First Experience with Doug Sewell & Sewell Amps

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Mark Williams, Jun 4, 2006.


  1. Mark Williams

    Mark Williams Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    340
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2004
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    Like you, I've tried all kinds of amplifiers and have interacted with a great many terrific amp-builders (They all seem to be from the same "good guy" stock, to me, for some reason, especially those in Texas.). I've recently had contact with Doug Sewell & now own a couple of his amps. I think Doug is the best of the best & the Sewell amps, which I've been curious about for a while but never was able to try one, are tremendous!
    I bought a Texaplex 100 head with a master and a gain boost option that was damaged in shipping due to terrible packing by Guitar Center in Dallas (I know...I know. What did I expect? But I should say that the GC did respond to the problem with a partial refund to my satisfaction). Although Doug wasn't the seller, he contacted me & insisted that he do the repairs at a very low cost (It's with him in Texas now.). He was particularly interested in protecting his reputation, even though he had nothing to do with the damage to the amp. While it's there, he's also doing all his recent upgrades (some developed in collaboration with Paul Reed Smith) & making any changes I might want or that he'd recommend. Before I sent it to him, I was able to make it work in spite of the damage. Even in that state, I was blown away by what a great amp it was and the range of tones. It's the best gain I've heard--smooth & thick yet always articulate--I haven't heard modded-Marshall overdrive tones this good since I started using a Rocca-modded Naylor that has been my "gold standard" for years. This amp does a lot more than the modded Naylor, though, in addition to the gain.
    I was so impressed that I bought a 25E Texaplex combo, too. Right now, Doug is getting rid of the EF86 circuit (his recommendation), turning it into a 50-watt Texaplex, adding a couple of features I want, changing the speaker and doing all the new upgrades......at extremely reasonable costs.
    Doug Sewell's amps deserve to become better known and heard from coast-to-coast, I think. Anybody out there had similar experience with Sewell Amps and Doug Sewell?
     
  2. hemlock

    hemlock Guest

    I bought a used 35 watt Texaplex 115 maybe a year or so ago that got badly damaged in shipping to me. The transformer came loose and busted a couple of tube sockets. I posted my woes on TGP and Doug saw my post emailed me to try to walk me through the repair. When I sent him some pics, he said just pay shipping and he'd treat it like a warranty. 5 days after I shipped it, I had it back. There should be way more buzz about him and his amps. Doug's awesome.

    And so is the amp. Gorgeous design. Burgundy tolex, wheat grill and the great Sewell Logo. It's my favorite amp I've ever owned. Excellent cleans (but not much headroom) that turn into really tight singing sustain as you turn it up. At first, I didn't think I could live with so little clean headroom but the edge-of-overdrive tones are so punchy and focused I've grown to like it much better than other amps that stay clean longer. I've tried it through a couple of 212 cabs and I like the 115 better for my playing. Takes all my pedals great. I can't wait to try one of his 6L6 models.
     
  3. SteveR

    SteveR Member

    Messages:
    398
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Mansfield, Ohio
    Always good to hear about GREAT customer service. Thanks for sharing your experience with Doug and Sewell amps.


    Steve
     
  4. Dr Rico

    Dr Rico Member

    Messages:
    1,772
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    Dade County, FL
    Doug is a gentleman and designs/builds a great amp. Very gig-oriented...easy to play...sounds great...just plain sensible.

    I have two. Love em!
     
  5. Sparky6string

    Sparky6string Member

    Messages:
    3,523
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2005
    Location:
    Thither
    There was a local dealer that brought a selection of his amps to my local guitar show for a couple of years and they were always easily the finest sounding amps there IMO. Every time I plugged into them I was just blown away. That guy knows his stuff and he has interesting designs with the gigging musician in mind. I have corresponded with Doug and when I am able to afford one of his amps I'll get one. Don't get me wrong though, they're much lower priced than most.
     
  6. Mark Williams

    Mark Williams Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    340
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2004
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    I'm glad but not surprised to find that my experience--both with regard to Doug's helpfulness, generosity with his time & skill as well as the quality & sound of the amplifiers--is not unique. And, by the way, the higher wattage models, like the Texaplex 100 I was lucky enough to get, can give you plenty of headroom if you want it. With the cool "variable volume" footswitch & gain boost, you still have the gain. Also, Doug seems more than willing to modify any of his amps to make sure that the owner is completely happy. I'm especially glad he chose to use EL34's, even in the lower-wattage models.
     
