Pedal vs Amplifier

At J.Rockett Audio Designs we go to great lengths to make sure all of our overdrive pedals sound organic, transparent, and amp-like. We feel it’s extremely important that a pedal has the tone, feel, touch, and feedback to your fingertips that a great tube amp will give you! Here are three video clips by Sam Vilo doing a demo of our Animal Overdrive compared directly to a 65 Amps Empire. I think you will be amazed at how difficult it is to tell the difference between the two! The Animal  will give you that 1968 Plexi tone!

Dumble Overdrive Special

Compare for yourself:  Video of an original 1983 Dumble Overdrive Special and video of The Dude overdrive pedal by J.Rockett Audio Designs! We set out to create an overdrive pedal that replicated ALL the nuances of the famed amplifier.

The Dumble Overdrive Special is the most difficult to acquire and most sought after amplifier in the world. Alexander “Howard” Dumble has no contact information online, requires several thousands of dollars for a deposit, and demands that you sign a bunch of agreements (one of which details the consequences of asking about your amp’s progress). Even if you’re patient enough to deal with all of that, the wait for a Dumble amp can be at least a decade!

The last, but certainly not least problem, when it comes to acquiring one of these amps…you probably have to pony up a minimum of $100,000 to buy one on the open market as there are only about 300 in existence!

No worries, you can plug into the new Dude overdrive for $199!

Dude Overdrive

For those of you who have been waiting, here it is, The Dude Overdrive! This is our take on one of the most iconic amplifiers ever made, the Dumble Overdrive Special. Whereas many Dumble pedals that have been made focus more on the Larry Carlton/Robben Ford sound, we wanted to make the pedal such that it exhibits the full range of tones you will find in a Dumble Overdrive Special. You can go from clean boost territory to classic Dumble tones, to hi gain lead tones with tons of sustain.  Please experiment with the settings and be careful with the output…the Dude is loud!

Demo video attached below!


Here are the settings for the pedal:

  • Level: The Level control introduces clean boost and can be used independent of the Ratio control.
  • Ratio: The Ratio control introduces the ratio of gain vs boost. You can achieve the classic ODS sounds very easily but it all depends on your guitar, pickups and amp as to where the sweet spot is. Start blending in the gain control and it will simultaneously reduce clean volume and introduce gain.
  • Treble: Turn to the right to increase output, to the left to decrease output.
  • Deep: The Deep control varies the level of midrange prominence. Turn to the left and it will be scooped in the midrange with more emphasis on treble and bass. Turn the Deep control to the right and it will introduce a thick, low midrange. Once you achieve your desired tone on the Deep control, adjust the treble to taste for clarity.

The Dude will be shipping out to our dealership network this week so be sure to check our dealer list on our website to find the dealer closest to you!

See the following video by Michael Britt, the guitarist and founding member of the band Lonestar.

Recording with Small Amps!


Back in the 1960’s when Rock music came into prominence, amplifiers made by companies such as Marshall, Fender, and Vox were big, loud amps! It was commonplace to see multiple, 100 watt Marshall stacks as they were designed to push a lot of air and create volumes loud enough to be heard at large concert venues. They were not, however, designed to be ideal in recording situations! Sure, if you had the luxury of being able to rent out a sound proofed recording studio, it wasn’t a problem.  Today, that’s just not a viable option since so many people are creating music from their home studios.

As you all probably know, amplifiers sound their best when played at higher volumes. In my opinion, an amp doesn’t start opening up until at least 4 on a volume knob where 10 is max. Try that with your 100 watt JMP Marshall and the cops will be taking you away in handcuffs due to pummeling your neighbors into sonic submission!

Thank goodness for the boutique amplifier movement! As more and more boutique amplifier companies have come into prominence, these companies have realized the popularity of the home recording segment, so much so, that it is commonplace to now find 1, 2, 8, and 10 watt tube amplifiers that sound really, really good! Additionally, many companies are now using power scaling and attenuation built right into larger amplifiers so as to reduce the wattage of the amplifier. Although I’m still not a big fan of using attenuation when recording, it at least allows for practicing with a good tube tone at lower volumes.


