AAS (amp aquisition syndrome)

I’ve tried out a bunch of (mostly) vintage amps over the past two weeks.  So far:

  • Jesse’s vintage Newcomb/Western Electric 30W tube amp a
  • Jesse’s Airline 5W, probably 50’s or 60’s vintage.

I spent a bunch of time (5 hours straight) on youtube listening to Led Zep I and demos of the Valco Supro and the Gibson Skylark, and realized I needed more experience, so I went to Rock And Roll Vintage and with Rich’s help added the following to the list:

  • A 50’s Montomery Ward 10W.
  • Valco Supro, 5W.
  • Tweed Fender Deluxe, 50’s, approx 20W.
  • Orange Tiny Terror 7W/15W, modern.

The 20W 50’s Fender Deluxe sounded *amazing*, but with a price tag over 2K. The modern Tiny Terror sounded pretty awesome too, Farsheed reports preferring it to the Fender.  Rich recommends the Vox Night Train over the TT, in the modern variable wattage amp head category.  I’ve been doing some reading — the NT is  Class A/B, while the TT is pure class A.  Some ambiguation naturally exists on the web around whether or not one can hear the difference.  Today’s mission:  try both NT and TT head-to-head at Chicago Music Exchange.

Overall goal:  is there one?

Hm.  Well, there is a goal pattern.

Things I’m keeping in mind:

  • cost control
  • simplicity of user controls
  • reliability/build quality
  • flexibility/versatility (good tone at varying volume)
  • singing sustain for days
  • warmth, harmonic shine.  it’s gotta make the electric cello sound *good*.



2 thoughts on “AAS (amp aquisition syndrome)

  1. Amp Man

    I’d also consider the Traynor Dark Horse – it’s right there with the Orange and the Vox in terms of what it is – all class A I believe. 15w/2w switchable w/ a gain knob, made in Canada, I’d bet on it to outlast the orange or the vox, and at half(ish) the price. Only problem is it’s a small company with limited distribution, so you won’t find them in stores. Looking at your list of bullet points, I’d expect it to beat out the other two on every point.


    1. Brendan F Post author

      Sooo, I tried Orange dark terror, tiny terror and dual terror head to head with vox night train yesterday. Two realizations: Orange wins hands down for sound, and 15w isn’t enough. 30w is necessary for a decent bottom end


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