Holdsworthian gain tones at bedroom levels - which amp?

Super Locrian

POD XT = wrong answer ;)

My clean needs are well handled at the moment, but I'd like to get some happening gain tones without disturbing the neighbors too much. I'm starting to get tired of overdrive pedals (I currently have the classic Ethos and Barber Small Fry - both excellent pedals, but I want to hear real tube overdrive, not just an approximation). My benchmark for excellent tone is Allan Holdsworth, obviously there's more to his tone than just an amp, but you get the idea of what I'm aiming for.

Head or combo (either could work), preferably from a builder that also offers 220V transformers.

Comments based on first-hand experience are particularly invited.


Obvious=Yamaha DG80 (what Allan uses). Sounds great at bedroom levels.

If you must have real tube saturation, another option would THD Univalve->THD Hot Plate->line out to solid state amp (Allan has used this setup in the past, sounds nice).


Silver Supporting Member
No one will agree with me but that's OK.

I find the SLO gets great Holdsworth tones at low volumes. It's dark when turned down low and with the depth mod (critical) gets a lot of low mid thickness. Plus it's incredibly touch sensitive so it's great for legato playing.

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