Quidley/Swart amp seminar

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Peppy, Jul 25, 2008.

  1. Peppy

    Peppy Member

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    Local store Guitars Etc. owner Adrian Schumacher, local guitar player/band leader Jeff Engelbert (blues54 on this site), amp builder Ed Quidley and myself hosted a "boutique" amp seminar at Adrian's store last night. Impressively, Ed Quidley flew in from North Carolina to attend and talk about his amps and boutique amplifiers in general. Class act Ed.

    We introduced and demoed the store's two Quidley amps and their Swart offerings. Guitars used were the store's Andersons...Jeff used a Cobra and I used a new Classic with the new SF pickups. (Jeff also used his personal "Tele"...a Hahn model. I left my Andersons and Rory Gallager Strat at home.) We later then did three instrumentals together to showcase the individual amps...the AST and the SST from Swart and the 1 X 12" combo and head/2 X 12" cab (in cool brown faux ostrich covering) from Quidley.

    It started with a short background by Jeff on the boutique history and to where it stands today. It was then set up with a quick run through of the Swarts by Jeff and the Quidleys by me. Ed then gave a talk on amplifiers in general and of course the differences/improvements that the boutique amp can offer and his line in particular. To his line:

    Ed has done a really cool take-off on traditional amps. He uses EL84s in a single channel amp to approximate old JCM 800s but yet with the capability of getting some AC30ish tones as well...even getting some huge tones a la 6L6s. In other words, a specific target tone of the Marshalls but with some flexibility....all the while w/o compromising of his target tone. I won't get into the technical aspects (the Open/Closed loop is very cool for instance) too much, www.quidleyamps.com should explain far better than I can. Briefly though, they do what Ed has intended and are such a great addition to the boutique market. Great workmanship, cool coverings and huge-sounding 22 watt amps!

    It was nice to be able to show some of the local players and aspiring "gear heads" what is available and what they can use to improve their tone and stand out from the crowd. I've got to say that Ed was really appreciated, coming all the way out here to Northern Mexico...whoops...Tucson...to help with the seminar. I sure hope he appreciated the fine Mexican food we showed him and the fine Hispanic women...wait, I just mean the ones we know at the bar/restaurant...no hanky panky happenin'. Seriously, it was a pleasure to plan, prepare and perform this event and I hope that some of you can have one in your area or even put one on yourselves. The attendees were quite attentive and it was a good way to get guitar players together in a relaxed, yet engaging forum.

    John Des Portes
    Tucson
     
  2. blues54

    blues54 Member

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    July 25, 2008

    I want to agree with Peppy on most all of his points. One of the important things that were discussed at last night’s event was the age old Vintage VS Boutique discussion. I am personally a player first that desires great tone and reliability. I think everyone might desire to be a collector (if our wallets allow us) but the reality what is being built today is more than likely better and more reliable than the vintage amps of old. There are better materials more readily available and technology that goes along with it. An all original 64-65 Fender Deluxe Reverb can fetch somewhere between $2,800-$3500? It might sound great but requires a lot of TLC and it might not sound as good as a brand new comparable boutique amp that is completely built by hand. Not to mention that you deal directly with the owners who really care about what they build and truly stand behind their product. Also because of the build quality there are very few warranty issues.

    There are so many quality Boutique Amplifier builders that I think I can confidently say this is probably the “golden age” of guitar amps and guitars. We should all be thankful that so much good stuff is out there.
     
  3. Andre357

    Andre357 Member

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    Thanks guys. Great comments from both of you. Checked that Quidley webpage out. Wow they sound and look fantastic !

    I'm a big swart fan as well. Did you have any of the new Swart AST Pro's to look at and try out ?

    Just wondering how you guys think they compare to the regular Swart AST.

    And I agree. There's so many nice amps, guitars and effects around these days.

    It really is a golden age.
     
  4. Peppy

    Peppy Member

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  5. Heinz W

    Heinz W Genuine '66 Relic Gold Supporting Member

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    Very cool John. Also very cool that you'd take the time to be involved personally. Mr. Quidley sounds like a first-rate guy. The kind of person I would want behind any product I'd buy, especially something as meaningful to me as a great guitar amplifier.

    Since it's unlikely I'll ever attend one of these amp seminars I'll have to settle for hearing several great amps on a weekly basis at the private jam my friend hosts on Saturday evenings. :D There I routinely enjoy the tone of Germino, Victoria, vintage Fender , and of course my Swart. All fairly decent amps. ;) Fairly decent playing helps too! :rotflmao

    Jeff's post is spot on, it IS the golden age of amps. There's never been a better selection of genuinely outstanding amps than right now. I've had an early Swart SST (#006) for 16 months now and can't imagine being without it now. I've played it heavily all that time, transported it repeatedly up and down my long bumpy driveway, and it's been a rock. Not so much as a loose tube. Always there with it's incredible tone. Golden Age indeed.

    It's really amazing how many great builders there are in NC though, isn't it?
     
  6. Peppy

    Peppy Member

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    Thanks. Yes, Ed is the real deal as far as class goes...knowledge, experience and committment as well.

    Yes, it's not only the golden age of amplification but I think guitars as well. I've been playing electric guitar since July of 1966 and thus have a "little" experience to go on. The consistency of the builds, the numbers of models offered and the general quality is sure better than from when I started out.

    As to numbers of amp builders in N.C. Ed came up with 13 last night...could be more if you include the guy who builds a few per year for himself and friends. Regardless, that's a fair number of good builders from that state.

    Great stuff last night and I am lucky to be a part of it.
     

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