Archive for the "Amps" Category

Epiphone Limited Edition 75th Anniversary Inspired by “1939” Century Amp

Epiphone is introducing some new products at this year’s Musikmesse show, and one of the more interesting announcements is the Limited Edition 75th Anniversary Inspired by “1939″ Century Amp:

The Ltd. Edition 75th Anniversary Inspired by “1939” Century Amp revives an Art Deco era masterpiece from Epiphone’s early days in Manhattan. The amp is a faithful replica of a classic 1930s era cabinet design including bent rims, an all-metal handle, 6-point star screws, and vintage style grill cloth.  The redesigned 18 watt electronics include two 6V6 and two 12AX7 tubes, a 12” speaker, a Master Volume with pull “boost” mode, Master tone, Bright, Normal, and Dark inputs, an Extension Speaker Output, Footswitch Jack, and Internal Bias Adjustment.  The Inspired by “1939” Century Amp is the kind of amp all guitarists have been waiting for, capable of filling a club or a recording studio.


Posted in: Amps


NAMM 2014: Hiwatt Custom Shop Little Rigs

Hiwatt has introduced three new amps in a new series they’re calling the Custom Shop Little Rigs. There are three amps in the series right now: the Little P Rig, the Little D Rig, and the Little J Rig.

Hiwatt Signature Series Little P Rig

The Hiwatt Little P rig is based on the original CP103 amplifier used by Pete Townshend of The Who. This was the tone that sparked a new generation of guitar players in the early 1970s. The Hiwatt Little P rig comes complete with a scaled down 1×12 fane loaded cabinet and is perfect for home, studio and live use.

• 4 input
• Class A
• 20/0.5W Switchable
• EL84 + ECC83 Valve Configuration
• Hiwatt Fane 1×12 Cabinet

Hiwatt Signature Series Little D Rig

The Hiwatt Little D rig is based on the amplifier modified my Pete Cornish for David Gilmour of Pink Floyd. The Little D featured 3 inputs, normal, brilliant and linked. The linked input allowing users to blend the tone of the normal and brilliant channels. The Hiwatt Little D rig comes complete with a scaled down 1×12 fane loaded Starfinder cabinet and is perfect for home, studio and live use.

• 3 inputs Normal, Brilliant and Linked
• Class A
• 20/0.5W Switchable
• EL84 + ECC83 Valve Configuration
• Starfinder Fane 1×12 Cabinet

Hiwatt Signature Series Little J Rig

The Hiwatt Little J rig is based on the original SAP head made for Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin. The Little J features a unique circuit at which offered a more driven tone than a standard Hiwatt Custom Amp. The amplifier also has a unique, foot switchable cut circuit. The Hiwatt Little D rig comes complete with a scaled down 1×12 fane loaded Starfinder cabinet and is perfect for home, studio and live use.

• 2 inputs Normal and Brilliant
• Class A
• 20/0.5W Switchable
• EL84 + ECC83 Valve Configuration
• Hiwatt Fane 1×12 Cabinet

I’d be hard-pressed to pick between the Little D and Little J Rigs.



Posted in: Amps, NAMM

NAMM 2014: Suhr PT-100 Signature Edition Amplifier

Suhr and Peter Thorn have been working together for a number of years, and one of the main things they’ve been working on is a new limited edition signature amp for Thorn called the Suhr PT-100 Signature Edition:

The Suhr PT-100 Signature Edition set features a 100 watt, three-channel tube amplifier head loaded with a custom “Plexi-style” output transformer, four EL-34 power tubes and six 12AX7 preamp tubes, a solid-state series/parallel effects loop, 4-button MIDI programmable footswitch and matching Birch 2 x 12 closed-back cabinet fitted with a pair of Celestion Creamback 75 H speakers.

Thorn is a well-known session musician who has worked with Chris Cornell and Melissa Etheridge among others. This new amp is a result of spending five years touring with and modifying his original signature amp. I like the look of the black carbon fiber.


