GibsonJ15

Read the July issue today!
more... GearAmpsTube ComboSound SamplesReviews65Amps6V6

65Amps Tupelo Combo Amp Review

A A
65Amps Tupelo Combo Amp Review


65Amps uses a combination of vintage American Allen Bradley carbon composite resistors and modern 1% Mil-spec metal film resistors in their circuitry. The carbon comp resistors are used in the tone path, while the more stable 1% Mil-spec metal film are used in areas that do not affect the tone as heavily. This creates a unusually repeatable and predictable formula that 65Amps says provides the best of vintage tone and modern stability and safety.  65amps purchased over 350,000 vintage Allen Bradley 5% Mil-spec resistors from the military and can build in this fashion for years.

The Smooth switch is labeled with a “+” and “–“ on either side of the switch. In the “+” position, it acts like a boost of some sort and added a nice edge to the sound while increasing the gain. Both positions sound great, and if you’d like a little smoother sound, you can switch to the “-“ position and take some of that edge off. I found this very useful for matching guitars to the Tupelo. In particular, my Strat liked the sound of the “-“ position when using the bridge pickup.

Let’s not forget the tremolo! The tremolo is engaged either with the included footswitch or using the Intensity knob. The trem has a unique sound and a depth that I’ve rarely encountered on an amp. With the Intensity set at full and the Speed at the lowest position, it produced a thick throbbing that was syrupy and gooey. Bringing the speed up and backing down the Intensity took the focus off the effect, resulting in a beautiful swirl and depth that added richness and texture to the tone. The effect was so addictive I found myself leaving it on almost all the time, including soloing. It’s that good.

The Les Paul wasn’t the only guitar that loved the Tupelo. Over the review period I ran a Hamer Korina Special through it with devastating results. The tone was so raw and edgy that it ended up being the star of a track on my upcoming CD. An Ephiphone Sheraton matched nicely with the amp and gave off shades of tones that I hadn’t heard come out of that particular guitar before. As much as I loved the dirty tone, it was the semi-clean, backed-off volume knob sound that blew me away and had me playing for hours. A Richmond Dorchester with Lace Alumitone pickups and a Bigsby produced a glassiness and class, and the combination of the tremolo and a little dip of the Bigsby was right out of a David Lynch film. This could very well be my favorite sounding guitar with the Tupelo for cleans and slide.

The amp’s passive effects loop worked flawlessly with a variety of pedals and effects I ran through it. While I don’t usually use effects loops these days, it did bring up the point that if one is designed well there’s no reason not to use one for time-based or other effects.

The Final Mojo
While a lot of amps these days can do a lot of different tones through channel-switching and FX, the beauty of the Tupelo lies in its seemingly simple design. Even though there are only a few knobs and switches, each one of them serves up a potent range and, most importantly, allows the guitar’s personality to shine through. Throughout the review process, I found sounds in guitars I’ve owned for years that never had been heard before—a truly remarkable feat. With enough power to play at a club or in the studio, coupled with a master voltage circuit to cut down the volume when necessary, I’d say 65Amps really nailed it—again! This one’s a keeper.
Buy if...
portable, versatile, big American tone is what you’re looking for
Skip if...
you need more power (what? You’re playing the Enormodome tonight?)
Rating...


MSRP $2395 - 65Amps - 65amps.com
A A

User Reviews And Comments

Your gear experience and opinions are valuable—and powerful. To maximize the usefulness of your review to fellow players, be as thorough as possible in describing your experiences and insights for every ratings category (Tones, Playability, Ease of Use, etc.). Regardless of your overall opinion on a piece of gear, please be respectful and courteous to companies and other reviewers.