It doesn't have to be vintage at all, but they do look pretty cool. The distortion (which is where you get the right sound from) changes dramatically with change of volume.
Actually I started out playing a vintage Vox AC 30 and it wasn't bad at all. That's very impractically when you play live, where you have to adjust the volume after the size and acoustics of the place where you playing.
One for beginners called "How to play rockabilly guitar, and get good, fast!
The typical settings for a rockabilly slapback echo (for guitar) on any unit are between 100 and 200 ms and very few repeats. There I use various digital delay effects (emulating tape echo for instance), as I record without echo and add it in the mix.
This would be a great reason to buy the book :-) HOWEVER!
That’s not the sole reason why it's a great book :-( Many writers have contributed and all the important artists have been covered. The weird thing about the book is that's it's actually a good read for both beginners and old-timers like me. This book is also full of great pics and anecdotes, but you should really check it out for yourself! Here's a link to it on Amazon: Rockabilly: The Twang Heard 'Round the World: The Illustrated History I never heard anything better than a Fender if we're talking about the big manufacturers.
If you're into Surf music it's a whole different ballgame though.
Here's a picture of my "live" settings for the Boss DD-3.