used with the Strat. Through this pedal
with the Les Paul, the classic British rock
tones—Bad Company and Zeppelin—were
readily available. When I switched to the
higher gain Marshall Guv’nor pedal and
the Strat, I found that David Gilmour tones
and even a bit of Yngwie on the neck
pickup were no problem. With the Les
Paul and the Guv’nor I found Gary Moore
and Neil Schon type of sounds (I should
mention here the volume was set at about
9, and the tone about 7).
I have to say that for heavier rock tones,
you will need to use a pedal. The Strat-blues SRV thing is really no problem with
this amp paired with any type of Tube
Screamer. I was surprised at the volume the
amp produces. This is probably the result
of the two 12” speakers stacked vertically,
as well as the cabinet design. The guitars
cleaned up to pristine clean when their volumes were reduced, making it a very usable
unit for those comfortable with controlling
it this way. The Simple amp has a wonderful warm tone and texture to its sound,
which is fairly hard to come by these days.
I noticed exceptional touch sensitivity to
the amp, and it responded well to different
types of picking techniques.
The tone control on the amp was very wide
ranging, going from very dark to some
pretty screaming highs. On the high end
the amp seems to have more gain, but even
with the amp cranked and the Tone knob
turned all the way treble side, the top end
was not harsh. It was very easy to dial this
control in to just the right amount of brightness. The dual rectifier tubes in this amp
should not be confused with the similar
specs of other brands. In this application
they are there to provide just the right
amount of sag to the power supply. I think
this is probably the reason for the exceptional touch sensitivity of the amp.
The Final Mojo
I found the Simple Amps model 6VA to be
an excellent amp for players who are comfortable with controlling their tones from
their guitar. It may not be the best choice
for players who are used to the staggering
gain and sustain of Boogies and Bogners
and the like. This amp is not in my opinion,
a competitor to those types of amps. It
does, however, produce tones that would
be difficult to get from the modern high-gain amp. Old school players will love it.
It is well built, and even though it is larger
than most amps of its type, it is worth the
effort to transport.
you’re looking for a great, simple amp with clean/dirty sounds
you can control from your guitar’s volume.
you’re looking for a lightweight
amp, or prefer the massive overdrive of a modern high-gain amp.
Head online to share your
comments and ratings at
Street $2650 (head);
$1150 (cabinet, as tested)
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highs to vocal-like,
you there and
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