|Download Example 1
2008 Fender Strat with Sheptone pickups. Various pickup positions.
Komet 19 controls - Volume: 2 o’clock, Saturation: 10 o’clock, Tone: 11 o’clock. Bright Switch: off (center position)
|Download Example 2
2003 Les Paul R8 (Murphy) with Fralin P90 in the neck.
Komet 19 controls - Volume: 1 o’clock, Saturation: 11 o’clock, Tone: 12 o’clock, Bright Switch: down (position 1)
|Download Example 3
Reissue Danelectro 59 with stock pickups. Using neck pickup.
Komet 19 controls - Volume: 10 o’clock, Saturation: 1 o’clock, Tone: 12 o’clock, Bright Switch: down (position 1)
|Clips recorded with Pro Tools HD3, Chandler LTD-1 preamp, SM57 (Mercenary Edition) 1” from center of cone. Speaker cab is a Krank closed-back poplar 1x12 with mid-'70s tan Celestion 25. A small amount of Altiverb on all clips.|
Pulling the chassis out of the head box revealed some pretty astonishing workmanship. I was expecting to see a neatly wired turret board on par with most high-end modern amps, but instead the entire assembly is literally point-to-point construction: the components are directly mounted to the pots, jacks and tube sockets. There is no circuit board at all, which makes it clear that the folks at Komet spent a great deal of attention on the layout and design. It’s really a work of art.
Are you the little guy making that big noise?
Even though 19 watts doesn’t sound like that much power, it actually can produce a lot more volume that most people expect. Since the Komet 19 lacks a Master Volume, I contacted Komet and asked for a little background on their design philosophy to better understand what they were trying to achieve. According to Michael Kennedy and Holger Notzel, “Komet makes amps that are intended for live use. The amp must be capable of delivering a full range of tones from clean to singing leads, all controllable from the guitar via guitar volume control settings and pick attack, in a band setting. Master volume controls can be useful in achieving one (overdriven) sound at a given volume level, but they limit the highly dynamic interaction between guitar and amp that we strive for. Master volume amps just don’t clean up as well from the guitar, and when they do the clean volume is too low. In limiting the amount of drive delivered from the preamp to the power amp, the distortion now has to be created inthe preamp, with the power tubes mostly just amplifying that signal. Komets are designed to clip in a very specific way, beginning with the output stage. We feel that this gives the most dynamic response and control.” That makes sense. Let’s take a look at how it performs.