With this next revision of AmpStamp, version 1.3, we reveal some legendary speakers from the mid-1960’s, offer up one of the first tone shaping effects, and add a tape echo so classic, all delays that followed make reference to this seminal unit.
The Many Uses Of Tape Echo
From the first notes from Les Paul to the classic recordings made at Sun Studios in Memphis, treating the guitar with echo quickly became a new tool that all musicians had to learn how to wield. It started with a type of echo referred to as slapback, a short delay (longer than what’s used in chorus effects, but those hadn’t been invented yet) that sounds similar to shouting in a narrow alleyway between two buildings. Almost immediately many in the music technology field realized that with a loop of tape and possibly more than one tape machine, the record and playback heads could be used to add a repeat of what was played. This was at first reserved for studio recordings as most musicians did not carry tape machines for live use, let alone possess the technical skill or bring someone with them who could maintain and operate these units. But then in 1952 the EchoSonic was released, an amplifier with a built-in tape echo effect.
Quite a bit later this was productized into a more portable unit that could be used in a variety of settings. One key improvement that the EchoSonic and its successors had was the ability to feed back the current echo for additional repeats. With a simple potentiometer, variable decay could be dialed in and with a small signal amplifier, the repeats could be sustained and even grow louder! This is usually referred to as runaway sustain or oscillation, as the original signal is reduced to noise it’s an unmistakeable sound.
But what else was it about tape echo that makes it so desirable? Of course, the imperfections. As you dig deeper with the EC101C Echo, we’ve captured several elements that truly make a tape echo sound the way it should. First and foremost, tape is not a perfect medium. When first recording to a new reel of tape any studio engineer will tell you, the tape machine needs to be calibrated. Both frequency and level are not consistent even between two batches of tape from the same manufacturer. Furthermore, after heavy use specifically associated with tape echo effects the constant erasing will degrade the performance of the tape. And so with Tape Quality you can adjust this from near perfect to very poor. Additionally, the motors that drive the reels of tape often suffered from performance issues as well. And so we’ve provided a Wow and Flutter control to help capture some of the more extreme variation that you might experience with an older unit needing some maintenance. Of course, you don’t have to worry about that now, the control is all at the tips of your fingers.
Another 100W Amplifier?
You heard us right, we have another amplifier that captures classic tone in transition from 1966-67. We think you’re going to love the VG402B Amplifier. It captures the sound of the first super amplifiers with all of the extra Bass and additional part variations that were so common in amplifiers built during this period.
But it would not be complete without the VG 4x12A 100W ’67 Cabinet. This cabinet gives you the legendary sound of near unobtainable speakers. This is the sound of rock n’ roll from the mid-to-late 1960’s. You won’t hear it anywhere else as manufacturing techniques and circuit designs after this point went through dramatic changes. The overall effort was to improve upon previous limitations but the result was to isolate a period of rock n’ roll history with a unique sound, nearly lost for the generations to come.
We have been working hard to bring you the sounds of rock n’ roll history and this is another milestone for us. We can’t wait for you to rock out with this new amplifier and cabinet combination, or for that matter any combination of our gear, with a product this flexible keep an ear out for some classic tones. More on this soon!
Tone Shaping Primer
Last but not least, it was also important for us to being our investigation into EQ effects. Tone shaping is a key component to modern day signal chains and whether good or bad, it can have a drastic effect. So like most things at The Musicology Group, we decided to start at the beginning with the EQ100 Treble Boost. This unit is rumored to have been used on some genre-defining recordings, though never confirmed, we couldn’t help but try it for ourselves.
We also added an additional twist to make things interesting of course. Accessing the More Control section, you can flip the effect from a Treble Boost to a Bass Boost and adjust the tone anywhere in between. Boost your solos or just tweak your sound with this first offering, you just might find the tone you’re looking for.
Same Subscription, More Great Products
As always, we think you’ll find that AmpStamp has endless variations of tone to satisfy guitar players in any genre of music. If you are already a subscriber then thank you! If you haven’t subscribed yet, then hurry up! You’re missing out! Check out our product page for more details and stay tuned for new products.