Posted in: Amps, NAMM


NAMM 2014: Ibanez TSA5TVR Tube Screamer Guitar Combo Amplifier


I really dig the look of the new Ibanez TSA5TVR amp. It’s part of their Tube Screamer amp line, which includes a built-in Tube Screamer pedal in the amp.

For over 30 years the Ibanez Tube Screamer has been one of the most popular overdrive pedals in the world: a perennial favorite, famous for its warm, creamy tone and unequivocal responsiveness. Now the iconic pedal has found a new home in the TSA5TVR combo amp.

This isn’t the first time the Tube Screamer has been integrated into an amp, but it is the first time it has ever looked this cool! Decked out in cream and sea foam green vinyl, set up on console legs with a TV screen shaped speaker grill, this little amp has got style and attitude to spare. The retro-60′s vibe will look great in the office, family room, studio, or well… just about anywhere, but ultimately, it’s all about the tone and this tiny titan is packing the goods.

The TSA5TVR is an all-tube, Class-A, 5-watt combo with a genuine Tube Screamer built into the front end of the amp. Accessible by a control panel toggle switch or an IFS1G footswitch (not included) the Tube Screamer circuit is a perfect match for the 12AX7 preamp tube and the 6V6GT power tube. It’s loaded with an 8″ Jensen® C8R speaker specially tuned for Ibanez, selected for its excellent response to overdrive distortion and the built in Accutronics® Reverb delivers the smoothest spring reverb in the industry. Also features an External Speaker out, Headphone out and a direct Line out.



Posted in: Amps, NAMM


NAMM 2014: PRS David Grissom Custom 30 and Custom 50

David Grissom and Paul Reed Smith have worked together for several decades, so it’s fitting that David now has his own signature PRS amplifiers: the DG Custom 30 and the DG Custom 50:

“The DG Custom amps are the culmination of a three year collaboration between myself and Doug Sewell. We set out to create two distinct amps – a 30 watt and a 50 watt – that would rival the best of my vintage amps.”

“After extensive designing, redesigning, and repeated comparisons to the amps I have cherry picked over the years, we have come up with two amps that I am blown away with. I’ve used them on hundreds of gigs and sessions and found them to be equally well suited to both live situations and studio work. Both amps do their own thing, and are far from knockoffs of any classic designs that boutique makers often strive for. I rarely play a gig when someone doesn’t want to know what amp I’m using and the story behind it. I’m excited and proud that these amps are now in production. I’m hopeful that other players will find them as inspiring and musical as I do.”

– David Grissom

Developed and refined over many years, the PRS David Grissom signature amplifiers bring David’s discriminating tone to players looking for a highly-responsive, musical amp rig. The PRS “DG Custom 30” comes in blonde vinyl with a cherry stained mahogany fascia and un-tinted salt and pepper grill cloth. It features four EL84/7581 power tubes and several tone-sculpting features, including bright switch, reverb, boost/normal gain switch, presence control, and top cut control.

I’ve seen Grissom do a clinic demonstrating his signature guitar, and it’s clear he doesn’t take tone lightly. I bet these amps sound great.


Posted in: Amps, NAMM


NAMM 2014: Fender Vaporizer


The new Fender Vaporizer amp looks interesting:

Fender’s Vaporizer amp evokes the 1950s-’60s age of the Space Race, when the atom-age world became enthralled with spaceflight and spacecraft. When the wild flights of fancy it launched permeated culture everywhere from film and television to cars, guitars, appliances and more–everything was bright, colorful and flashy. Garage bands blasted off with guitar music, and legions of musicians who couldn’t swing pro gear bashed away on department-store guitars and amps.

The Vaporizer amp blasts you like a ray gun back to that exciting era. Affordable and out of this world, it would’ve been right at home aboard a Mercury capsule and down in the backyard fallout shelter. It would’ve been stumbled on decades later in some pawn shop corner by an unconventional guitarist with an ear for the distinctive and an eye for the stylish. It’s the Fender Vaporizer. Stand back!

