Anybody familiar with ARK amps?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by skhan007, Sep 12, 2008.

  1. skhan007

    skhan007 Supporting Member

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    First and foremost, these are perhaps the most artistically appealing looking amps I have ever seen. Simply stunning woodwork! Putting that aside, which is really hard to do, I'm intrigued by the Premier Guitar amp show clip of the Model A. It has a very unique sound (at least through my good quality Bose computer speakers), which to me is rare these days in a world of massively cloned amps. It was described as a novel circuit that doesn't replicate anything- that really got my interest.

    I read over everything on their website and they offer a 6V6 master volume amp called the A-28. The narrative alone got me drooling. Then they have a 15 watt with a master volume called the Model C. I was wondering if anybody out there has played an Ark amp or specifically the A-28 or model C? Low wattage amps (that have masters or power scaling) are catching my interest as of late.
     
  2. fyrwyr

    fyrwyr Member

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    Hope this thread doesn't disappear before those who have experience our amps in person get to respond;)

    TGP's very own hansoloist (Jeff are you out there???)wrote that cool review of the A-28 after playing it at the NY Amp Show, a gifted writer (and a good player) for sure!!!

    I PM'ed you by the way skhan007;)

    I can let you know the other TGP'ers who have played one as well if you like, just PM or email me;)

    These Ark threads go by very quickly before others can see them and respond....

    The Model C circuit by the way is nothing at all like our Model A type amps (ie:GK59, Aviator, A-28) and sounds quite a bit different, more for very high gain at medium to very low volumes.

    The A-28 is a 6V6 version of the Model A;)
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2008
  3. Rod

    Rod Tone is Paramount Silver Supporting Member

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    Great thread...I'd like to know about these amps as well...bump
     
  4. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    I'm pretty familiar - I've been using a demo Ark Amp for the last several weeks - it's an Aviator model.

    It's an amazing amp. Short signal path, presence, treble, mid, bass, master vol, gain. Two inputs. It has a mid boost (that's mostly a tonestack bypass) and a switch on the back that attenuates a small bit of bass signal. Two inputs - the 'normal' (lower) is the one you'd typically plug into. the higher, Matt and Bill have wired on my demo amp as kind of a tube buffered Tube Screamer making use of the normally unused other side of a 12AX7. 2 EL-34's for power tubes.

    It feels like one of the best Brit amps I've ever heard - has a nice jangly top end (think Vox) and wonderful girth (think Naylor and vintage Marshall). The interaction between the gain and volume is one of the most usable I've ever encountered. It seems to like every guitar I've thrown at it - Tele, Strat, PRS, ES-335, P-90 guitars - all sound great through it. It's not just Brit sounding - it sorta straddles the Brit/ Yank line. Really chewy, thick gain sounds, but you can hear individual strings extremely well - it doesn't 'wash out' or give up. Very responsive.

    I'd describe it as a medium gain platform. I'm playing it through a Naylor 4x10 cab - the amp loves the cab. The interaction between the master vol and gain on the Ark amp is really something. A great master vol doesn't just change the volume, it should let the player also achieve the same feel at different volumes. The Ark's master vol is one of the best I've ever tried for this - you can go to a lot of places by turning just those two knobs.

    The tone controls operate in a narrrow range than most, but it's never a problem to get a great tone. The amp sounds very open, and has wonderful dynamic response. Huge iron in this one - heavy, and it doesn't bat an eye no matter how hard you push it.

    Major kudos to Bill and Matt for designing a simple amp with HUGE tone. Oh, it cleans up great with the guitar's volume knob too.

    Ask me questions about it - I'll try to give smart answers (GRIN).

    Thanks, Dana O.
     
  5. fyrwyr

    fyrwyr Member

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    Wow Dana, what a great review, I'm flattered;)

    Have fun wth that boy eh, and hopefully soon the cowboy gigs will make way for some "real music";) JK, thanks for your support my friend, and by the way, you are an excellent player man!!!
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2008
  6. skhan007

    skhan007 Supporting Member

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    Hey Bill, thanks for the PM and response. I'm interested in learning more. I'm thinking the model A might be too much for me (wattage & price point), so it's a matter of learning more about the others (the ones with master volumes). I'll give you a call! Thanks!

