Nigel’s amps


In the early days, limited finances meant that I was forced to play through home-made solid-state amplifiers.  However, these never seemed to provide the sounds I heard on the records to which I listened, so as soon as money was available I moved to valve amplifiers.   Sound City, ancient Vortexions, HiWatts and Selmers all passed through my hands – collector’s items now, worth a small fortune if I’d kept them all.   Usually they were plugged into the obligatory 4 x 12 speaker cabinets, of which I had two in a tall (and dangerous) stack – a Sound City and  a HiWatt. Eventually I settled on Marshall and Vox amps, initially a 1971 100 Watt JMP “Super PA”, which was far too loud so this was exchanged for a 1966 Marshall JTM45 Plexi which, to my great regret,   I no longer have.  I do still have a 1959 Vox AC15 twin-speaker, one of only ten made and a treasured possession, which I used throughout the 80s and 90s, latterly slaved through a Marshall JCM800  100 Watt combo.  The AC15 is currently in need of some work but I will get around to it.

For recording the Lonesome Road album I used a Marshall 40 Watt Valvestate hybrid combo with an ART FXR digital delay plumbed into its effects loop.  I’m not a big fan of pedals and effects generally, but when the song demands I have a range of pedals I can choose from including a Vox wah-wah.

Mostly I rely on the gain in the Valvestate boost channel to give me what I need in terms of sustain and “crunch”, but I also have a preamp that can be used to drive the amplifier harder and provide a little compression.  Most of the time, though, a little  reverb or delay is all I use.

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