Fans of the discontinued Reverend Kingsnake will be delighted to hear that Jon Cusack is bringing back the amp under the Cusack badge. “Since we build pedals,” Cusack explains, “we were in the process of designing an amplifier specifically to use with pedalboards. We wanted a loud, clean, lightweight amp with lots of headroom. When we found out the Reverend designs were for sale, we realized they were exactly what we wanted to build anyway, so it made sense for us to purchase the rights to the designs and trade names.”
The Cusack Kingsnake is an all tube, single-channel, 60-watt amp with four 12AX7s and two 6L6s, spring reverb, and an effects loop. All Kingsnake amps and cabinets are available in dark-red snakeskin or black Tolex and the chassis is available in black or yellow. Cabinets are made from lightweight 3/4" aspen with 3/4" Baltic birch plywood baffle boards.
“We wanted to address any problems as part of the Kingsnake reissue,” explains Cusack, “so we researched the original amps and people’s experiences with them. We found that although the original version sounded great, some players were afraid to gig with it due to its construction. There were also concerns about transformer reliability. We worked with Heyboer Transformers to design an equivalent to the original Chinese transformer, while increasing the reliability and overhead of both the power and output transformers. Our concept is to produce a more rugged version of the original that’s constructed mostly with USA parts. This Kingsnake is built to stand up to touring and offer ease of servicing. PCBs are all two-sided with plated-through holes for reliability. Not only is the amp assembled in Holland, Michigan, but all the PCBs are built-in house as are the cabinets. The chassis, silkscreening, and some of the wire harnesses are built by West Michigan vendors. The rest of the wiring is built and installed in-house.”
The Kingsnake combo lists for $1399 and comes stock with an Eminence Man O War. Priced at $1199, the Kingsnake head includes reverb. Cusack’s 1x12 cabinet ($479) comes with an Eminence Man O War, and the 2x12 cabinet ($599) has a pair of Eminence Private Jacks.