When recording I feel it’s essential to open up the amp to get the best tones. The higher the volume of the amp, the more the transformers are working in combination with the tubes to create that juicy, touch sensitive tone we all crave so much in a tube amplifier. Since J.Rockett Audio Designs is committed to creating pedals that help to give you the great tone you are looking for, it’s also important to note that using a higher wattage amp set to very low volumes, with an overdrive pedal in front of it for your tone, is not the ideal way to get a good recording. You will never be able to create an ideal tone for recording by trying to use the overdrive from your pedal in front of a Marshall Stack with the volume set to 1 or 2.

A great pedal will make a great amp sound even better. It will take the tones your amp gives you and simply accentuate them. If your amp is set to a volume that’s too low, you will never get the sounds from it that make for an ideal recording. The lows will be diminished and the highs will sound thin. So, invest in a small amp, nothing more than 20 watts. I happen to have a small tube amp that will scale between 2 watts and 8 watts. I also have a well made, 1 x 12 cabinet that I’ve fitted with a 1966 Celestion G12M 20 greenback. Needless to say, the combination of the amp dialed in at about 6 and that speaker amounts to tones from the Gods!! I put an Archer ikon and Boing reverb into the signal chain and my recordings end up huge!

Archer Ikon guitar pedalBoing Spring Reverb guitar pedal

My point is this; with the high quality, smaller tube amps being produce today, you don’t need a 100 watt monster amp to create a great recording. A smaller amp allows you to crank the volume enough to open the amp up for the best tones. Pedals will always sound better when adding their signatures to an already opened up amplifier. On that note, when you go to your local music store to demo a J.Rockett pedal, do it in front of an amp that’s opened up. That’s the only way you will truly understand what the pedal adds to the amp and you will also be on your way to creating killer recordings right from your bedroom!


Over the years I’ve read several articles related to tonewood and whether or not it makes a difference as to how an electric guitar sounds. There are those who are convinced it does and those who think it has no affect whatsoever. Is there really a scientific method in which to test this theory?  I ran across an article the other day where different pieces of tonewood (all the same dimensions) were tested with the same type of strings and pickup. The audio signals were analyzed and recorded.  Although there was an audible difference between Alder and Swamp Ash, was this because the string was plucked a little differently or was it because the strings on each piece of wood had a different tone sonically?  Was it because the density of that piece of Alder was just different than another piece of Alder as compared to the Swamp Ash or could it have been that the anchoring points of each string were slightly different? There are so many variables involved with how a particular guitar sounds that it’s really difficult to know how much the actual tonewood affects the overall sound.

Knaggs Keya
Knaggs Keya

So why is it that some people say vintage guitars (1950’s and 1960’s) sound better than modern day guitars? There are many luthiers today that, when trying to replicate vintage guitars, do so by kiln drying the wood they use to build the guitars. Electric guitars built in the 50’s and 60’s are very old and, thus, the wood they are made of is very old. As wood ages for that many years it dries out. Some say that wood which is drier is more resonant. I would have to agree with this but does that create a direct correlation as to the overall tone of the guitar? Based on the variable scenarios that make up the tone of a guitar, it’s really hard to say? If we were to pick up a piece of Mahogany from 1959 and hit it with a wooden spoon it would probably sound different than a piece of Mahogany from 2015. The audible differences would be much more apparent sonically due to the noise of the wood when hitting it with a wooden spoon. However, does the sound that each piece of wood makes create a tone that is better than the other? Would the older, drier piece of Mahogany sound better than the newer piece of Mahogany or will it just sound different because it is resonating differently? Additionally, will each piece of wood sound as different when incorporated with all the other components of a guitar after it’s built versus when hitting it with a wooden spoon as a slab of wood by itself? Again, this is all subjective!

