- Dan Boul explains the difference between Master Voltage and Master Volume
- How did 65amps come about?
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:
- First, Peter and Dan are experienced professional players first; engineers second.
- All of our products were designed to fit a need for specific professional players at the top levels. None of our amps were designed as a product or conceived as a marketing tool. They're real amps; therefore, you're getting the real thing.
- Why are 65amps special compared to amps from other manufacturers?
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!
- What is you design/build philosophy?
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.
- Where are 65amps made?
65amps are hand-wired, assembled, tech'd, boxed and shipped in North Hollywood, CA. and no where else!
- What amps do you copy?
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.
- How are your amp built on the inside and why do I care?
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.
- Do transformers really make THAT big of a difference?
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.
- Why do you combine Ceramic and Alnico Speakers?
To provide the most tonal "vocabulary" possible to the player. Each magnet has a unique pallet of tones and when combined, they tend to compliment each other very well and produce a sound that is more "hi-def".
- How does your cabinet construction differ from most and why do I care?
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:
- Finger joints done properly give the cabinet much greater strength and longevity. All of the great amps from the 50's and 60's (Fender, Marshall, Vox, etc) were finger jointed and that's why they're still around today. We want to keep our quality at that level or higher.
- Finger joints also give the cabinet a crisper, more detailed sound. With the rigid, strong joints there is less waffling of the wood in the cab and the speakers sound more articulate and responsive.
- Why have you chosen these components?
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.
- Who's using your amps?
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.
- Which amp is right for me?
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!
- Is 18watts loud enough?
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!
- Is 18 watts too loud?
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.
- Which attenuator would you recommend?
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.
- What are the measurements of your amps?
65amps Cabinet Dimensions:
Long Head (London & Marquee Club)
27 ¾ Long x 8 ½ Deep x 10 ½ Tall
Short Head (SoHo, Monterey, Royal Albert and '08 Londons and Marquees)
24 ¾ Long x 8 ½ Deep x 10 ½ Tall
210 Cab or Combo
25" Long x 10" Deep x 19 ¾ Tall
112 Cab or Combo
25" Long x 10" Deep x 19 ¾ Tall
212 Cab or Combo
27 ¾" Long x 10" Deep x 21 ½" tall
27 ¾ Long x 14" Deep x 28 ½ Tall
- Do you offer artist deals or give amps away?
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.
- Do you sell amps direct?
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!
- What's the truth about EF86's?
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.
- Why didn't you respond to my email?
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!
- I have more questions, how do I contact 65amps?
Call us at 818-760-5089, email us at the contact page, or set an appointment to come by the shop!
- Where can I play a 65?
At one of our dealers, please let us know where you live and we'll find a dealer with an amp in stock!
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