    Dana- that was a great description! I gotta tell you, that the way you've described the Aviator coupled with the way Hansolist described the A-28, makes me wonder if you guys write screenplays. Very articulate and descriptive! If these amps sound as good as they are described, then we've got something really special going on here! I'm already sold on the looks. They have that Fred Flinstone Bedrock vibe going on!
     
  7. fyrwyr

    fyrwyr Member

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    Thanks, give me a call sometime and we can chat about all the differences of our models and options.

    Cheers,

    Bill Compeau
    (519)979-0951
    bill@arkamps.com

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2008
  8. skhan007

    skhan007 Supporting Member

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    Great! Thanks Bill. I'll send you a follow up PM. In the interim, are there any clips of the lower wattage amps available? The video clips from the NC Ampfest and the Premier Guitar events were great (I've gotta learn those killer jazz chords you were doing). Any other audio/video clips of the other amps?

    Also, let's keep this thread alive. If any Ark amp owners would be kind enough to post pics of their Ark amps, that would be great!
     
  9. fyrwyr

    fyrwyr Member

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    Thanks man, no clips of the other amps yet, sorry, but my PC is messed up again and won't let me record anything:(

    I will try to record some clips at Randy's shop soon and get them posted on our site and on TGP's sound clips page.

    The A-28 sounds very much like the Model A but with that sweet 6V6 thing happening on top;)

    My current fav is the A-28;)
     
  10. skhan007

    skhan007 Supporting Member

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    Right on! Looking forward to any clips you can make. Alternatively, I have a great Mac set up for recording clips- just ship the amps to me!:banana

    Seriously though, I'll look forward to those A-28 clips. The last 60 seconds of the NY amp show clip was the cat's meow! Killer tone- I'm sure it's much better in-person, but sounded really nice on the video clip nonetheless.

    With respect to the head/cab set up- The way it's described is that they're matched together. Does that mean you cannot run the head into different cabs or use different heads with the Ark cab? Just curious.
     
  11. fyrwyr

    fyrwyr Member

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    Thanks man!

    Our heads and cabs work well with others too;) We just like building unique cabs that compliment the looks and sound of our heads but I've heard them all through my old Peavey 4x12 detuned cab, MASSIVE sounding but in a much larger cab than we make currently.
    I dug our amps at the Detroit Amp Showcase through the Stone Age Cabs, MONSTER sounding cabs for sure!

    Dana Olsen is playing an Ark Aviator through his Naylor 4X10 cab and loves it.

    You may just get to play through an A-28 in person once Matt gets back from Budapest, we shall see;)
     
  12. fyrwyr

    fyrwyr Member

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    You got yourself a deal my friend, we will get together sometime soon I hope...
     
  13. skhan007

    skhan007 Supporting Member

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    For those of you who want to hear a uniquely voiced amp (that's right guys- not a Marshall, not a Fender) check out this YouTube clip. For me, the last 60 seconds produce some raucous yet refined gain that I can't quite find the words to describe at this point...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EZdXrVytwo

    Not to mention, the woodwork on these are insane!!!
     
  14. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    I really dig that tone - plenty gain, but very string-y at the same time. Even playing major 7 chords sounds great at med-gain in the Ark Amps. No beating, no smearing, you can actually hear all the notes in the chord, even with humbuckers.

    I've been quite surprised at how the Ark demo amp I've been testing holds together under med-gain playing. Pretty dang cool amp - the way the tone stack works seems to bring out everything the guitar has to give, and some you never even knew was there too!

    Thanks, Dana O.
     
  15. fyrwyr

    fyrwyr Member

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    "string-y", now THAT's a description I have never heard before:cool:

    Thanks guys, mucho appreciated;)

    I will have to get Brian Wooten to chime in eh? no1yuno is his name here...
     
  16. midnightlaundry

    midnightlaundry Member

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  17. Knuckles

    Knuckles Member

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    you know, there's not a lot of places where when you ask a simple question about an amp line the actual builder jumps in (as well as PM's you) to explain the line.

    We got a pretty cool place here.
     
  18. skhan007

    skhan007 Supporting Member

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    These are just so stunning. Love the woodwork...
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  19. fyrwyr

    fyrwyr Member

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    Your too kind guys, thanks for the pats on the back, everybody needs that sometime eh?:BEER
     
  20. skhan007

    skhan007 Supporting Member

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    Bill- out of curiosity:

    1) How many A-28's are there in existence?

    2) Do you keep photos of any amps that have sold? Just curious about the variations in the woods/designs used for the various models.
     

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