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Hovercraft opinions

hollowearth

Member
Messages
159
Anybody here ever try or own a Hovercraft amp? Everything I've heard is killer, but like alotta small shops getting one to try is tough.

I like the looks of the Dwarvenaut 20 for rehearsals and small venues.
 

AngryGoldfish

Member
Messages
627
The sound is very unique; it's not for everyone. From what I've seen the quality isn't the best, but you are paying very little for an excellent sounding amp. The guy who builds them did something I personally wasn't keen on, but we all have different ways of running a business. Basically, a customer had paid for an amp, and was explaining to some forum members how he was going to take some gut shots for those interested in seeing how the Jet City amps were modded. Hovercraft then apparently saw this and refused to ship the amp out. Instead he gave back the money. I think it was eventually resolved, and this all could be inaccurate information, but this is the Internet: home of inaccurate information, and home of paranoia.
 

hollowearth

Member
Messages
159
The sound is very unique; it's not for everyone. From what I've seen the quality isn't the best, but you are paying very little for an excellent sounding amp. The guy who builds them did something I personally wasn't keen on, but we all have different ways of running a business. Basically, a customer had paid for an amp, and was explaining to some forum members how he was going to take some gut shots for those interested in seeing how the Jet City amps were modded. Hovercraft then apparently saw this and refused to ship the amp out. Instead he gave back the money. I think it was eventually resolved, and this all could be inaccurate information, but this is the Internet: home of inaccurate information, and home of paranoia.
Wow, weird. Yeah, I heard that the tolex was a little spotty (that was in Premier Guitar, who did however love the sound of the amp). I'm all about the Matamp/Electric roar amps, and hoped to get that sound out of an Orange Rocker 30 but didn't. I'm hoping the Hovercraft takes its place.
 

Rod

Tone is Paramount
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
22,328
Their website says the amps are recycled? What does that mean? Can anyone describe how their 20 watt amp sounds?
 
Messages
999
I had a Dwarvenaut 20. It was stupendously loud and thick sounding. Actually louder seeming than a 60-watt Sunn through an Emperor 2x12 when I gigged both together. Definitely had more bite to it. Not much in the way of cleans or headroom, but that's not what they are designed for.

Tolex was fine on mine. The Jet City markings were a little sloppily removed, but I have little else in the way of complaints. Nial responds fast and is informative. If you have questions or doubts, just ask. He doesn't take money until you are certain you want the amp.

Edit: and "recycled" means he repurposes amps into being something else. A lot of them so far are Jet City amps with all new guts, speakers, and so on, but he's also modded Sunns, Hiwatts, etc. I believe.
 

Rod

Tone is Paramount
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
22,328
Thanks....That was painful......are there any other videos out there on these?...with actual good guitarists playing in standard tuning??
 

ROKY

Member
Messages
7,223
I had a Dwarvenaut 20. It was stupendously loud and thick sounding. Actually louder seeming than a 60-watt Sunn through an Emperor 2x12 when I gigged both together. Definitely had more bite to it. Not much in the way of cleans or headroom, but that's not what they are designed for.

Tolex was fine on mine. The Jet City markings were a little sloppily removed, but I have little else in the way of complaints. Nial responds fast and is informative. If you have questions or doubts, just ask. He doesn't take money until you are certain you want the amp.

Edit: and "recycled" means he repurposes amps into being something else. A lot of them so far are Jet City amps with all new guts, speakers, and so on, but he's also modded Sunns, Hiwatts, etc. I believe.
Can you send him an amp to put his circuit into ?
 

hollowearth

Member
Messages
159
I thought I'd update this Hovercraft opinion thread as I just got one and now I have an opinion.

The thing rules. I got a Dwarvenaut combo (the last combo he said he's going to make). It's 20 watts. It's sufficient playing with a super-loud rock band at practice, and as it's in lieu of the 100 watt half stack I've always used, the sonics of our rehearsal situation are much improved.

Not the best clean sound but it delivers an incredible approximation of the Matamp/Green/Electric USA sound. This amp could feasibly eliminate the need for all my pedals except for delay and wah.

I've never been this pleased with an amp, and I've owned a few. I'm going to try it at a show this Friday and see if it can hack a mid-sized room.

 
Last edited:

hollowearth

Member
Messages
159
Whoops, apologies for letting this sit.

It worked out great. Paired with an AC15cc1, I was kicking around tons of sound: a wide, healthy-sounding frequency range and all the power I needed.

The Hovercraft doesn't have a ton of headroom, and we've got some passages of fairly clean guitar... and since I hate running back to the amp and adjusting things I ran the Hovercraft's gain a bit below the desired range (where the attack is incredible), then kicked a germanium boost for the heavy stuff and dialed back the guitar for cleaner stuff. I do not like its sound under the germ boost as much as I like the cranked preamp, but it all worked out. I kinda wish it had some channel switching.

Other than that, I'm extremely happy, and am considering getting a bigger head for my dual-100 watt rig. In my opinion, the Hovercraft kicks out the best flavor of high gain I've ever heard, and does so for far less than you'd pay for an Electric or a Matamp.
 

Flip Downey

Member
Messages
13
Thats awesome man! In my doom band I used to run a Laney AOR 50 and a Ceriatone Plexi, now I use just my Hovercraft Andromeda/Matamp voiced. I'll be adding one of his Falcons to that rig here in a couple weeks. But these amps really are a lot of tone for a little cash. My tolex is a bit spotty but who cares about that when the amp is only 800 for some serious Matamp/Electric Orange type tones.
And they are wayyy more versitile than people give them credit for. I am sure this is because most of the YT videos are downtuned and doomed out as hell, but really I could do country with this amp. The mild OD blues tones I can pull out of this are just amazing on both channels. One more this is that it is super easy to dial in a great tone, really this amp sounds good with any setting you put on it. Some are more useable but they are all good for something.
Can't wait to try out the new Falcon KT66 Laney Supergroup Nonmaster/ Sunn Model T second channel head he's putting together for me!
If you are wondering, go out and get one of these Amps!
 




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