april 2015

Few—if any—100-watt heads pack this much power into such a convenient and portable format.

Demeter’s Mighty Minnie is a pedalboard-mountable head that was originally designed for slide wizard Sonny Landreth to take to gigs where he couldn’t bring full-sized amps. But don’t dismiss it as a micro amp because of its size. At 10" x 7" x 4.5" and 100 watts into 8 ohms (180 into 4 ohms), the TGA-1-180D could be the answer to many players’ backline woes. It features a point-to-point-wired tube preamp, class-D power amp, 3-band EQ, and gain and master controls, the latter being a push-pull knob that engages a 20 dB pad for higher gain at lower levels.

When I played the TGA-1 through a 65Amps 2x12 cab at band rehearsal, my Strat felt right at home with the loud and punchy Bassman-style clean tones. There was plenty of headroom and the robust tones were a perfect canvas for my dirt pedals. As I pushed the gain past 2 o' clock, a warm, British-style dirt appeared. Although the TGA-1 might lack the bells and whistles in some full-size 100-watt heads, it makes up for it in convenience, power, and versatility.

Read More Show less
Oliver Ackermann started his pedal company, Death by Audio, by taking custom orders for anything, and then forcing himself to figure out how to build it.
Photo by Igor Vidyashev / Atlas Icons

Oliver Ackermann plays mad scientist with his band, A Place to Bury Strangers, and his pedal company, Death by Audio.

Brooklyn-based band A Place to Bury Strangers creates gnarly, outlandish, ear-crushing mayhem. Their guitarist, Oliver Ackermann, keeps his volume just north of 11 while engaging in such stage antics as guitar smashing, mid-air instrument collisions, and unnatural string removal. He chains pedals together and generates multiple layers of self-oscillating chaos.

But there’s a method to the madness. Ackermann is chasing a specific aesthetic, one he started cultivating in high school. That sensibility also informs his pedal-building business, Death By Audio. It could be described as controlled anarchy.

Read More Show less
x