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Topics - joecool85

Honey Amp / Honey Amp Covering the World
April 24, 2023, 03:00:32 PM
As we run low on stock of Honey Amp kits (currently no more kits with speakers, and limited PCB and PCB w/parts kits), I have taken the time to look through where these have shipped.  We have shipped kits to 12 countries, with 22 states in the USA being represented.  Not bad!

I'm currently gearing up for working on the second version, Honey B.

Thank you to everyone who has watched the videos, shared opinions, purchased kits, and built these fun little amps - it's been a blast!
Vox has released new versions of the popular MV50 (not technically solid state as it uses nutube technology, but close) as well as the new Brian May amPlug (completely solid state).  Both units claim to have the "Brian May sound" and from the clips I've heard, they deliver in spades.  Definitely worth a look if you are a Queen fan, or really anyone who loves the cranked AC30 sound.

MSRP for the MV40 is $249 USD while the amPlug comes in at just $59 USD.
Blackstar has released another amp in the Amped series, the Amped 3.  Boasting 3 channels, reverb, 100 watts of power, and more gain than either the original Amped 1 or Amped 2, this might be for you if you're looking for heavy tones powered completely from your board.

If you are a gigging musician, this could be for you.  Otherwise it may be out of your price range.  Preorder is currently available at $599 USD.
Laney has put together a new pedalboard amp featuring two channels and a boost circuit.  Dubbed the Ironheart Loudpedal, this new Laney amp provides 60 watts of power running through a shared three band EQ and the aforementioned two channels.

MSRP is $299 USD.
Positive Grid has released the Spark Go.  This is a 5 watt version of it's popular Spark Mini.  It swaps the knobs for a few push buttons, and drops to a single speaker configuration.  All of the usability is basically the same though, including USB recording output and all of the effects and amp models controlled from your mobile device as per usual for the Spark series.  It's also a whole lot cheaper coming in at only $149 USD.
Blackstar has released the new Debut 50R.  This is a 50 watt, 1x12" combo, two channel, practice and gigging amp.  They use mosfet design to give the amplifier "tube like" sound.  I'm not sure I would call it "tube like", but it does sound nice in the clips.

MSRP is $249 USD - not bad for what you're getting here!
Cor-Tek, current owner of DOD, has decided it would be a good idea to bring back some vintage gear.  Enter Tom Cram, inventor of the DOD 250 and a lot of other circuits, and here we are - the reissue!  The company claims they will be releasing as many as nine more old pedals.

Marshall has reissued their famous Guv'nor, Blues Breaker, Drivemaster and Shredmaster pedals.  These pedals are notable for me due to the Gov'nor's ability to run as an effective preamp in front of any solid state power amp stage.  The others are well-loved though and definitely deserve a solid look.

Street price is $249.99 USD for the Marshall pedals and a more modest $109.99 for the DOD 250.
Less than 6 months after releasing the AMPED 1, Blackstar has released the AMPED 2.  Like it's predecessor, the AMPED 2 features a 100w power amp to drive your speaker cab loud enough for gigging.  You can flip the attenuator switch and bring things down to bedroom level with ease though, which is quite fantastic.

Honestly, the sounds are pretty impressive.  The price is either a bargain or a total ripoff, depending on which side of the aisle you stand on.  Current MSRP is $649 USD.

PMTVUK does a great rundown:

MusicRadar release article:
Boss has released the Katana 50 MkII EX, Katana Artist MkII Head, and the Katana Waza 2x12 cab.

Boss Katana gear is widely accepted as amazing, and I'm sure this will be no different.  Pricing for the US has not been released yet.
Honey Amp / Honey Amp - The tone stack
November 23, 2022, 12:20:35 PM
The Honey Amp's tone stack is a modified BMP tone stack that was carefully adjusted to match the frequency sweep as closely as possible to the original Vox AC30 Top Boost circuit.  This gives a pronounced mid frequency dip throughout the sweep, while still being able to raise bass and lower treble, or lower bass and raise treble.  With the knob in the center position on the Honey Amp it is similar to a Vox with the Treble cranked and the Bass at roughly 7/10.  With the knob all the way counter clockwise, it is similar to the Vox at noon on both knobs (most folks don't turn down past this anyway from what I understand).  Lastly, with the tone on the Honey Amp turned fully clockwise, it resembles a Vox pretty much cranked on both knobs, and also with a treble booster in front.

Using the excellent "TSC in the web" calculator, you can see this live:

Honey Amp BMP:


This circuit is meant to be customized, changed, tweaked, and modified which is why I am sharing this information here.  If you find values that suit your taste better, please share, we're always interested in new changes!

