For the last few years, Loni Specter’s New York Amp
Show has been one of the best
spots for guitar nuts in the East
to check out a wide assortment
of boutique amp unveilings in
a single location. Previously,
the ambitiously named event
has been held at a less-than-cosmopolitan corporate park
in Piscataway, New Jersey, but
for the 2012 show held June
2–3, Spector moved the amp
extravaganza to the Embassy
Suites Hotel in Secaucus, New
Jersey—a lot closer to the city
(four miles to be exact).
While not quite as chic
as, say, the Gansevoort Hotel
in Manhattan’s Meatpacking
District, the new venue was a
lot more accessible and accommodating than the previous
one: There’s a Starbucks within
walking distance (as opposed to
the half-hour drive for a decent
cup of Joe in Piscataway), and
that’s the spot where a group
of bleary-eyed, gigbag-carrying
amp-o-holics eagerly convened
about an hour before the show
opened. It was there that a
loquacious fellow kept me
entertained with gushing tales
of the Ark amp he remembered
from a previous show.
To his chagrin, however,
Ark wasn’t there this year.
As with each New York Amp
Show, some vendors returned
while others were MIA. But
though this year’s show
was noticeably quieter
than previous outings,
there was still a vibrant
cast of fresh faces, upstarts,
and veteran builders, all
proudly displaying their
Dumble clones to new
takes on Marshall, Vox,
and Fender recipes, and
amps. Following are some
of the show’s highlights.
The go-to Eastern show for boutique-amp
aficionados goes to a new, more convenient
locale and sees several companies serving
up cool new offerings.
STORY AND PHOTOS BY JOE CHARUPAKORN
Richard Goodsell’s new Dickiebyrd line (a typically tongue-in-cheek nod to his first name
and middle name) debuted at the New York
Amp Show. The flagship Thunderball ($999
street) is inspired by the Supro Thunderbolt
but can run any power tube or rectifier.
Carol-Ann Amps’ new 3-channel Trip-R
(approx. $2,800 street) features the
same tonal mojo as the company’s
Triptik model only at lower wattages.
The cathode-biased amp pumps out 25
watts with EL34s or 17 watts with 6V6s.