a hankering for Marshall voiced amps this is your one stop. Like everyone else l have owned several Marshalls, a Bluesbreaker, JCM 900, JVM stack and DSL. And of course Boogies, Vox;s ect. Anyhow this is my last stop for tube amps. It accurately covers the Marshall sounds from the 1960s into to the 90s that l am looking for. All l use is a Bad Monkey in front (dosent sound good through the effects loop) and a reverb pedal. This amp really sounds great with out pedals. Easy to nail Zeppelin, GnR, AC DC if that's your thing and surprisingly has a really warm rich sounding clean. I bought the matching 1 x 12 cab and sounds good at lower volumes as l am in an apartment. Of course cranked is where the tone comes out and this shines. Not sure what Friedman have going on but both my Les Pauls really sustain well through this. Yes its pricy but you really get what you pay for. It If you can swing it l highly recommend picking up one of these

Tone , Tone, Tone

I have had the Dirty little Shirley for about a month now. I am not quick to do a review . I like to take my time and feel out the product. I have been running it through a 2x12 cab. with greenbacks. It is a little boomy so I have to dial back the bass. But that's okay. Playing with my Tele Elite the tones are unbelievable ! It cleans up very well and the overdrives are excellent. If you think a 20watt is not loud enough to to do small venues out you you'll be wrong . I have a Morgan 1x12 Morgan cab. coming with a cream back in it. Can't wait to try that out! Thank you Derek at Sweetwater for the GREAT service !

Buy This Amp Head! Great Tone/Save Your Back

I recently purchased the Friedman Dirty Shirley Mini - 20 Watt Tube Head along with the matching one 12" Speaker Cab. Firstly; I would like to thank Sweetwater for an outstanding purchase experience. I purchased this Amp and Cab on backorder and Trent from Sweetwater worked to keep me up to date on delivery status, etc., and when my order arrived at Sweetwater it was packed, shipped and arrived on my door step in two days...Free Shipping! Secondly; the amp and cab are light and easy to move around, the tonal quality is very impressive for such a small package. The bottom end that comes from this little cab is impressive and the overall frequency range of the cab allows this cab to be clear and thick without ever being flubby or thin….At least in the settings I am using. Speaking of settings….I could not dial in a bad tone with this amp/cab combo…..all sounds are very usable and I can’t wait to try this out with a drummer to see if it will work without being mic’d thru a PA. I played all my Guitar’s through this amp and it really brings out the character of each guitar as well as how you play….very dynamic. All my guitars sounded amazing – 60RI LP, 58RI LP, Ash/Maple Neck Strat, Maple Neck Tele, SG, Fender Big Apple Strat, Eastwood Delta 6, 70s Electra Vulcan. You can’t go wrong with the Dirty Shirley MiniIf you are looking for a light weight 20 watt power house amplifier to get that Classic Rock Tone look no further than the Friedman line of mini style amps, such as the Dirty Shirley mini and PT20. ……and if weight and wattage is of no concern then look at the other Friedman Amplifiers.

I really like this amp. I purchased it last week from Sweetwater. It was shipped quickly, arrived in good shape (and with a bag of candy in the box, no less!) & for the last couple of days I have been having a blast with it. So, usually amplifier names are just a model number...something that denotes either the wattage or the speaker size. Although Friedman has a model or two in their line that follows this convention, there are others with more curious the Dirty Shirley (DS). However, having had one for a few days now, I can say the name really does fit the sound perfectly. I've heard/read a lot of people compare the DS (and DSM) favorably to vintage Marshalls and while the DSM certainly evokes some of the better Marshall tones, it has plenty of its own character. For comparison sake, I previously owned a 100w Super Lead (reissue) and a 50w JMP (vintage) when I was younger and I would say the DSM can channel my favorite tones from both & does so in a format/power level that is much more appropriate for my grown-up life. If, like me, your days of needing a 100w head are behind you, you should check one of these out. So, how does it sound? Well, the Marshall comparisons are certainly warranted but the DSM really does have an attitude all her own. The first adjective that comes to mind is fat, and the second is dark. The "middle" setting on the gain switch produces a loud & strong clean that nails the tone from a half-dozen classic rock hits. Flip it down to the "bottom" setting, and it really made me think back to my old Super Lead, although the DSM makes that sound at a far more sensible volume level. Go to the "top" setting (the three way switch isnt really I call them top, bottom and middle) and it adds some gain but without getting shrill or brittle. For my 2-3 days worth of testing here, I have been playing various PRS's, a Les Paul & a Strat direct into the DSM, with a Mesa closed-back 1x12 and a Mesa 4x12. It sounds huge, punchy & thick through either cab, and sounds good with all of my guitars. For comparison, the other amps in my home studio are a Soldano (HR25), a Mesa Boogie (Mark V:25) and a Line6 DT50. I will confess to having purchased a Dirty Shirley Mini prior to having played one, so it was a pleasant surprise when it arrived and sounded amazing. I had only some youtube videos and reviews reputation to go by. So, with DSM's in short supply & there not being a dealer nearby that had a demo on their sales floor I decided to just take the plunge and I am really glad that I did.
Music background: Hobbyist

Killer Amp with some QC issues

Wow! This little amp totally out Marshalls those hand wound low wattage Marshall reissues. I's three stage settings gives you everything from a little grit to classic rock crunch to high gain stuff -- and all with a lot of clarity and articulation. I dont remember the 40 watt version exactly, but I believe this comes very close to matching it, just at lower maximum wattage and footprint. Cleans up very well with a volume pedal or using the knobs on your guitar. I only used the effects loop for a delay pedal but think it performed admirably. I know they probably couldn't have squeezed in a standby switch, but it would have been a welcome addition. I don't care that it doesn't have reverb or trem-- it's so engaging that they are never missed. My only concern is the quality control. I went through two units so far and am now waiting to receive my third. The first one had a small rip in the tolex and would lose some of its power shortly after turning it on from time to time. Its replacement would make a very loud crackling noise, like playing the quiet parts of a filthy record, until the tubes warmed up. I am waiting for a third unit and have my fingers crossed. I was going to try another amp altogether but this one is that good and has everything I want in a smaller head. I'd rather go through the hassle of defective units than be disappointed by other models.
Music background: Former touring musician
See also: Amp Heads, Friedman, Friedman Guitar Amp Heads