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When you think about
it, a guitar amplifier is first and foremost an instrument. It is the sound of
the electric guitar. Take away the amp and you no longer have an electric
guitar. It is what separates electric guitar sounds from acoustic guitar
And since it is an
instrument, it is not designed like other amplifiers. With all other
amplifiers, the output is exactly like the input, only louder. But with a
guitar amplifier, the output is still louder than the input, but the output
must sound “Better” than the input. It must have character! It must be
exploitable by the player’s picking nuance to get tones that one would not find
with the so called “perfect” amplifier we studied about in college.
What do I mean by
character? When you hear a guitar sound, you are hearing many things together.
For example, you will hear:
1. The initial attack—or “sting”—of the note
2. The sustaining portion of the note that occurs after the initial “sting”
3. Overtones and harmonics or lack there of
4. Distortion— Both
symmetrical or asymmetrical or lack there of
5. The "Feel" of how quickly the amplifier responds to the nuance of the
6. The Compression of the note, also called "sag" or
Enter my latest
KENDRICK DOUBLE TROUBLE COMBO.
The Double Trouble is
a radical design and unlike any other guitar amplifier you have ever seen or
heard. There is no volume, bass, or treble control. The five controls are
1. Body – controls the loudness
of the body of the note
2. Boom – controls the timbre
of the body
3. Shine – controls the
“glossiness” or trebly Shine of the note
4. Slice – controls the timbre
of the Shine
5. Reverb –
controls how much reverb is in the mix
Of course one can
still control volume either with the guitar’s volume control (preferred for
getting maximum clean with longer sustain) or cutting back on the “Body” and
1. Onboard bias meter and bias trim pot directly on the faceplate. This allows you to
bias your amp anytime you wish in the time it takes for the tubes to warm up.
This feature comes in handy when replacing tubes or just setting your amp
(which is a musical instrument) to its best sound before a gig. The bias meter
has a dial that goes from zero to a hundred. The factory bias setting is 50. If
you want the amp to break up sooner, the bias can be adjusted above 50. If you
want your amp to stay cleaner longer before breakup, you can set it less than
50. Once you find the perfect place that you like, you can duplicate that
setting at any time in the amount of time it takes for the tubes to warm up.
You tune your guitar every time you play. Doesn’t it make sense to tune your
amp, especially if you are playing clubs or outdoor venues where the AC stage
voltage may be too high or too low?
2. Two KENDRICK 10" BLACKFRAME Speakers. Tens have less cone mass and therefore less
cone inertia. It is a quicker and spankier response. Two tens move 39% more air
than a single 12” speaker for fuller sound and better stage coverage. The
blackframe speakers are made with NOS Donal Kapi 3KSP 92 lb. paper cones, the
same cones found in late 50’s tweed amps (5F6A for example). Our 10’s are used
by many session cats (Scott Henderson, Michael Landau, John Fogerty, etc.)
3. Two 6V6 output tubes configured in Class AB Push-Pull. Everything you have ever heard
by Hendrix, Beck, Gibbons, Ford, Bonamassa, Johnson, etc. is Class AB
Push-Pull. It is the sound of smooth tube overdrive (violin- cello tones) and
crystal clear clean tones. 6V6's let you hang with the drummer but keep stage volume reasonable.
4. Massively overbuilt custom-made KENDRICK transformers. Your girlfriend was right - Bigger is
better! The Double Trouble custom wound transformers are wound with
thicker wire which improves the “sting” and minimizes losses. The Five-winding
interleaved paper-bobbin output transformer has as much iron in it as a
Twin. Such fast response, there may be times that you think the amplifier
played the note before you did! I promise it will make you a better player… in
the same spirit that getting off your MoPed and riding a Harley will make you
pay attention to what you are doing!
5. Multiple preamps – Just as multiple amps always sound better than one, the
multiple preamps deliver complex signals to the output stage for a thicker and
richer overall tone.
6. Antique Lightweight Northern White Pine custom cabinet. Old growth wood has tighter growth rings and
has noticeably better resonance.
7. Custom-made vital components - Hand-made epoxy glass component boards with
point-to-point hand-wiring. Custom-made hookup wire. Custom-made filter
capacitors, custom-made coupling capacitors, porcelain ceramic tube sockets,
custom-made galvanized steel chassis
8. Analog Spring Reverb – Special circuitry with so much headroom that it is impossible
to distort the reverb.
9. Optional Padded and Lined custom American-made soft cover with a Velcro bottom-flap available for an
10. Entirely hand-built by professionals – Our "Dream Team" crew has been
hand-building amps for a very long time. Our main wiring/soldering guy just
celebrated his 28th anniversary wiring
KENDRICK amplifiers 5 days a week. My cabinet guy started with us, covering and
building cabinets, over 25 years ago. And I personally trained my head
technician starting in 1998 – twenty years ago. No one builds better quality
built amplifiers than KENDRICK. We know what we are doing.
So How does it sound?
In two words –
“Absolutely Amazing”. I expect to win awards with this fine amp. When testing
it, I couldn’t stop playing it. It was truly an emotional experience – not
unlike driving my Porsche through the Sierra Nevadas or riding a well-trained
Stallion. I could go from clean to overdrive with just my guitar volume
control. I could even go from pristine to hair to overdrive by altering my pick
attack. Oh Yes. You will love it. I have played about 30,000 amps in my life
and I can say, “There aren’t any other amps I have played that “felt” this