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.