Just in time for Summer (for all of us Northern Hemisphere folks anyway), I’m happy to announce the first two packs in my “6-Pack Series,” the SMOOTH and CRUNCHY packs. I had amassed quite the handful of profiles and as I was culling through them, I realized they fell mostly into two basic categories, blackface CA amps and British overdrive amps. I thought it would just be too big to stick them all in one pack so I separated them and turns out there were 6 amps in each group so I went with the 6-pack theme. That way I didn’t have to cut them down any further to keep tonal variation at a maximum and if there were customers that only wanted the fender-y ones or the marshall-y type profiles then they wouldn’t be forced to get the whole shebang.
The SMOOTH PACK covers a lot of ground from cleans to lead tones and there are 4 pre-made Performances that showcase what they sound like with some more-than-necessary fx. I try to keep the basic profiles dry so they can be compared on their gain merits before adding appropriate fx. But the performances I get a little create with so that you can envision what they will sound like in practice. The amps featured in this pack are: 63 BMaster, 65 TwinVerb, 79 TwinVerb, 69 ProVerb, MeBo MKIII, and a Nashville boutique amp I dubbed Big River (that’s English for Rio Grande, which is a hint at the name). These amps have been some of my go-to profiles in our Lonestar live show for the past 6 months or so as I try to incorporate and test rigs in a live environment. The BMaster was in heavy rotation and then the 79 Twin made a few appearances, and lately the MeBo has been a ton of fun and is in regular rotation for my live song performance rigs.
The CRUNCHY PACK begins at the flagship of rock & roll guitar, the plexi. The latest incarnation of the plexi was the Mars SP20 (technically SV20H), which is a 20w amp similar to its 50/100 big brother from the late 60’s. It carries some of the same DNA and despite its lower wattage, it is plenty loud and has the great midrange grind it’s known for. After that, it goes to modifications. From Eddie himself and his throwback amp, the Icon, which harkens back to his Mississippi amp days and his first sig model, although with some minor tweaks. The onboard reverb won’t set the world on fire, but it is certainly nice to have when plugging straight in. The half power feature and master volumes make this amp usable at any level and has tons of gain on tap. The next 4 are amps that used mods to take the plexi circuit to new (gain) levels: Freed SS100, BlankPlex, So-Dano 30, and Bog 3534. All of these have more than enough gain on tap and typify the creamy lead tones of modded mars amps since the 80’s. The Performances include some song-inspired tones and a few of my own silly creations for fun.
I’m looking forward to doing more 6-packs in the future as I get my hands on new amps. Enjoy!