Demeter Amps

Founded by James Demeter in 1980, Demeter Amps started out with one small product: the Red Box FET Direct Box. It was designed by Demeter, Rob Robinette, and Phil Van Allen to be one of the best products out there. demeter-ampsIt was quite innovative for the time with features like a built-in battery tester that would show the battery status when it was plugged in. During the 1980s, the company began building up their line of products. They created the Tube Direct Box, the VTBP-201 Tube Bass Preamp, and the MB-2 Midboost/Fat Control, just to name a few. Many of these products are still in production today, and thousands of them have been built.

Some of the products created during the 80s became very popular with professional players. Take the TGA-3 Guitar Amp. It was the first three channel guitar amp to feature a stereo effects loop, and players such as Sonny Landrith and Bonnie Raitt loved it. Even though only 200 of these amps were produced, they were incredibly popular. Likewise, the VTMP-2 Tube Microphone Preamp, which was the only one of its kind at the time, was popular with artists like Seal, Sting, and the Stone Temple Pilots. (more...)

October 27, 2009
Posted in Boutique Amps,Demeter Amps — anthony @ 11:58 am

Death by Audio Effects

Death by Audio Effects has created a line of pedals that focus on several things, but most of all, they focus on being loud. The company doesn’t take itself too seriously, as evidenced by their website, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t serious about their work. death-by-audio-effectsThey put everything they have into the various pedals they have created, and you won’t find a more dedicated group of individuals.

Death by Audio Effects has a number of different pedals for sale. One of the first pedals they created, and one of their most famous, is the Total Sonic Annihilation pedal. While it may not be for the more traditional players, the Total Sonic Annihilation pedal is great for anyone who wants to do a little experimenting and have a pedal that provides an incredibly unique sound. (more...)


Posted in Death by Audio Effects — anthony @ 11:55 am

Zwengel Amps

There are many different large boutique amp companies out there, and then there are the small, independent companies.  Zwengel Amps is one of these smaller ones.  In fact, they don’t even have a website to advertise and sell their products.  zwengel-ampsHowever, you can find some Zwengel Amps on other sites if you search hard enough.  While they may not offer a large variety of products, and finding information about them may be kind of difficult, there is information out there.

One of the main amps sold by Zwengel is the Banshee 50 212 Combo amp.  This amp is a two channel amp with 50 watts.  It’s incredibly loud, and it features a great amount of overdrive.  It’s all hand wired, of course, and it can stand toe to toe with any other boutique amp you can find. (more...)

October 24, 2009
Posted in Boutique Amps,Zwengel Amps — anthony @ 5:21 pm

ZVex Super Hard On Review

If you’re looking for a great preamp pedal, one of the best out there is the ZVex Super Hard On.  zvex-super-hard-onThis pedal is designed to resemble those great pedals from the 60s, right down to featuring a volume knob with a negative-feedback control that crackles when you adjust it, just like those older knobs did.

Over time, the magnets in the pickups of vintage guitars start to deteriorate.  To get around this issue, the ZVex Super Hard On features a very high input impedance.  It’s so high that it does not actually accept any input from the guitar, so the pickup is perfectly clear.  You can actually get an output level of more than eight volts without any distortion.  You can add in distortion, but it doesn’t come out as fuzz; instead, it’s a triode overload.  This amp makes your guitar sound much larger and pushes your amp much harder than any other pedal, giving you a great effect.  Players who complain about that strange disappearing guitar effect will find that this pedal is the perfect solution to this problem. (more...)

October 23, 2009
Posted in Guitar Effects,Zvex — anthony @ 9:20 am

Vox Amps

There are a number of newer amp companies out there that, while great, simply don’t have a history behind them.  Sometimes this doesn’t matter, and sometimes it does.  However, Vox Amps is not one of those.  The company has a long and rich history of designing amps.  It all began way back in 1917 when Thomas Walter Jennings was born.  Jennings would later go on to co-found Vox Amps along with Dick Denney, whom he met in 1941.  vox-ampsBoth Jennings and Denney were amateur musicians, but they both also had an interest in electronics and in amps.

In 1944, Jennings opened up a second hand instrument store.  While he mostly sold and traded accordions, he did deal in other instruments.  His company flourished during the 40s, and at one point, he even created an electronic keyboard style instrument that he named the Univox.  This unique instrument sold fairly well, and it helped Jennings fund The Jennings Organ Company. (more...)


Posted in Boutique Amps,Vox Amplifiers — anthony @ 9:18 am

Xotic AC Booster Overdrive/Boost

Xotic has created a trio of different boost pedals for players, each one focusing on a different area.  The Xotic AC Booster Overdrive/Boost is the “Almost Clean” part of the collection.  This pedal can be used to create a clean boost or can be used for an overdrive effect, all within one pedal.  xotic-ac-booster-overdriveboost1It’s a very versatile overdrive/boost pedal, giving players their money’s worth when it comes to being useful.  It features more than 20 decibels of transparent clean boost that lets you really add some extra power to a low watt amp or give an amp that extra bit of overdrive when it needs it.  You have the option of adding in some great warm tones when you use the two band active equalizer that features both treble and bass.  You can also either boost each frequency or cut it back as necessary, giving you even more use out of the AC Booster. (more...)

October 19, 2009
Posted in Guitar Effects,Xotic — anthony @ 8:32 pm
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