As for me, I think I may "soften" the treble side of things for the next version of the circuit.
I'm looking for new stories for this section and just happen to have some prototype SSGuitar name plates that need a home.  The first five people to send me a news story that isn't already in this section, but should be, I'll send you one of the prototype PCB name plates and a couple SSGuitar stickers, completely free.

Make sure to send your submissions to and include "SSGuitar News" in the subject line.

For a point of reference, here are the final product name plates:

The prototypes do not look like the final product, but are in that same kind of concept and similar in size etc.
Acoustic Amplification has released a new sub-brand, Gamma.  Launching the new brand are the G25 and G50 guitar amplifiers.  They both have 2 channels, with the second channel featuring four selectable gain settings.  Both amplifiers use all new Gamma True Blue series speakers with the G25 sporting a 10" and the G50 a 12".  Other than speaker size and wattage (G25 is 25 watts and G50 is 50 watts), the amps are identical.  Both amps also include 1/8" stereo aux input, bluetooth input, and 1/4" footswitch at the rear (footswitch sold separately).

So, are these the analog amps we've all been looking for?  For me, it's close in many ways.  I love that they put so much engineering time into the speakers and overall quality of the amps.  I also love the simplicity.  Honestly though, I would prefer to get rid of the 4 voices and choose one (probably rock) to keep that part simple.  I would also recommend having an effects loop at the rear and/or including on-board reverb.

Still, with an MSRP of $139 and $199 USD for the G25 and G50 respectively, it is a whole lot of amp for the money.

*Photo credit
NUX has released the MG-400 modelling amp and interface.  It can also function as a looper, drum machine, and custom display.  If you're interested in software amps, this may well be the least expensive way to get in over your head with options.

MSRP of EUR 239 (about $235 USD)
Anyone that knows me, knows that I am all about keeping things simple - sometimes to the point of obsession.  This doesn't mean that the end result is simple, just the interface.  Catalinbread nails this ethos with the new Elements pedals.  One knob, all tone.  It's dialed in to make killer sound, you just adjust the level and play.

There are three pedals in the series; Distortion, Fuzz, and Overdrive.

MSRP comes in at $150 USD.  Take a look and a listen and see what you think for yourself - I think I like them.
We've all wondered where good guitar tone comes from.  Several forum members here, phatt, JMFahey - I'm looking at you, have said for years that it all comes down to EQ.  It turns out, this seems to be the case.  Jim Lill has started a series of "where does tone come from" videos and they are must watch videos.

Here are the two most relevant ones to this forum so far:

Jim's YouTube channel:
Blackstar has thrown their hat in the ring for best solid state pedalboard power amp with the AMPED 1.  With 3 voicings, 6 "response" settings, 3 band eq, and built in reverb, this isn't a straight-forward power amp, or a modeling amp per-se, but rather somewhere in between.

100 watts of power, 8 ohm and 16 ohm compatible, on-board power reduction feature, and loads of connectivity available for output (speaker, headphones/line out, USB, XLR).  It also features two 9v output jacks to power pedals up to 500ma.

With an MSRP of $499 USD, it isn't exactly cheap, but it isn't boutique pricing either.
Fender has released a new addition to the Tone Master line, the new Tone Master Princeton Reverb.  For those that don't know, Tone Master is the moniker Fender is using for it's DSP amps that have a single model without any digitized options available.  The amps have analog controls on the outside and look almost identical to the amps they are built to model.  The concept is that you get the same looks, sound, and playing feel as a tube amp, but none of the weight, parts availability issues, and cost.  Take a look and a listen over at Guitar World.

MSRP is $899 USD and it looks like they are starting to be available already.
Late to the party, but still here - we've found four new amps that were released during NAMM 2022.

Blackstar - Jared James Nichols mini amp (customized Fly 3):

Fender - Frontman 20G (Basically like the old Frontman 25R but without reverb and using an 8" speaker instead of 10"):

Line 6 - Catalyst series (New and upgraded versions):

Yamaha - THR30II (10th anniversary models in special colors):
Long known for their high gain tube amplifiers, Soldano has decided to dip their toe into the solid state arena with their new amp, the SLO-Mini 30.  The SLO-Mini 30 is a small 30w head, with two channels and an absurd amount of gain.  Priced at $249 USD it is also (by far) the least expensive Soldano unit.  Well worth watching the video!
While they may be a little late to the game, Hughes and Kettner has released a new pedalboard amp - the StompMan.  Offering 50 watts of solid state power, it features two channels (normal and solo boost) as well as an effects loop with bypass footswitch.  Master, Sagging, Gain, Presence, Resonance, and Tone round out the 6 control settings on the front, with a solo volume control at the top.

Street price is $239 USD right now, with RRP being $199.