The Latest from Louisiana

I’ve always been an admirer of Komet amps. They sound fantastic and the innards are a work of art.
Since I’m just back from Mardi Gras I decide to share something else from Louisiana or more specifically Baton Rouge.
This is the Komet Areo 33. I really like the clean tones that start at about 4:50.

Old Fender Deluxes

If you have any interest at all in old Fender Deluxe amps you need to check out this video. While there are similarities to the amps they also all have their own personalities. Fender made changes over the years to the amps, probably most notably to the phase inverter. If you don’t know what a phase inverter is don’t worry. You can still listen in and pick your favorite. It might not be the most popular 5E3 but then again, it might be…

When Your Pickup Height is Just Not Right

I was recently doing some recording with my stratocaster and was not getting good results. I was tweaking an amplifier at this time but after trying another guitar I found that my strat was just not sounding good.

I also have a Les Paul which is a VERY loud guitar. When playing the strat and Les Paul back to back I found the strat was almost louder than the Les Paul but not sounding very good. The strat is actually a guitar I put together from parts but they were all good stuff. It has a mahogany body and maple neck with a rosewood fingerboard.

The volume comparison with the Les Paul is what pointed me in the correct direction to improve the start’s tone. I had the pickups too high. You can get a good amount of output with the pickups close to the stings but the tone suffers. It sounded muddy and cheap. Pickup height is also hard to judge because all pickups are different. You can’t just look at the distance on another guitar and copy it. It really comes down to experimenting and using your ear.

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.