The Matchless Thunderman 100 Bass Boutique amp is a fairly rare amp that provides a great amount of tone. This amp features a flip top head that was built by Mark Sampson. The Thunderman, which is no longer produced by Matchless, is constantly reviewed as one of the top tube bass amps ever. Even when they were originally built, there were only a very limited number of Thunderman 100 bass amps were produced. The amp, however, has quite the following—it has been used by many different players over the years, including the bassist for Guns and Roses and Duck Dunn. (more...)
The Crowther Audio HotCake Distortion pedal is one of the oldest pedals in production. The first HotCake Distortion pedal was produced way back in 1976, and ever sense then, this pedal has been a staple in the Crowther line. Many different people have used the Crowther Audio HotCake over the years, including Stevie Ray, Simple Minds, the Henry Rollins Band, and the Melvins. But what makes the HotCake pedal so amazing? There are several reasons. The HotCake produces an incredibly clean sounding distortion; in fact, many consider it the best distortion unit available. (more...)
The Fender Custom Shop is known for making some great amps, one of which is the Fender Custom Shop 57 Tweed Deluxe boutique amp. This amp is the same design that many players have used for years, including Neil Young. The entire amp is hand wired, just like most of Fender’s amps, and it features a tone that is absolutely clear and amazing. This is a great amp if you’re going to be playing in small venues, want a great amp for recording demo tapes, or need an amp for practicing. It’s small and light enough (about 25 pounds) that traveling is not an issue—there’s no huge, heavy case to lug around.
If you get under that tweed covering, you’ll find two 12AX7 preamp tubes that are paired up with a pair of GT6V6 Groove Tubes. These tubes provide that great Fender output that we’ve all come to know and love. The Fender 57 can provide clear, clean tones or crunchy, distorted sounds—it’s all up to you. The entire thing is backed away in a solid pine case that features a 12 inch Jensen P-12Q speaker. The 5Y3GT rectifier tube provides natural compression, while the 5E3 circuit produces 12 watts of power. (more...)
Have an amp without a dirty channel? Looking for an overdrive pedal to go with it? Then check out the Catalinbread HyperPak. This ultra-compact pedal doesn’t have as many controls as some of the other pedals out there, but it still has some excellent settings and capabilities. Some people may dismiss the HyperPak just because it has fewer controls and knobs, but don’t judge this book by its cover. In fact, the HyperPak provides some awesome tones and is very easy to brighten with the right settings. This pedal provides a great dynamic distortion that sounds quite nice at any volume. The Catalinbread HyperPak features a very good amount of output as well, allowing you to really crank up your amp and go into full overdrive or turn up the drive and drop the volume to add even more sound to a larger amp. (more...)
Fender’s Tweed Deluxe line of amps was one of their most popular, and out of that line, the 5D3 boutique amp is certainly an amp to take note of. This model of the Fender Tweed Deluxe series was released in 1954, and it bore more than a passing resemblance to the 5B3 and the 5C3. However, there were some differences between the 5D3 and the models that came before it. The largest difference was that it used a self-balancing paraphrase inverter. The earlier Tweed Deluxe amps had used conventional style inverters.
When it comes to preamp tubes, there are some 5D3 models out there that use 6SC7s. There are others, though, that feature a large socket located in the chassis (the chassis was punched out). This allows a 12AY7 tube and a 12AX7 to be used in place of the 6SC7s. A pair of 6V6s provide power to the amp. As far as the speakers go, all of the Tweed Deluxe boutique amps featured Jensen speakers. Some used the P12R and some used the P12Q—there are 5D3s out there with both. The amp was build in a solid pine case. (more...)
If you’re looking for a pedal that features a very transparent overdrive and is focused mainly on the lower and medium gain range, the you may want to take a look at the Barber LTD Overdrive Pedal. Created by Barber Electronics, this pedal will help you keep your guitar’s natural sound without any midrange hump—it provides you with pure overdrive with no side effects. Creating a balanced tone is very easy thanks to the interactive center tone EQ. When you turn the center tone EQ up, you’ll find that it boosts your treble very nicely while cutting the bass. Turn it down and your low end gets boosted while the treble is cut. This created a wide variety of tone options. The Barber LTD Overdrive pedal is, naturally, capable of true bypass switching so it can provide transparent bypass operation. (more...)