NY Amp Show Review 2010 – Part 2
Here is Part 2 of the NY Amp Show Review.
While I was jawing with Lance about New Joisy, rosewood fretboards and the LA Amp Show his suitemate Aleksander Niemand of Anacon Technology was there as well. Aleksander who is from Poland now residing in Sweden builds a very unique amp. His interview that we shot explains his philosophy as well as his amplifier much better than I could so I will leave a lot of that info for you to check out in his video interview.
I can tell you that Aleksander pretty much pulled a George Costanza and designed his latest amp doing the opposite of almost every traditional design and building method used. His prototype amp sounds great, feels great and has a lot of flexibility yet is simple enough to tweak.
Ok, back to basics…off to see Adam Grimm of Satellite Amps. Adam has a 180 degree philosophy about amps as compared to Aleksander. Adam’s designs are very simple and straight to the point. Volume and Tone….you cannot get much more straightforward than that.
Adam had a new model called the “Little Bugger”. It is a 12 watt amp that uses 6AQ5 output tubes. These look similar to an EL84 but have similar characteristics as a 6V6. Just like all of Adam’s Satellite amps I have played the Little Bugger is dynamic and rich with harmonic content. It sounded great with my Tele and would probably work like a charm in the studio or on a live gig through a PA as Adam said in the interview I did with him.
I like Adam’s approach to building amps and would highly recommend them to players who like a simple design that you do not have to fuss over to get a great tone. The beauty is in the simplicity but do not think that because the design and layout is simple that the tone is less than stellar. These amps are dynamic and may surprise a lot of players out there. The new model is great Adam..!!! Keep them coming..!!!!
I saw that the line was still out the door at John Tomaszewicz’s suite..….back downstairs but the weekend was running out and I had to visit with him. Ugh…
Downstairs I met up with Chihoe Hahn. Now anyone who knows me and follows me on 300guitars knows for sure that I am a confirmed Tele nut so it was only natural that I visit with Chihoe and check out his guitars.
First of all Chihoe is a super nice guy and was very giving of his time. He took the time to answer all my questions, was very open with his knowledge and let me try each guitar he brought to the show.
Chihoe’s guitars are special. Every aspect of the Tele design he based his guitars on was experimented with over a period of about 2 years. Materials, finishes, pickups, hardware, neck pocket fit….every detail. The result is not so much a vintage type guitar the way they were made in the good ol’ days but a well designed version of one of the most basic guitar archetypes in guitar history. I like to refer the the Tele as “The Wheel”.
The Hahn 228 looks awesome and plays like a dream. Each guitar is built to order by Chihoe himself and is tailored to the customer purchasing it. Each neck is hand shaped according to the customer’s request. Different types of bridgeplates are also used to accomplish the end result. A few pickup manufacturers are incorporated for his guitars depending on the player’s taste and style.
I was thoroughly enjoying myself playing Chihoe’s guitars and got caught up in 228 Tele-mania for a little while there in Chihoe’s suite.
With the weekend running out and the 2010 NY Amp Show nearing an end it was time to just get in line and tough it out at John Tomaszewicz’s suite. By the way it’s pronounced “tomas-evich”. I could not believe the streams of people that were lining up outside his door. This is one instance where a Disney type “fast pass” would have come in handy.
After waiting in the line for a little while I got into his suite and parked my butt on his couch claiming my place next in line. I finally got up to the plate and started with John’s new TZZ-17H….a 17 watt Overdrive Amp. This is killer little amp has a great clean mode and the overdrive tone was just simply awesome..!!! I played the new TZZ-17H Overdrive through a 1×12 cabinet loaded with a Celestion G12H and it just sounded huge. John also had the new TZZ-35H Overdrive 35 watt big brother to the 17 watt model which sounded similar with added girth and punch.
I also got to play the TZZ-35 again that I tried in Austin. It was every bit as good as I remembered it….big, solid and girthy with lots of fundamental clarity and just enough texture to keep things interesting.
The last model demo of the day (and the show) was the TZZ-40/70 through a 4×12 cabinet. This rig sounded HUGE..! My Tele sounded awesome through this amp. The low strings sounded like a piano with lots of clarity and note separation and plenty of punch. In 40 watt mode I believe you could use this amp in a club setting and not be too loud. Flip the switch to the 70 watt mode and then you could play outdoor stages with no problem. This would be another great amp where you would start with a really solid foundation and add pedals accordingly. Rock, blues and new country players will love this amp. Hey Brad Paisley…check this amp out for cryin’ out loud..!!
John is another super nice guy who will take the time to answer all your questions and was very giving of himself to everyone who stopped by his suite. You all may not know this but John is originally from…..New Jersey…..yesssss!!! Another Jersey boy….I love it..!! He grew up in the heyday of the Asbury Park music scene and draws a lot of his inspiration from those days. His amps are excellent and if you have the chance do yourself a favor and check one out….but I’m warning you do not try one without having your checkbook handy. You will want one after you play it….trust me..!!!
Well, that about wraps it up for the 2010 NY Amp Show (in NJ) sponsored by Loni Specter. As always I had an awesome time sampling all the goodies and talking with all the builders of their brand. All these guys are awesome and I’m always blown away by the fact that they all had an idea and worked it with passion and focus to bring us their special recipe for their products.
Thanks again to Loni Specter and all the builders for taking the time with me and my man Todd Hamilton. You guys rock and I will see you all at the LA Amp Show in October.