Luker Tiger 40 Watt Reviews 5

This is a custom 40W combo built around the beginning of 2010. It's a solid pine cabinet with dove-tail joints, wheat grills and amazing attention to detail. All points of contact are solid and well glued. Measurements are all superb and the cab does not rattle in any way, yet it remains to weigh only 37 lbs. Pretty sweet. The amp section is all point to point and hand wired with some of the best quality electronics on the market. Ken Luker and I opened it up once to attempt to detect and assess a tiny audible garble that turned out to be a preamp tube and the inside of his amps are beautifully built. All top quality power blocks, caps, resistors, pots, wiring, and tubes throughout. (I'd comment more specifically, but I'm not in the mood to go back and do the research needed to label each brand, but never mind, because the parts are top notch.) From left to right on the back is: a Removable power cable slot (The removable power cable is super convenient! And it's standard, so replaceable.), Fuse, 3-way On/Off toggle switch for Tube or Solid state rectifier, Standby switch, (3 speaker outs) One 8ohm, One 4ohm, One 2ohm, and then a Line-out jack with adjustable level control (can be used with headphones too). The speaker cabinet of the amp is the first of it's kind from Ken. He mentioned using a closed and ported cabinet design with a front mounted speaker. I love it so much that he is currently building me an extension speaker cab built the same way. The speaker I chose is a stock Eminence 1258. I did days of research and AB-ing tons of choices and this one seemed to fit my range of styles the best. The front of the amp goes as follows: (L-R) High gain input, Low gain input, Volume, Effects loop (S,R), Treble, Bass, Mids, Presence, and an optional Master volume. The front also displays a beautifully designed logo and a small, red jewel style indicator light. It's simple and classy. I love the look of Ken's amps this way, but he offers mass amounts of custom options too. The handle is a standard plastic strap with chrome ends style and there are rubber feet on the bottom that are soft. The grills are wrapped beautifully too.

I purchased the amp from Ken Luker, the maker, out of Eugene, OR, for $950. I also had a wonderful matching cabinet made that Ken designed a hybrid open/closed function in for $265.

The guitar I am currently using, almost exclusively, through the amp is a custom Raven West RG style with Seymour Duncan buckers, tappable. Also, I am playing many genres and lots of different effects pedal combinations through it too. The amp is totally capable of representing the sounds and styles that I'm intending to get. By that I mean: it's transparent enough and quiet enough to allow ME to come through as I have intended. It's dynamic and touch sensitive, but not peaky, spikey and wild. It responds very well to both humbucker and single coil style pickups using clean or distorted tones. But if you're into using the amp's overdriven tube tones you're in for a treat! The amps overdriven tones are superb. The overdrive that comes out of this design is fat and booming, dynamic and crystally with plenty of vocal mids for articulate lead work. Sadly most of the time I need an array of different tones ranging from glassy clean with tones of reverb to punchy and straight forward lead tones so I use effects pedals. I plan on using two of these amps in the future though. And as a matter of fact, Ken is designing a stereo 40/40W amp as I write this! This amp is a cathode bias type amp regulating two JJ 6L6's. The setup is 2 pre's, 2 power's, and tube/solid rectifier. I'm thoroughly impressed by the amp's sound to size ratio. It's one of those magic amps that sounds like a half stack but is just a tiny 1-12, 40W combo terror! The cab design allows for deep, true bass tones to come through without overbearing the mids and highs, so the sound is balanced and sweet. The simple design of the amp section allows the tone and volume settings to be super accurate. So turning the volume knob from off to full-on reacts the way it should: intuitively. It's not like those other amps where full volume is reached by the time you hit 9 o'clock. It's a gradual even distribution of volume through the range of the pot. The same goes for the EQ section. You can really dial in specific frequencies with this amp. That was one of the main selling points for me. With options like that I can make my amp sound like any amp practically. The frequencies occupy their respective audible space and never crowd out each other so the amp has more headroom and balance. One of the things I really wanted out of this amp was plenty of crystal clear clean headroom. Ken was able to get me plenty. I can sound super loud at gigs and jams without breaking up. This is perfect for me since I alter tones with pedals. One thing to realize about this amp (and really, all of Ken's amps) is that they sound completely silent when idle, even at high volumes.

Ken and his wife are both very attentive to their customer's needs. Music is a very personal thing for people and they respond well to other's recognition of that, which the Luker's seem to know very well. Ken is a musician himself and understands, not just the workings of an amp, but the workings of a musician. These points were another main selling point for me in deciding to work with them. When I've had questions or issues to work out with Ken he has been right there for me ready to take however much time and energy needed to solve the problems at hand... he's like an 'Amp Builder Super Hero', hahaha. Anyway, the amp is amazing and they are very personable and understanding. The customer service we recieve from Luker is the best kind: Personal.

Brandon Woody rated this unit 5 on 2010-06-03.

Write a user review

© Gear Review Network / - 2000