Northfield, IL (July 25, 2016) -- Schroeder Amplification announced the availability of its SA9+, SA9-REC, and Formula 20 guitar amplifier heads, three new vacuum tube amps that combine traditional guitar amplifier design with audiophile-grade internal parts. Schroeder’s distinct approach of using ultimate-quality components usually found only in high-end audio products is evident in the new amplifiers’ full frequency response, exceptional touch sensitivity and ability to go from crystalline clarity to richly saturated, harmonically complex overdrive.

The SA9+ is a high-headroom, 40-watt amp that delivers clean sustain, clarity and chime. The SA9+ employs two Tung-Sol KT66 power tubes and its instant power delivery rewards players who have a dynamic touch. Its smooth, relaxed tone and effortless response make the SA9+ ideal for musicians who want to hear every nuance of their playing. In addition to clean and heavily effected electric guitar, the SA9+ excels at amplifying steel-string and nylon-string acoustic guitars, pedal steel and (moderate-volume) electric and upright bass.

The SA9-REC 20-watt amp head is designed for recording and live performance situations where a more moderately powered amplifier is ideal. The amp was developed with input from members of Wilco who wanted the same sound and feel they heard on stage from previous SA Series amplifiers but at recording and even “whisper” volumes. The SA9-REC. features two 6V6GT power tubes for classic low-watt- amp power tube sweetness and overdrive and is perfect for studios, smaller clubs and players who like to turn up their amps for natural tube distortion.

The Formula 20 lets players ride the sonic edge between a shimmering clean tone and full-on overdriven grind simply by varying their pick or finger attack. This ultra-responsive 20-watt 6V6GT-based amp delivers the harmonic “bark” of classic British amp stacks and then some and is the result of more than 12 years of refinement and tweaking.

“Our amplifiers are the only ones that take this ‘guitar amplifier meets high-end audio’ approach,” said Tim Schroeder, president of Schroeder Amplification. “High-end audio manufacturers have long known that premium components are essential for ultimate musical performance, but this hasn’t been common in guitar amplifiers. We’ve found that audiophile components excel at preserving musical detail and they’re key to our guitar amp design philosophy.”

The SA9+, SA9-REC and Formula 20 utilize components from audiophile parts manufacturers including Audience, Cardas, PEC and others. The amps feature high-purity Ohno and Litz-coated oxygen-free copper internal wiring, which will not absorb airborne moisture, oxidize or degrade the signal over time. This type of wire needs to be pre-cut to length and tinned with 900-degree solder, which is much more labor-intensive than using standard wiring but the sonic improvement is not subtle.

Transformers (which increase or decrease the AC wall voltage into the voltages required for guitar amp circuits) play a major part in an amp’s sound quality. The SA9+, SA9-REC and Formula 20 employ custom power, output and choke transformers borne from the fruits of Schroeder’s decades-long relationship with top-quality transformer maker Mercury Magnetics. Each is custom-wound for its application for a tight, transparent low end, silky highs and reduced “sag,” which can happen when high power demands are placed on an amp and it can’t deliver an instantaneous response to the player’s touch.

Other refinements include cryogenically treated components in specific areas to improve sonic transparency, a very “fast” solid-state rectifier circuit (the rectifier converts AC into the DC used in guitar amp circuits) for tighter touch-sensitivity and less sag, extensive power supply filtering for quiet operation with notes and chords emerging from a “black” background, hand-selected Tung-Sol and Sovtek vacuum tubes, PEC potentiometers and many additional refinements. Each amp is personally built in the USA by Tim Schroeder to road-tough professional standards with 1/8-inch welded and powder coated chassis, heavy-duty enclosures and metal rear-panel grilles.

“Every one of our amps is the product of countless hours of listening to component choices, tweaking voltages in specific circuit sections, testing both tried-and- true and novel approaches and evaluating the amps in real-world live and studio situations,” Schroeder noted. “It’s a complex and delicate balancing act – but when you get it right, that’s where the magic is.”

Key Features and Specifications

SA9+

  • Volume, Treble, Mid Slope, Middle, Bass and Presence controls and 3-way Bright switch
  • 40 watts (before the onset of distortion; amp is designed to be played overdriven as well as clean)
  • Tube complement: (1) Tung-Sol 6SL7, (2) Sovtek 12AX7LPS, (2) Tung-Sol KT66
  • Newly-designed output transformer with additional taps; selectable 4, 8 or 16 ohms output impedance
  • Ideal for both clean and heavily-effected electric guitar, moderate-volume electric and upright bass, amplified steel- and nylon-string acoustic guitars and pedal steel guitar
  • Dimensions: 10-5/8" H x 21" W x 11-3/8" D

SA9-REC

  • Volume, Treble, Mid Slope, Middle, Bass and Presence controls and 3-way Bright switch
  • 20 watts (before the onset of distortion; amp is designed to be played overdriven as well as clean)
  • Record Out output for connecting the amp directly to a recording device or slave amp
  • Tube complement: (1) Tung-Sol 6SL7, (2) Sovtek 12AX7LPS, (2) Tung-Sol or JJ 6V6GT
  • Dimensions: 10-5/8" H x 21" W x 11-3/8" D

Formula 20

  • Pre, Treble, Middle, Bass, Master, Presence controls and 3-way Bright switch
  • 20 watts (before the onset of distortion; amp is designed to be played overdriven as well as clean)
  • Tube complement: (3) Sovtek 12AX7LPS, (2) Tung-Sol or JJ 6V6GT
  • Dimensions: 10-5/8" H x 21" W x 11-3/8" D

The Schroeder SA9+, SA9-REC and Formula 20 are currently available at suggested retail prices of $3,950, $3,850 and $3,800 respectively. All are available in Red, Black, Cocoa or Blonde Tolex finishes.

For more information:
Schroeder Amplification