65 Amps Introduces the Tupelo 20-Watt 6V6 Guitar Amp

(ShackMan | Posted 2010-01-22)

65 Amps Introduces the Tupelo 20-Watt 6V6 Guitar Amp

For what was once little more than a garage-based amp-tweaking venture between Dan Boul and guitarist Peter Stroud (see the January 12th article for the full story), 6-year-old company 65 Amps is making quite a name for itself in the guitar industry already. With the press already gobbling up the "Lil Elvis," 65 Amps only saw fit to go with what works and introduced a big brother.

Enter 65 Amps' Tupelo.

The Tupelo's circuitry is largely based on the same design as the Lil Elvis, but this time around the company decided to go with a 6V6 power section instead of EL84's for a more creamy and smooth midrange overdrive. 65 Amps is no sloutch when it comes to using high quality parts, and they've gone to great lengths to make sure all the important stages are going to shape your tone beautifully, adding custom transformers (probably the most important ingredient) tuned to showcase the character of the tubes. They claim to have reproduced some of the great sounds from the late '50s through the mid '60s without any of the bad behavior of the old tube amps. The amp's design screams old American circuitry with modern refinements that only add to that vintage tone.

20-Watts in a boutique tube head like this is plenty of power for stage, club, or studio, and the amp even includes 65 Amps' proprietary Master Voltage power technology, a sweet little trick that keeps all the vocabulary, authority, and response down to about 2 or 3 watts so that you can push the gain to get all the lush tube harmonics and tone at any volume. Listening to some of the clips on their website, I found the sounds to be rich and full with a proud presence on the clean channel and surprising midrange warmth and harmonic complexity when overdriven.

The Tupelo also features a passive FX Loop, two speaker outs, and 65 Amps' unique bias tremolo and of course.

The list price for the Tupelo Combo is set at $2,295, with the Head at $1,850, putting this boutique manufacturer at a high-end but not quite boutique retail price, comparable to brands like Bogner or ENGL.

James Rushin is a bassist, organist, and composer working in the Pittsburgh and Morgantown areas. He is currently performing with baritone Justin Barclay (www.JustinBarclay.net) and Piano Trio +.

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