Next up in our Monsters of High Gain reboot is the Soldano SLO-100!
Soldano’s Super Lead Overdrive 100 (SLO-100) set the standard for modern high-gain amplification. It all started in 1987, when Seattle native Mike Soldano built a high-gain amp head with searing harmonics and the perfect balance of gain, sustain, and tight touch response. Soon after, Mike moved to Los Angeles and displayed his revolutionary amp at the 1987 NAMM show. It didn’t take long for the industry to take notice. The now-legendary SLO-100 had arrived!
The SLO completely changed what players came to expect from amps. Many shelved their old amps and replaced them with this foot-switchable 100-watt monster, loaded with player-friendly features. While the amp’s drive channel found it backing up renowned rock guitarists like Mick Mars (Motley Crue), Warren DeMartini (Ratt), and Howard Leese (Heart), its clear and tactile clean channel and bluesy crunch made the SLO the first choice for non-metal stalwarts, such as Mark Knopfler, Eric Clapton, Warren Haynes, Gary Moore, and Lou Reed, to name a few. Today, the amp’s tone and steadfast reliability remains a go-to for thousands of guitarists around the world.
The new Soldano Super Lead Overdrive 100 delivers upon the SLO’s legendary reputation in both appearance and performance, but with the addition of some wildly popular, player-requested features. The SLO-100 continues to be handcrafted in the United States using only the highest-grade components and is backed by a limited lifetime warranty.
The SLO-100 Upgrades:
Historically, one of the most popular SLO “mods” is the addition of a Depth control to the amplifier’s power section. The Depth control is now standard on the SLO-100. The combination of the Depth and Presence controls provides a powerful EQ section that goes well beyond a typical tone stack, enhancing the tonal possibilities of the amp’s sonic character.
Improved noise floor
The new SLO-100 features modern grounding, a DC-based filament circuit, and circuit separation to avoid crosstalk between the channels, resulting in an excellent signal-to-noise ratio.
Versatile and transparent effects loop
The newly designed ultra-transparent, tube-buffered effects loop handles anything from vintage pedals to high-powered rack units. For tube purists who prefer straightforward amp tone, a hardwire bypass switch is included, allowing you to completely remove the effects loop from the circuitry. The new return level control can be used to set up two foot-switchable, preset volume levels.
Front-panel channel switching
Players familiar with the original SLOs will be elated at our inclusion of an onboard channel-select toggle switch. Perfect for applications such as studios, where you don’t want to rely on a foot switch.
The new Soldano SLO-100 is the perfect combination of iconic design, impeccable craftsmanship, and modern performance. Every detail of the original head’s design is accounted for with extreme attention to tone, detail, and quality. Mike Soldano created his legendary masterpiece to be the best and most versatile amplifier in the world. Over three decades later, that hasn’t changed one bit.
● 100-watt all-tube head
● Handwired in the USA
● Legendary high-gain and clean tones that defined modern rock
● Crystal cleans and harmonically rich crunch tones via the normal channel’s bright and crunch switches
● Thick and incredibly tight drive to distorted tones throughout the overdrive channel’s range
● Instant switching from normal to overdrive channels via the included foot switch or new front-mounted toggle
● Independent preamp and master controls
● Global 3-band EQ, presence, and new depth control
● Improved tube-buffered FX loop
● FX level control optimizes the performance of your effects and offers solo boost functionality
● New effects loop hardwire bypass
● New DC heater circuit dramatically reduces the amp’s noise floor
● New custom transformers improve upon the famous originals
● Variable Slave output offers direct recording, use with IRs, combining amps, and more
● Use your 4, 8, or 16-ohm speaker cabinets thanks to the onboard impedance selector
● Preamp Tubes: Five 12AX7 / ECC83
● Power Tubes: Four 5881 / 6L6
● Limited lifetime warranty
● Dimensions: 25.25” (W) x 9” (D) x 10” (H)
● Weight: 47 pounds
One of YouTube’s leading music authorities opens up his well-stocked studio and shares the stories behind some of his most cherished gear.
Rick Beato has been making records and playing on sessions for decades. Over the years, he's worked with Shinedown, Needtobreathe, Trey Anastasio, Tyler Bryant, and many others. About three years ago, Beato decided to focus on building his YouTube channel and he currently has over 1.3 million subscribers. He invited the PG team into his well-appointed studio to check out his drool-worthy gear.
If you’ve watched Beato’s channel, you’ve seen this 2003 Gibson Les Paul Special. He bought it off the rack at Guitar Center about 15 years ago and was instantly drawn in because of how easy it was to reach the upper frets. After going through a deep dive about string gauges, he keeps this one strung up with a set of Ernie Ball .008–.032 strings.
This 1965 Gibson SG is another of Beato’s favorites. He purchased it from a local guitar tech, Dave Onorato, and the guitar features a Tune-o-matic bridge rather than the original vibrato. According to Onorato, the extra distance between the stop tailpiece and the saddles gives the guitar a unique sound.
Working in a fully stocked studio means having the perfect instrument for every musical situation within arm’s reach. When harmonically complex chords are called for, Beato reaches for this ’97 Danelectro U2 strung with .010–.046 strings.
This 2000 Gibson Les Paul started life as a Classic, but Beato had it modded to Standard specs with Mission PAF pickups. In Beato’s session days, this was his #1 go-to guitar.
A Telecaster is a must in the studio and this ’97 Fender USA Telecaster is Beato’s twang machine of choice. He says he’s only had it set up once and rarely needs to adjust the truss rod.
Hard to believe, but Beato says this 1957 Gibson Country Western is his only acoustic guitar. He discovered the slope shoulder flattop while doing a session and pestered the owner for years about buying it. Eventually, Beato got his hands on it and likely won’t let it go.
Okay, he might have lied. This 1974 Guild classical has been by Beato’s side since he started playing guitar. In the video, you can hear Beato’s story of how this guitar ended up in the hands of world-famous classical guitarist Christopher Parkening.
With a mountain of amps at his disposal, Beato has plenty of sonic options for any recording project. For this Rig Rundown, he plugged into his 2015 Vox AC10 to keep the volume down during the interview.
This Orange Overdrive head has quite a backstory. In 1999, Beato was making a record at NRG studios in L.A., where Stone Temple Pilots were working with famed producer Brendan O’Brien. Hearing Dean DeLeo’s massive tone, Beato felt compelled to investigate and discovered that DeLeo was playing through an Orange Overdrive. A few years ago, when O’Brien was unloading some gear, Beato saw that same Orange Overdrive head was for sale and immediately jumped on it.
Beato has hundreds of pedals to choose from, but usually only keeps a few on his pedalboard. For this shoot, he had his Pedaltrain Nano loaded with a Keeley Compressor, a JHS Bonsai, and a Strymon Volante delay with a Strymon Zuma supplying the juice.
D'Addario XT Strings: https://www.daddario.com/XTRR