65amps came about by chance. 65amps was the product of Sheryl Crow's guitarist, Peter Stroud, needing to find a low powered solution for Sheryl's low stage volumes.
With in-ear monitors getting better and better, many artists are striving for lower and lower stage volumes to allow for vocals to be and clean as possible on stage. This push creates the need for a low-powered solution that still sounds as rich and complex and larger tube amps.
Peter and long-time friend Dan Boul came up with an amp that would be robust enough for his gig with Sheryl Crow and from there, the requests for more amps started coming in from all over. Within a few months of creating the first amp, more than 25 artists had requested one for themselves. 65amps was born out of necessity.
65 is unique in a few ways:
65amps were not conceived as products, so every part, every decision about components and build were made to create the best possible amp; design decisions were not based on economics or marketing angles. We evolve our circuits to a point beyond the same 10 circuits that everyone bases their amps on and takes them to a point of greatly increased vocabulary. This gives the player many more tones, sounds, and options.
We try to combine useful families of tones uniquely into one amp so that our amps are not "one trick ponies". Most find that all 65amps are unusually versatile and robust.
We spend an inordinate amount of time and money creating optimized transformers with Mercury Magnetics. We only use the highest quality components and build-quality for our transformer sets. This is an element of amp building that cannot be compensated for; transformers are the heart of the amplifier. It's add a lot of expense, but it's well worth it!
No compromises, inside and out. Since we have the luxury of looking back at more than 50 years of good guitar amp building, it's easy to see where mistakes and compromises were made that proved either costly or disastrous for manufacturers.
65amps are hand-wired, assembled, tech'd, boxed and shipped in North Hollywood, CA. and no where else!
None, copying amps is a myth. Copying a circuit alone will not recreate and old amp; the components (especially transformers) are way too different. "Cloning" is not realistic. We try to emulate the behavior from some of our favorite old amps, but then we try to apply what would have been the "natural evolution" of old amp styles. This creates all the fun of old amps with a much enhanced vocabulary.
65amps are built by hand using "mil-spec" wiring techniques that insure a consistent and reliable build for each amp.
We also use the very best performing components in every position of the circuit. We've gone through countless iterations and combinations of components in specific locations in our circuits. This allows us to deliver consistent, top-performing amplifiers without the normal variance experienced with Hand-wired amps.
YES! And YES again! Hand wound transformers with high-quality materials allow us to create complex transformers that allow your entire guitar to come out. Machine wound transformers have severe limitations on what can be accomplished.
Transformers are the most expensive part of a guitar amplifier and therefore where almost all companies, boutique and otherwise, tend to cut corners. But this is one area where compromises will show the most. All of the old classic amps used hand-wound transformers with very complex winds and top-quality materials. There's no way around it; the transformers are the heart of the amplifier.
We use void-free Baltic Birch cabs that are finger jointed. This a more expensive way to build cabs, but well worth it for the benefits of this type of construction.
Finger jointing has a couple of benefits; one practical, one tonal:
Everything inside a 65 was chosen for one reason and one reason only; performance. Every component in every position of our amps is there for a reason; to make the amp perform at its highest potential.
65's have been widely adopted. You'll find us on over 20 major tours every year. You'll find us in heavy use in some of the largest studios by the biggest producers in the business. You'll also see us on the rig of biggest studio players in Los Angeles, Nashville and New York. And you'll see us in nightclubs all around the world.
Give us a call and we'll talk for a few minutes and figure out together which amp will fit your needs. Or you can email us anytime and we'll always be glad to help answering any questions you may have!
It certainly can be. We have many artists on major tours and big stages who find 18watts to be plenty when they have good monitors. Our amps are very efficient due to the nature of our high-end hand-wound transformers. You'll be pleasantly surprised how loud our low-powered amps can be!
Maybe for home use or ultra-small clubs. If you feel that 18watts might be too loud for your purpose, try one of our amps with our "reductive master" (SoHo or Monterey). Our master volume emulates the tonal response of a big amp only at low volumes.
Attenuators will change the way the amp sounds and reacts. There's no way to perfectly recreate the sound of an amp pushing a lot of air. If you are interested in attenuators, we would highly recommend you try one of our amps with our "reductive master" first. If that doesn't work, buy the best attenuator you can afford. There are all very different.
65amps Cabinet Dimensions:
We do offer a generous Artist program, but we have never given an amp away. All of our artists have paid for their amps and if they didn't let us use their name, we charged them full price.
Unfortunately no, only through our dealers. We do some direct deals with artists only. But we have dealers in almost every major market in North America and Europe, so it shouldn't be hard to find an amp!
EF86's are Pentodes and they tend to pick up every vibration that comes their way. In a combo amp, they can always be slightly microphonic, but it's usually not noticeable when playing, only when plinking on the guitar alone.
The tonal tradeoff for this sensitivity is, in most people's estimation, well worth it. The EF86 has a tonal range and complex distortion that are very interesting and pleasing!
EF86's are in production again and easy to come by so there's no concerns about replacing noisy tubes.
We are often buried with correspondence and sometimes messages get missed. Please keep trying and don't think that we're avoiding you; we're just very busy usually, but we DO want to talk to you!
Call us at 818-760-5089, email us at the contact page, or set an appointment to come by the shop!