Love and Sockets

Editor Ted Drozdowski’s dream rig: Carr’s Vincent and Telstar amps, and 15 effects that can be swapped out at whim.

How the pursuit of an ideal amp setup led to a two-Carr garage/psych/roots sound.

For my debut Love and Sockets column (September 2019), I wrote about my 1964 Supro Tremo-Verb. Now, I’m returning to the Land of Me because I’ve finally found my dream amp setup. Again.

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Michael Majett typically wields this Nate Mendal signature P bass or an eye-catching orange Jaguar.

Nashville’s Michael Majett uses two amps—an Ampeg B-15N and a Markbass TTE 500—to go deep and low.

When we spoke, bassist Michael Majett had just checked off an item on his bucket list: playing the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. For Majett, the headlining set with the War and Treaty at the festival’s Blues Stage wasn’t just a gig. It was a way to connect with the history of the festival and what it represents: the deep legacy of American music and culture that’s synonymous with the Crescent City, and especially the Black heritage that birthed rock ’n’ roll, blues, jazz, and R&B, plus some of the world’s tastiest cuisine.

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Wicked slider Michelle Malone at home with some dear friends: her Supro Super and Dual-Tone amps, and her Dual-Tone guitar.

The veteran singer, songwriter, and guitarist’s favorite sound crunchers are a pair of vintage oddballs from the vaults of Valco.

Like a lot of slide players, Michelle Malone enjoys some grit in her tone. And when it comes to grit—along with glorious midrange, trippin’ out reverb, and a blend of snappy response with just a ladle full of sponginess to temper brittleness—vintage Supro amps deliver better than UPS. So, her favorite amps are a pair of old Supros: a 1959 Dual-Tone and a 1961 Super.

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Micki Free with his sidekicks: JMP 2061X heads, 1974X combos, and SV20C combos. The guitar is a Teye Gypsy Queen model.

The veteran blues-rocker uses low-wattage amps to creative a massive, high-intensity sound that nods to heroes like Hendrix, Trower, and early Clapton.

Micki Free is not a less-is-more kind of player—at least when it comes to amps. His setup is all reissue Marshalls: two JMP 2061X heads perched on 4x12 stacks, a pair of 1974X combos, and double SV20C 1x10 combos. They look great together and, of course, sound even better.

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