The guitar amplifier industry has definitely experienced some big changes in the past recent years. While tube amps became way more affordable at some point, with companies like Bugera or Blackheart flooding the market with models at entry-level prices, the big companies followed to keep up in order to not loose market share. We also saw small 1 or 2 men companies slowly emerging as they came up with new designs and solutions for touring guitarists who want flexibility without changing into the world of digital solutions. Driftwood Amplifiers from Germany is one of them!
Purple Nightmare Master Section (click to enlarge)
More like “a dream come true” than an actual nightmare
Like many amp builders, Driftwood started out as a service point for amps & electronics in case you needed something fixed by a professional. After many years of experience in this field, they started creating their own designs, while taking into account what their customers would want to have in an amplifier.
The E651 Artist Edition is based on the inner circuit of the E650 Ritchie Blackmore Head, which is one of the best-selling ENGL amplifiers of all times. It also sticks out of the ENGL range as the most open-sounding and dynamic model, apart from the E610 Savage. In 2005, ENGL made a slightly different version of the E650, requested by long-time ENGL artist Doug Aldrich (Whitesnake, Bad Moon Rising).
It was equipped with EL34s in the power amp section and also featured a new and totally different 3-band EQ. Aldrich loved it and the rumor about this specific amp spread to other famous player like Gary Moore, Jimmy Page, Ken Hammer, Vivien Campell, Paul Stanley and many more.
Randall Amplification shows some new stuff on their official website, which is supposed to be released at NAMM in a couple of days. I am not sure if this is all the news or if Randall is holding the big surprise back until next week. Here’s what we know and see so far…
Randall EOD88 Element of Doom
The EOD88 seems to be inspired by the early days of Heavy Metal and the sound that was created back in these days. The 88-watt amplifier features a simple layout with 3 gain modes, but just one equalizer plus a built-in Fuzz circuit. The power amp comes with a big knob for master volume as well as Depth & Presence controls.
Randall EOD88 Element of Doom Head (click to enlarge)
Power: 88 watts
Tube: KT88 power amp /12AX7 preamp
3 gain modes
switchable Fuzz circuit
discrete Class A instrument level
2-button footswitch included
Limited Edition red tolex (according to Randall’s website)
after just doing Youtube videos for some time, I thought it might be helpful to also share my experiences with guitar gear in a blog. Just because… well, there are still some guys out there who actually like to read about stuff, instead of just watching videos or listening to the manufacturer’s Soundcloud playlist.
MESA BOOGIE CAB CLONE
Speaker simulators and load boxes have been around for quite some time. While most of them worked fine in terms of protecting the amp from possible damage, the provided cabinet simulation always disappointed me. Then a couple of years ago, small companies like Koch, Two Notes or Radial started to take this thing to the next level and invented versatile load boxes/speaker simulators that would not only sound decent, but also react in a way guitar players would expect it to.