Monday, June 2, 2008

Small Amps/Wife Attack/High Speed Internet

I just bought this sweet tiny 1961 Gretch amp from my friend Pete Kipley. I’ve been meaning to write an article on amps (which I will do later when I have all my amps out). But in the mean time I was pretty excited about this thing.


There is the façade in America that “bigger” is “better.” In the case of music and instruments, this is seldom the case. An amp like the one I just bought is sometimes key to the Brit Rock sound on any great recording. I’ve been looking for an amp like this for a long time. Everyone is trying to get that cool U2/Coldplay sound. That sound is the result of class A tube amps like AC30s and such. Lower wattage amps give you that sweet break-up at optimum volumes. A more focused and characterized sound comes from the smaller amps, not the huge Marshalls and Mesa Boogies. The Gretch I just got has a tiny 8-inch speaker. You’d be amazed at how an amp like this records. It looks small, but when recorded it can really hit you in the face. The parts seem to fit in the mix better than a bigger amp that tends to get boomy and muddy. The only time I lean towards a bigger cabinet like a Marshal 4x12 or Mesa is to make some huge rocking distorted wall of guitars in the chorus of a song, never in some solo or riff that I want to have clarity, definition, and character.


While my wife and I were packing up the house, I crossed the line with teasing her. She responded randomly by taking the grape she had in her hand and mashed it into my shirt (just below the shoulder blade) with her thumb. Just like Mr. Miagi from the Karate Kid talked about. “Get squashed, like grape…”


I got my internet service hooked up for my new house. When I was talking to the cable service guy, he informed me (with a heavy Zoro Spanish accent) that the 1.5 speed DSL that I have been using is only 1½ percent the speed that they are using in Japan (currently 100)! After enlightening me with this esteem building truth, he starts laughing at me. I’m not exaggerating, he was laughing over the phone! A new sales technique that inspires upgrades I guess. Laugh til the client buys higher cable speed.

Those dang Japanese have to be better at everything. While I’m sitting here waiting for my email to download, they are downloading multiple HD movies. Ok, so when it comes to megabites per second maybe bigger IS better.


minipinto said...

Can't say I know much about amps- I don't play guitar. But I think my friend should read this. He's one of those that thinks bigger is always better. Thanks for the useful amp-info :-)

stever said...

great picture...but what kind is it! it looks very new, is it a reissue or vintage? i am eagerly looking fwd to your amp post. i just got a new one too...a hot-rodded vox AC15.