Author Archives: thomas

What’s in the Box

I recently came across the JHS Little Black Amp Box.

It’s a little box that goes in an amp’s effects loop and promises cranked tube tone at lower volume. From what I can tell it’s just a box with a volume knob in it. So, basically, it would act as a master volume. If your amp already has a master volume it’s probably not needed but if you have an effects loop and no master volume this could be useful.

EF86 Vox AC15

I’ve recently become interested in guitar amps that use a pentode input stage. Compared to a triode, such as a 12AX7, a pentode usually will have much more gain but the drawback is they can be noisy.
What I’v noticed is the pentodes seem to lend themselves to playing full guitar chords. Where an overdriven 12AX7 seem to work well with 5ths, a pentode handles more complex chords better to my ear. I believe it has to do with the even order harmonics that pentodes produce so well.

Here is a demo of an AC15 that has a nice comparison of the EF86 pentode channel and the top boost channel that uses more traditional 12AX7s.

The new old amp from Epiphone

The Epiphone “1939” Century Amplifier is a modern 18 watt amp in a cabinet that looks like an old 30s amp or maybe an old radio.

Here’s Epiphone’s promo video…

I have to say I’m not completely blown away by the sounds in this video. I would have been more impressed if they had really tried to replicate the tones of an amp built in 1939. Of course they couldn’t build something completely faithful to the era due to most of the tubes not being available any more but I would have preferred something a little more vintage sounding.