With a street price of $399, this could be a fun little amp. It’s available in three colors: Surf Green, Rocket Red, and Slate Blue.

Posted in: Amps, NAMM


Fender ’65 Deluxe Reverb Head


Announced a few weeks before NAMM, this new amp from Fender is pretty interesting: the Fender ’65 Deluxe Reverb Head:

The ’65 Deluxe Reverb Head amp in classic Black is perfect for rock, country or blues players who want a moderately powered amp they can crank up at the gig or in the studio. Featuring 22 watts of tube power, the ’65 Deluxe Reverb head offers two 6V6 Groove Tubes output tubes, one 5AR4 rectifier tube, four 12AX7 preamp tubes, two 12AT7 tubes, dual channels (normal and vibrato), tube-driven Fender reverb, tube vibrato and two-button footswitch for reverb and vibrato one-off.

This looks like a great option for those people who love the  tone of the Deluxe Reverb amp but want the versatility of using different cabinets.

Posted in: Amps, NAMM


Review: Ampendage Amp Stands

Kevin Wagg, the owner of Ampendage Industries, contacted me several weeks ago to let me know about his line of amp stands. I’ve long thought about getting an amp stand, but I never really liked the ones that I saw in guitar stores. As a result, I’ve never really used one. Kevin was kind enough to send me a review unit, and I’m really impressed with what he’s building.

Ampendage offers three different models, two of which are solid hardwood and one is made of 3/4″ density MDF. As you can see below, the solid wood models look fantastic. The picture below shows the Teak model, which looks really nice in my music room; a Maple model is also available. The MDF stand has a black finish.

One of the nice things about amp stands is that they angle the speaker more towards your ear, which can be nice if you’re on a stage and want a more direct sound from your amp. I, however, don’t gig, but wanted a way to decouple the speaker from the floor. The angle of the stand pushes the sound right at my head, so I get a clearer picture of my tone.

Kevin advertises a small footprint with these stands, and I can agree. With a width of 14″ and a height of 12″, the amp stand stays out of the way enough to make it usable even in relatively small spaces. Yet, it’s also big enough to handle not only a 12″ combo, but my Mesa TA-15 lunchbox head/12″ cab configuration. I wouldn’t put a large head/cab configuration on the stand, but if you have a small one like the Mesa TA-15, I think a stand like this would work fine.

One downside of the Ampendage stands is that they don’t fold up like other stands. Kevin includes a built-in handle to make it easier to lug around. However, since the stand doesn’t fold up, carrying around the stand can be a bit of a hassle if you’ve got a bunch of other gear to carry.

The stand seems pretty durable, but I can’t attest to how gig-worthy it is. The pieces connect together well and are held together with some solid screws, so I would be surprised if it couldn’t stand up to most types of gigs.

If you’re looking for an amp stand, I think Ampendage is worth a look. Starting at $59.95 and going up to $89.95 for the solid wood models, they aren’t the cheapest stands around, but they are some of the nicest looking ones I’ve seen and seem to be solidly built.


Posted in: Accessories, Amps

PRS Custom Amp Designs

This sounds interesting:

PRS Custom Amp Designs (CAD) is your opportunity to explore nearly limitless, personalized amplifier options. Since the inception of the program, PRS Amp Designer Doug Sewell and Paul Reed Smith have worked shoulder-to-shoulder to provide the most personalized amps ever offered by PRS. Through CAD, amplifiers can be built with specialized colors, speakers and components and can even bring discontinued models back to life.

It sounds like you can create customized versions of any of the amps that PRS offers or has ever offered. Here’s Paul Smith discussing their amp and CAD program:

Posted in: Amps, Videos


Paul Reed Smith Demos the PRS SE 20, SE 30, and SE 50 Amps

In this video, Paul Reed Smith demos the SE range of amps, including the SE 20, the SE 30, and the SE 50:

I’ve yet to hear one of these in person, but they seem pretty versatile based on Mr. Smith’s demonstration.

(via Jon Bloomer)

Posted in: Amps, Videos