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Has anyone heard Peter Holmström's (Dandy Warhols) Soursound combo live?

ChaseTMP

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I had a long talk with Bryan Sours at Soursound the other day about amps. He was particularly excited about the new 20 watt combo he made for Peter from the Dandy Warhols that was briefly discussed on his/their Premier Guitar Rig Rundown.

The amp is supposed to be an amalgam of an AC15 and a mid 50's Gibson GA-40. Peter runs his in stereo and seemed pretty impressed with how they were sounding during their tour. Peter was scaling down from AC30's since they were too loud for the venues he's playing, which is what I'm dealing with using my DC30.

Anyone heard one (the pair) in person? Bryan is planning to release these as a run in 2017 and my interest is piqued.
 

Timbre Wolf

>thermionic<
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I'm going to hear the DW tonight. Thanks for mentioning this change of amps. I'll be listening closely! :)
 

Timbre Wolf

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The amp is supposed to be an amalgam of an AC15 and a mid 50's Gibson GA-40.
Trying to imagine what that amp would be like... I checked out Soursound's site, but to no avail. So I wonder:
  • 5879 preamp tubes for EF86-ish fatter character (sans microphony)?
  • 2x6V6GT power?
  • Paraphase phase-inverter, for more gradations of breakup?
  • Cut control?
  • Top boost?
I like where my imagination is going with the Vox/Gibson hybrid concept. I'll have to listen for what the reality is... tonight, at the Fillmore in San Francisco :cool:
 

Timbre Wolf

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Well, so... I was there last night trying to focus in on Peter's soundscapes. I was disappointed in the venue's sound - what came out of the mains was much muddier than it should have been, for both opening acts, and for the DW. Damn! So, to be fair, what I heard was not representative of what is truly possible. But still, there were moments peppered into the sonic onslaught that allowed some of the amps' character to breathe more freely. Even then, however, my overall impression was that Peter's sound just did not cut through like I'd wanted.

Peter's got a difficult task - he's clean and jangly for a while, then fuzzed and effected to the gills more often than not. The difficulty is that no one amp is really suited to the full range of what he's trying to pull off. I think these two amps really would be best with his more distorted sounds, and would shine their brightest in recording - or at least with a better live sound mix. The transition to breakup and compression seemed easy, with a rich, slushy compression. In my opinion, however, Peter could have used a cleaner amp option, to give his sounds a little more distinction - something stiffer, brighter, probably higher powered. I'm not saying he needed more stage volume, but rather more impact to his attack.

These are all just my opinions, and I'm not trying to dis Peter or Soursound. I am coming from my personal background of playing live stereo rigs for over 30 years, and in that time I've learned a few things. Here's what I'd like to advise Peter, if he were my friend (I don't know him, but I think we'd have a lot to talk about!)... I believe he'd benefit from having one of his stereo-paired amps be set cleaner, more clear. Keep the harmonic-rich slushy grind machine (a cathode-biased power section with less global negative feedback and a non-LTP phase-inverter), but couple it with a higher-powered amp that has fixed-bias and some global negative feedback. Yep, a BF Fender fits that second amp's specs, or a Hiwatt, for a more extreme example. The mix of those two amps will give more structure and definition to the rich grind. I'd love to hear that from him. Moreover, I'd love to have heard Peter's deeply conjured soundscapes much more clearly - he deserves it.

- T
 

michael.e

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Thanks Thom! Wondering aloud if he should just fire up the AC30's, or one of them for this size stage?
 

Timbre Wolf

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Thanks Thom! Wondering aloud if he should just fire up the AC30's, or one of them for this size stage?
In my opinion, that could have helped bring him out in the mix - depending on how he's set it. I'm guessing he'll adjust to his new amps and will make some changes along the way.

Edit: the AC30 still has a lot of harmonic coating all over the signal. I'm suggesting another kind of amp that has more fundamental tone impact, for more space between sounds. This AND the harmonically-rich compression and breakup. But I understand this is just me imposing my taste. He's got his own impressionistic wash going on.

Fly surgery, anyone?
 
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infiniteposse

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1,762
Just a little update on this...

Bryan's getting in his pre-orders for the first run of these amps, most of which are spoken for locally. Peter was touring with 2 earlier prototypes and the real deal is almost completely wrapped up. I've got my order in, so I'll have one in the house by Mid/Late January. I got to demo one for a weekend a few weeks ago and loved it. Sonically, it's just solid. My primary amps are a 66 Deluxe Reverb, a 83 JCM 800, a Carr Mercury and now this. One of the interesting thing about the amp is that the EQ works at almost any end of the knob and remains musical. I could completely imagine someone cranking the bass knob up or down during the show and not killing their sound. I've never personally played an amp that had so much range and usefulness in the voicing of the EQ. There's also a voicing switch that changes what feels like the voicing of the amp. I can't quite put my finger on what the switch is doing, but one end of it has a little more gain and the eq/voicing shifts. Both sides are useful depending on what guitar I was working with at the time.

The degree of detail Bryan's undertaken with this project is mind-boggling. Without going into every detail, there's barely any off-the shelf parts in this thing besides caps and resistors. Custom board, custom cab (with multiple types of woods tested during the prototyping phase), custom transformers...even the entire handle mechanism was built from scratch. Bryan tested around 20 speakers to find the right one for the voice of the amp. The wiring is art. It's going to be absolutely beautiful and it sounds amazing to boot.

Disclaimer - I've worked with Bryan before in the shop and am a fan of his work, in general. This size of amp is something I've been nagging him to do for almost a decade. I couldn't be more excited that he's finally realized it and it'll be in the world soon.
 




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