1959 Les Paul
1959 Les Paul Reissue

Keep in mind, a test like this is very simple as we are only trying to differentiate between the sound two pieces of wood make! Things get really complicated when we add the following components into the mix:

  • The type of bridge and how it is anchored
  • The type of nut and how thick it is cut
  • The type of pickups and how they are wound and mounted
  • The type of strings and gauge of strings
  • Whether it is a set neck or a bolt-on
  • Nitro finish or poly finish
  • One piece body or two piece body…

…and so on, and so on! In my opinion, I have noticed the most difference in the tone of a guitar when changing the pickups. Two different sets of pickups can change the tone of a guitar drastically. Does that mean that I could take a cheap set of pickups and install them in the Knaggs Keya pictured above, one of the most finely crafted guitars made today, and it would sound bad? In my opinion, yes, it would not sound as good. Conversely, would that be the case if I installed that same set of cheap pickups in the 1959 Gibson Les Paul reissue also pictured above? Again, in my opinion, yes, it would not sound as good as the original set of PAF’s designed for the guitar.

Humbucking Pickup
Humbucking Pickup

My point is this. Great Luthiers who build guitars do so with the idea that each component that goes on the guitar is designed to compliment all the other components of the guitar, including the wood. A well crafted guitar would not be designed with the idea that it will sound it’s best with a set of inferior pickups or any other component for that matter. This is a debate that will probably go on for ages and I don’t suspect that it will be resolved any time soon as it’s really a matter of opinion. The bottom line is that when choosing a guitar, does it sound good to you? Is it well crafted and does it feel good in your hands? Does it play like butter or do you struggle to hold a chord? Does it make you a better player or want to give up and go back to your day job? All these are considerations when choosing a guitar that’s right for you!

1957 Fender Stratocaster
1957 Fender Stratocaster


Given that this is a blog and open for debate I encourage our followers to chime in. Give us your opinion as we would really like to hear what you have to say! Click on the “Leave a comment” link below and tell us what you think!



Rupert Neve Designs


The “Neve” Sound

For years I had the pleasure of working on a few different Neve consoles at Cello Studios in Hollywood CA.  You always hear about the Neve sound and how remarkable recordings can be in the hands of a capable engineer. These were all Vintage Neve consoles and within these vintage Neve consoles were some amazing preamps and EQ’s.

One of the most famous preamps in the world is the Neve 1073 which has been an industry staple since its inception. There are others as well, like the 1084, but all of these units had a magic quality and a magic coloration.

You always hear about transparency in recordings but Neves most certainly were/are not transparent. There is a pleasing coloration to anything you record through a Vintage Neve. I especially notice it on symbols and the silky nature they take on when recorded through a vintage Neve console.

There have been many attempts at clones of the Neve 1073, some have been exceptional and some not so much. I remember having the conversation with Gary Myerberg (Master Engineer/Tech at Cello) and Gary telling me that it was the Polystyrene caps in the vintage Neve consoles that gave them their magic.  I would not know but Gary is one of the best in the industry so I trust him.

It is my opinion that in today’s world of recording you do not need massive consoles and expensive mics to achieve professional and, in some cases, exceptional results.  You are seeing more and more 500 series racks loaded with Neve 1073’s, API 512 C’s and many, many others as front ends to DAWS.  Plug-ins are getting better and better and great mics are becoming more and more affordable.

Rupert Neve has continued to design modern day gear that rivals anything he has made in the past.  However, some people cannot get past the vintage mindset.  The vintage mindset is fine but do not discount what is on the market today.


I remember visiting Rupert Neve Designs in Wimberly and having some great conversations.  One of their head engineers at the time was a guy named “Hutch” Craig Hutchison, who I believe is back with Manley Labs.  Hutch told me that Rupert still has weekly chalk talks and every week he would show these highly regarded engineers something mind blowing in his approach to circuit design. That being said, I have always remained a huge fan of Rupert Neve and his designs.

Josh Thomas (Head of RND) has been amazingly generous over the years.  I now sport a sweet set of new 500 series pre’s, compressors and tape emulators, along with my prized 5060 center piece.  I personally have never achieved sound quality that equals what I am achieving today out of my lowly home studio!

Some of my favorites of my personal gear:

  1. Neve 517, 543, and 542’s
  2. 5060 Centerpiece
  3. Universal Audio Apollo 8 (newest version)
  4. A Designs Nail
  5. A Designs Hammer
  6. Phoenix Audio DRS-Q4M MK2
  7. Stedman N-90 mics
  8. Telefunken CU-29 Copper Head

If you can’t make a record with this stuff you might need to question your skills!…:-)

Check out Rupert Neve products at


5088 High Voltage & Discrete Mixer

Penthouse Frame

When 90 volts course through discrete op-amp cards, custom transformers & meticulously crafted, Class A circuitry designed by the most trusted name in audio, the difference is immediately apparent.