  7. dogfood

    dogfood Member

    Messages:
    113
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2006
    Location:
    Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex
    Sewel is in Richardson?! Hah, I'll pass within 5 miles tomarrow...small world.
     
  8. CNOTE

    CNOTE Member

    Messages:
    280
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    Location:
    Sugar Land, Tx
    Mark,

    Nice hearing your happy with the Sewell Amps. Sounds like Doug knows how to treat folks...[along with making some fine quality amps]...

    Where are you playing these days with a 100 watt Texaplex ????

    DID YOU BUY THE 25E TEXAPLEX SO YOU COULD PLAY AT HOME AFTER YOU HEARD THE 100 WATT BREAK THE STUDIO WINDOWS ??

    I've been thinking about going to see these amps up in Richardson soon.

    Thanks for the heads up!

    Can't just have one. Can you?

    c
     
  9. AlexF

    AlexF Member

    Messages:
    961
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2005
    Location:
    manchester england
    Doug is the best guy I've ever dealt with. I have 3 of his amps - one he built me as a one off in response to a request. The amps are fantastic, the service from Doug has been absolutely second to none. The trouble and effort he put into getting them safely to me this side of the Atlantic had to be seen to be believed. Great amps, great guy, very reasonable prices, what more can I say?
    Al
     
  10. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    7,607
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2002
    Location:
    Santa Barbara, Marin, Chico, CA
    Doug is a great amp builder and a class act all the way.

    Not to mention, they sound GREAT!

    Dana
     
  11. AlexF

    AlexF Member

    Messages:
    961
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2005
    Location:
    manchester england
    Here's two of mine, a superb tweed style wampus cat on the left (no room for overdrive pedals here!), and a texaverb on the right - one fantastic take on a superreverb...
    Al
    [​IMG]
     
  12. Moods

    Moods Supporting Member

    Messages:
    996
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Location:
    Southern California
    I've never owned a Sewell amp but I have played a couple. They were excellent in every way. Top shelf for sure.

    <M
     
  13. Mark Williams

    Mark Williams Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    340
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2004
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    I bought the 100-watter because it stayed available until I could afford it (good price, by the way) & because it had a master & a gain boost & a solid state rectifier. It wasn't that I needed to knock down any walls;) . I found, though, that even the 100-watter can sound good at lower volumes with the master. Of course, it can be thunderous if you want it to be, too! If I'd known at the time how agreeable & accommodating Doug was about making mods, etc. to his amps, I might have just waited for a 45 - 50 watt one & had him add the master & boost. Anyway, I'm very happy I did get it--100 watts or not--and I'm even glad, as it turns out & weird as it seems since I was so angry at first, that it was damaged in shipping from GC as that got me connected with Doug.
    No, I didn't buy the 25E because the 100-watt one was too loud. By that time I knew Doug would do whatever I thought I wanted & would recommend whatever he thought was good for my taste. So I grabbed the next one I saw (You're right--can't have just one!). He's making it a 50-watt Texaplex without the EF86 circuit now (with a gain boost & master). I want to have a 50-watt combo like this.
    I'm eventually going to get a 25-watt Classic or Texaplex, too, I think as I do want a low-wattage, early break-up, non-EL84 amp for home & studio, too. And, at this point, Doug Sewell's the only amp-builder I'd ask to do it for me.
    I heard from Doug today that the 100-watter as well as the now 50-watt combo will be on the way back to me this week (Wow!!! This guy is unbelievable!) with repairs, changes & all sorts of interesting-sounding upgrades (He's pretty much done a rebuild of the Texaplex 25E combo.). He's done all this for me in just a bit over two weeks--and that's with lots of other work to do! He's kept me posted w/re: to everything he's doing and why he's recommended each change or upgrade. I'm sure I'll have more to say when the amps are back with me.
    I'm glad, too, to see that so many have responded in this thread with the same glowing terms I have about Doug Sewell & his amps. He deserves all the praise he gets, believe it! DO TAKE A TRIP TO RICHARDSON TO SEE WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT IF YOU LIVE IN THE AREA & IF YOU HAVEN'T HEARD ONE OF THESE YET....I'M NOT KIDDING!
     
  14. J Purcell

    J Purcell Member

    Messages:
    853
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2004
    Location:
    US
    I have a 1x12 Wampus Cat. Great no pedal needed gigging amp. Sounds superb.
     

Share This Page