||Download Example 1
Clean - Toggling through each of the channel pre-gain voicing profiles: Bloom, Brite, and Spank. Power - 30W, Boost Off. Slash Les Paul, both pups.
||Download Example 2
Fat Mode. Power - 30W, Boost Off. Fender VG Strat, middle pickup.
||Download Example 3
High Gain - Crisp Mode. Power - 18W, Boost On. Schecter Solo-6, bridge pickup.
||Download Example 4
Reverb - Spank Mode. Power - 18W, Boost On. Fender VG Strat, bridge & middle pups.
||Download Example 5
Rock - Fat Mode. Power - 18W, Boost On. PRS Starla X, bridge pickup.
||Download Example 6
Smooth Mode. Power - 30W. Boost Off. Fender VG Strat, neck pickup.
|All clips recorded directly into the Fryette amp (guitar specific to clip) mic'ed with a Shure SM57 into Digidesign Pro Tools
Most fans of VHT amplifiers know Steven
Fryette founded that company two decades
ago. But while the amp designer is now
building gear under his own name with
Fryette Amplification, he’s building on the
same legacy. The excellent build quality and
killer sounds linked to Fryette’s past work are
in full evidence in his current products, and
many players praise his creations, including
the Sig: X, Deliverance, and Pittbull amps.
The newest model from Fryette Amplification
is the Memphis Thirty. A two-channel, class
A, EL84-equipped 1x12 combo, this 30-watt
amp is packed with features and is easy and
intuitive to operate.
The Big Picture
The Memphis Thirty’s two channels—Drive
and Clean—sport independent passive Treble,
Middle, and Bass tone controls and a Volume
control. The Drive channel also has a Gain knob.
The amp features a master Reverb control for
the custom, tube-driven, three-spring reverb
tank, a series/parallel effects loop with level
control and true bypass, a line-out jack, 16-ohm
and parallel 8- or 4-ohm external speaker jacks,
and a proprietary 12" Eminence speaker.
Each channel has a Power Shift switch for
30- or 18-watt operation. Using the amp’s
footswitchable channel-select feature, you
can not only toggle between the Drive and
Clean channels, but also switch output wattage.
And the Memphis Thirty is self-biasing,
so the power tubes stay happy regardless of
the output setting.
The output selection affects response, as
well as loudness. In 30-watt mode, there is
a little more clarity in the tone, with a bold,
lower midrange and fast attack. With its
lower operating voltage, the 18-watt setting
smoothes out the response of the power
tubes, resulting in a sweeter, rounder sound
and slower attack.
Both Drive and Clean channels offer a selectable
voicing feature. Using a pair of threeway
switches on the front panel, you can
choose between Smooth, Crisp, or Fat voicings
in the Drive channel, and Bloom, Brite,
or Spank voicings in the Clean channel.
Dialing in the Dirt
I wasted no time plugging in my Les Paul and
firing up the Memphis Thirty. I usually call up an
amp’s high-gain channel first for some instant
gratification, and the Memphis Thirty didn’t
disappoint. After selecting the Fat voicing and
cranking up the gain, I was welcomed with a
heavily distorted rock tone that was just on
the border of high-gain metal. This amp can
get loud. Even at only 2 or 3, the volume was
enough to shake the ceiling tiles. I was amazed
at the Gain control’s sensitivity. From a crunchy,
classic rock tone to a dirtier blues-rock wail
to a metal grind, the Memphis Thirty seemed
capable of handling it all with no problems. The
gain remained clear and punchy through all the
tweaking of EQ and voicing modes, and the
sound never got flabby or muddy.