Different from the Inside-Out

The circuit topology of the 5088 is unprecedented. With custom transformers coupling every single input and output (including the inserts), the sweet musical performance and bulletproof isolation expected from a Rupert Neve design are assured: there is not a single compromised signal path in the entire console. For signal amplification and control, all new, high voltage, discrete op-amp cards have been developed specifically for the 5088 that eliminate crossover distortion while offering extended headroom, dynamic range, and frequency response.


Unrivaled Pedigree

The 5088 is a culmination of Mr. Rupert Neve’s vast analogue circuitry knowledge. As his first fully discrete mixing design in over 30 years, the 5088 incorporates and improves upon many of the same concepts, such as the single-sided, fully discrete amplification and complete transformer isolation that made his original designs so revered – except unlike many of those aging classics, maintenance is no longer a full time job.


Sound Without Compromise

To stay current in the recording business you must be able to continuously adapt your environment to the needs at hand. Because the 5088 is completely modular, channel strips and Portico processing modules like EQ, microphone preamplification and dynamics can be added or removed to meet constantly changing demands and eliminate the massive redundancies of consoles from yesteryear. If you don’t need it, your console doesn’t need it either.

The Input Channel

Beyond its exceptional sound quality, the 5088 channel strip is designed to effectively handle multiple normalled sources, creating master, group and aux mixes with great efficiency. With 8 axes, 8 “Groups”, “Solo”, “Mute”, “Send Follows Pan”, “Aux to Group”, a transformer coupled direct out and optional motorized fader automation on each channel, even the most complex mixes are within reach.

Meter Bridge

The Stereo Input Channel

In lieu of mono input channels with selectable Line 1 / Line 2 Inputs, Stereo Input Channels can be fitted to increase the channel count without having to add an expansion chassis. The Stereo Module has all of the group sends, six auxes, stereo width control, and individual trims and pans for each channel.

The Group Channel

With 4 pairs of FX returns and aux master controls, alongside high-quality 100mm faders, direct outs and transformer-coupled inserts for each of the 8 mix groups, the group master section provides the medium to control 4 stereo stem mixes while tying together an entire array of channel strips. If necessary, the insert returns and stereo FX returns can be used as an additional 16 inputs for summing.


The Monitor Master

The monitor master section has 6 source selections, 3 transformer-coupled speaker outputs, talkback, oscillator controls, 2 VU meters, stereo inserts, stereo level and control room master level. As with the the channel and group modules, anodized aluminum knobs provide the solid feel and response needed for precise adjustments.

SwiftMix™ Automation

Built around state-of-the-art motorized faders and DAW control over ethernet, SwiftMix combines the accuracy and convenience of digital automation with the unrivaled analogue sound of the Rupert Neve Designs 5088 Console.

Swift Mix


In my opinion, as well as the opinions of many others, speakers are THE most important part of the signal chain when it comes to your tone.  You could have the greatest guitar, pickups, amp, and pedals in the world but if your speakers aren’t any good your tone will never be what you want it to be.

Enjoy the following article from Brian’s Harding’s website, Bygone Tones, on Pre-Rola Greenbacks Explained. This is part 1 of the article so if you want to read part 2 just go to his website.  If you have any questions about vintage speakers or want to get some, feel free to email Brian as he’s always been very gracious to answer questions I have.

You can visit Bygone Tones at

Pre-Rola Greenbacks Explained- Part 1



So What is a pre-Rola?

Pre-Rola Celestions are generally considered to be the best sounding guitar speakers ever made.  Furthermore, they are very collectable due to their history and association with old 60’s amplifiers (Marshall in particular) and hundreds of guitar icons known to have recorded and gigged with them back in the day: Jimy Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jimi Page, Jeff Beck, Paul Kossoff, Ritchie Blackmore, to name a few- these are some of the most influential guitarists of all time! However, a lot of people are confused about what the term ‘pre-Rola’ actually means and what a ‘pre-Rola’ speaker is.

