Brian Fallon of The Gaslight Anthem recently stopped by my shop and picked up his second custom Pennalizer amp build. This amp is based on the old 5G9 Tremolux circuit. Brian had a few custom details in mind including the custom cabinet size for this amp. As compared to the other amp I built for him this new 5G9 breaks up earlier but still has a nice clarity to it. The bottom doesn’t get mushy or implode when you really pick or strum aggressively. The idea was to complement the clarity of the 3×10 amp I built for him back in June with an amp that will give him some more dirty raunch. The tremolo is a bonus and has a wonderful pulsing sort of throb sound vs a more choppy helicopter sound. The trem circuit does not bend the pitch and when adjusted so it’s a low depth and slow speed the overall sound becomes very hypnotic. I played that amp for hours with my Tele and kind of got lost in it.
Another custom request was the use of the red Jupiter capacitors and Weber 12A150-T speaker. I’ve used Weber speakers for many years now and have had excellent results. Their speakers are awesome especially for capturing the essence of classic speaker models with brand new reliability. Not to mention “replace-ability” as well which is important to a touring musician like Brian. The Jupiter caps were a first for me and I was extremely happy with them. I have to admit there is a sort of “x factor” with older vintage amps. I cannot explain it as many players and techs can’t. Maybe it’s the aged components, loose tolerances of yesteryear or dare I say it “mojo”. Well, whatever it is I do believe that there are excellent current production components like Weber speakers, Jupiter caps, Mercury Magnetics transformers to name a few that will yield an awesome sounding and dynamic amplifier in the end. I believe that using these ingredients, good design and properly wired chassis you can build a brand new amplifier with X factor of it’s own.
Brian and the band are in the studio right now recording their latest album. I for one am a fan of their music and am looking forward to hearing their latest release. From what I understand they will be hitting the road in the spring. Hope to catch them right here in New Jersey!!