Looking for a micro-monster for Ember Studios
As you can see from the links on the right side of the Geartalk page, Ember Studios had a lot of killer gear, including amazing digital (Kemper Profiling Amplifier) and analog (Egnater) amps. One thing that Ember Studios doesn’t have a lot of, however, is space. Here’s why that matters: The KPA can cover everything from singing cleans to high gain incredibly well. I’ve got some amazing profiles of both my own and other people’s amps that are liquid and excellent. However, I do like the sheer pants-flapping-from-the-blast of a real nuclear high gain amp. I’ve owned a few of those in the past, but those 120W crazy beasts were just too much amp to really open up in a small studio. So I’m looking for something with that level of drive but at recording levels. Thankfully, Ember Studios isn’t in a bedroom, so I can open up a low wattage amp and get some real fire going, but it should be reasonable.
Right now, there are four I’m thinking of.
The first is the Hughes & Kettner Tubemeister. It’s got the advantage of having an extremely good speaker simulator for recording (a redesigned custom Red Box), and has great clean and rock tones. Not sure if it’s quite as super nuclear as I’m looking for, however.
And c’mon, how can you not love the blue LEDs?
At NAMM 2012 I heard the Rebel 30 HG, the Egnater Rebel 30 amp with a tweaked high gain channel. I love Egnater amps, the Rebel 30 is an amazing amp, and the new HG channel sounds even closer to crazy gain than the Rebel did before.
This amp is supposed to be out “real soon now”…
Orange may have started off (or at least popularized) the micro-amp craze with the Tiny Terror. And the latest in that series is the Jim Root #4 signature Terror, a Dark Terror voiced like Jim’s Orange Rockerverbs in the “Terror” lunchbox head. There are no great recordings of it, but I heard it at NAMM 2012 and it sounded better than the Dark Terror to me. Like the Egnater HG series, no idea when this will ship.
Finally, I’ve really been liking the Carvin V3M. It’s definitely got that nuclear gain thing going, it cleans up well, and it’s got LEDs to boot.
All these amps can be knocked down in Wattage to under 15W, which is imperative—I can get some real hair on a 15W amp, but I can’t really open up a 30W or more powerful amp in my space.
Do any readers have favorite high gain micro amps? What’s been working for you?