A Quick bit of History

Originally, two companies existed:

  • The British Rola Company Ltd.- established in 1934
  • Celestion Ltd.- established in 1927
The Ferry Works’ factory at Thames Ditton
The Ditton Works’ factory at Ipswich







In 1947, long before any guitar speakers or “Greenbacks” were ever made, British Rola bought Celestion and the resulting company was known as ‘Rola Celestion Ltd.’  Very Late in 1968 the company expanded and opened a second factory in Ipswich Suffolk named the Ditton Works.  In 1975 production gradually came to a close at Thames Ditton, with all production from then onwards done at Ipswich.

So what is pre rola?

The term ‘pre-Rola’ was invented by guitar players (be afraid!). Basically, it refers to a period of time when Celestion were using a certain type of label on their greenback speakers (Jan 1966 to April 1971).  This label did not have the word Rola written on it, so guitar players called them ‘pre-Rola’ labels to differentiate between the later Rola Ipswich labels.  The key thing to remember about the 70’s Rola labels is the Ipswich address. Any Rola labels with the Thames Ditton address on them are likely to be earlier still (1964 to 1965) and actually pre-date the pre-rola labels.To explain things in a bit more detail I will need to differentiate between a ‘pre-rola label’ and a ‘pre-rola speaker’ (a speaker can have a pre-rola label on it – yet not be classed as a pre-rola speaker!)

Pre Rola Labels

Pre-Rola labels have the ‘Thames Ditton Surrey’ address at the bottom, and omit the word Rola. Guitarists called them pre-rola labels because they came before the labels with the ‘Rola Celestion Ltd’ text and the Ipswich Suffolk address.

One of the first Rola Ipswich labels, known as a 'transitional' label
One of the first Rola Ipswich labels, known as a ‘transitional’ label
A typical 70's 'rola' label. Notice the speaker symbol
A typical ‘pre-rola’ label
A typical 70's 'rola' label. Notice the speaker symbol
A typical 70’s ‘rola’ label. Notice the speaker symbol









Pre Rola Speakers

The pre-Rola labels were standard across most speaker models from January 1966 to March 1971. This is known as the pre-Rola period.  So, any Celestion Greenbacks made during this time are said to be pre-Rola speakers. The company was called ‘Rola Celestion Ltd.’ during this time but they were simply not printing the word Rola on the labels.

A typical pre-rola G12M speaker made in 1969
A typical pre-rola G12M speaker made in 1969
Although the label is missing we know this G12H is a pre-rola because it was made in 1969
Although the label is missing we know this G12H is a pre-rola because it was made in 1969
One of the first Rola (Ipswich) labelled greenbacks, dated 6th April 1971
One of the first Rola (Ipswich) labelled greenbacks, dated 6th April 1971

April of 1971 is the transitional month for the labels (on the T1221 model). So, there are some April of 1971 speakers with the pre-Rola label and classed as pre-Rola speakers, but some have the Rola label and therefore cannot be classed as pre-Rola speakers. All getting a bit silly now? Both speakers are exactly the same apart from the label.

Non Pre-Rola Speakers- With Pre-Rola Labels

The pre-Rola labels continue to be used sporadically on certain speakers after April of 1971 and well into 1975. However, any speakers made after April of 1971 are not classed as true pre-Rola speakers by most collectors, even though they might still have the pre-Rola label on them.

1972 greenback G12H. Although it does have a pulsonic cone and the Thames Ditton label, this is not strictly speaking a pre-rola speaker because it was made after April 71
1972 greenback G12H. Although it does have a pulsonic cone and the Thames Ditton label, this is not strictly speaking a pre-rola speaker because it was made after April 71
1975 Creamback G12H with RIC cone - Still has the Thames Ditton label - but is definitely not classed as a pre-rola speaker
1975 Creamback G12H with RIC cone – Still has the Thames Ditton label – but is definitely not classed as a pre-rola speaker
Modern 'heritage' celestion speakers use a reproduction of the old Thames Ditton pre-rola labels
Modern ‘heritage’ celestion speakers use a reproduction of the old Thames Ditton pre-rola labels











pre-rola speakers- with rola labels

A 'Rola Celestion' label - mid 1966
A ‘Rola Celestion’ label – mid 1966


So vice-versa, there exist some speakers made during the pre-Rola period that came with Rola written on the labels. Remember, the company was called ‘Rola Celestion Ltd.’ from 1947 onwards so some labels do have it written on them. Crazy, huh?

