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July Staff Picks

Chicago Music Exchange staff members always have the scoop on the latest new, used and vintage gear. Check out this month's amp-centric 'Staff Picks':

Revival 8E1 1x12 Combo with Celestion Alnico Blue

George's Pick

"My new favorite boutique amp in the shop! This amp is for the vintage purist who doesn't want to fumble around with overdrives and fuzz pedals. Rather it's for the player who likes to use their volume knobs and pick attack to control the tone and breakup. Think '50s tweed with more volume and space. At 6 class A watts, this amp is perfect for recording and/or small club gigs. It's super simple with just a volume and tone control, just how Leo would've wanted. Plug in, turn up, rock. Simple."


Verellen Meat Smoke

Marc's Pick

"Rumbling the paint off the walls, shattering windows, and melting guts are just of the few things this beast will help you achieve. The clean-sparkle of a blue-line SVT with the fatness of vintage Orange gives you plenty of tonal options, while the overdrive channel (with the always handy footswitch) is explosive and will summon the bass gods from wherever they dwell."

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Louis Electric Tornado 30W 1x12 Combo Amp

Albert's Pick

"Ooh girl. I recently got a chance to spend some time with the Louis Electric Tornado and was blown away by its ability to take the idea of the classic 5E3 American tweed circuit and rework it to sound like Fender and Marshall got together and listened to "Tainted Love" a few times too many. I love that this little EL34 amp gets crunchy like a full stack, only at a much more realistic volume; it's the perfect amount of output for keeping up with a drummer or making friends with the sound guy at smaller club gigs. If you're looking for a grab-and-go amp that reinvents the original tweed tone with a heap of sexy British flavor, the Tornado is for you!"

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65 Amps Whiskey

Joel's Pick

"This is the best two-channel amp I've personally ever played through. The dirty channel is based off the "sound of the Sunset strip in the '80s" per Dan at 65 Amps, which to my ear is basically a modded JCM-800. But this does so much more than just that. The dirty channel will go from transparent dirty/clean to AC/DC crunch up to super saturated "Appetite For Destruction" lead tones. And the clean channel-- which is independent from the EQ and master volume-- is pure, sparkling 50w bliss. Honestly, the clean on the Whiskey is my favorite clean sound that I've heard on ANY of the 65 Amps. The 3-way brightness switch--coupled with the presence control-- lets you pretty quickly dial in Vox/Marshall/Fender cleans alternatively. And there is plenty of headroom-- this is a 50W 6L6 amp, remember? All-in-all this is my favorite amp that Dan and the boys at 65 Amps have put out to date and if you've been looking for "THE Two Channel Amp" then the Whiskey will be hard to top."

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Suhr Badger 30

Matt's Pick

"My pick of the week goes to the Suhr Badger 30. This amp is absolutely killer and has a ton of tricks up its sleeve, despite having such a simple layout. The power scaling is a great feature that makes this amp usable in any situation, from the bedroom late at night, to wide open on a large stage. Next, independent control over the power amp and preamp is super innovative and great for dialing in a inspiring variety of tones, from fat cleans to crunchy, searing leads. The three band EQ is super responsive as well. Top it off with an effects loop and you have one of the most versatile British style amplifiers on the market."

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Alyssa Welch
Alyssa Welch

Author