Here is a pre-Rola speaker made in mid- 1966.  Notice the Rola Celestion text. Underneath this amp makers’ label is a pre-Rola Celestion label. So long as the speaker was made between January of 1966 and March of 1971, it’s safe to call it a pre-Rola.

The first greenbacks

You might read, in certain books, that the first Greenback speakers were pre-Rola’s. This is incorrect. The earliest pre-Rola label I have ever seen was on a speaker dated January of 1966. Before this, all ceramic speakers (aka Greenbacks) came with just a gold and red label. The text at the bottom reads ‘Rola Celestion Ltd.- Thames Ditton Surrey’ (not Ipswich). These are the first Greenback speakers and were made around 1964 to 1965. These speakers are incredibly rare and very collectable!

A very rare 'Rola Thames Ditton' label G12H T1217 speaker - circa 1965
A very rare ‘Rola Thames Ditton’ label G12H T1217 speaker – circa 1965
These labels came before the 'pre-rola' labels
These labels came before the ‘pre-rola’ labels









Tube Amp Biasing at Home

Today’s blog post is courtesy of Nathan Sanford from Sanford Magnetics.  Nathan is a top notch designer of Humbucking and P-90 style pickups and he is located all the way up in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada.  His company is Sanford Magnetics and you can see his website at  He will also be introducing a new amplifier to his brand in the near future.  I’ve heard the prototype of the amp and it is nothing short of stellar!  Nathan brings a lot to the table when it comes to pickup design and manufacturing.  He is our first guest blogger for J.Rockett Audio Designs.  Nathan’s topic is on how to do your own tube biasing at home.  Enjoy the article!

Tube Amp Biasing At Home

This is pretty basic and by no means a comprehensive lesson for doing amp work, but it’s served me well over the years. Some may find it basic, to those who always wondered, it may be insightful. I’m not an expert or a tech, just someone who needed to do it myself.

Learning to bias an amp will save you a lot of trouble over the course of your playing life. Much like learning to do your own guitar setups, you’ll be able to adjust your amp for your needs and tube roll at home without having to see a tech. If you do your own guitar work, you know how valuable a skill that is. With a little know-how and working safely, you can have a lot of fun finding what works best for your rig.

The key to making this easy is a device known as a bias probe.  A tool you can plug in between the tubes and the sockets of your amp to get the readings you’ll need. It’ll pay for itself in no time.  The Weber Bias-rite is the one I’ve been using for years, but there’s a few different ones on the market now.

Tube amps are a little bit dangerous to go prodding around in, so be aware that 5 milliamps across the heart can kill you. Never make an adjustment with a guitar around your neck. Never do this bare foot or in the bathtub, use common sense and nothing will bite you.

Make sure your amp is well supported, I use a couple stacks of 2X4’s drilled together for a cheap DIY cradle.  When you do anything inside your amp, stick your left hand in your pocket so you don’t accidentally touch something you shouldn’t. If you are a careless person, don’t try this.

Biasing an amp is really just simple math.  Watts/voltage=current. You’ll need to know the maximum wattage rating for the tube you’re using.  The KT66 I’m using in my RT66 is a 25 watt tube.   Typically, 70% of maximum tube dissipation at idle is what I work around..some say 70% is the maximum, but that’s somewhat subjective.

1.)  With the Bias-rite in place, I get a voltage reading, then hit the switch to get the current draw of the tube.

2.)  With my Rt66, 70% of 25 watts gets me 17.5 watts a tube. 17.5 watts/459v = .038 amps.

3.)  With the amp on in play mode, You’ll want to make small adjustments to the bias pot  and observe the bias probe as you make the changes.




 I set the amp to 35.6ma per tube…for 16.34 watts. Under the 70%, but after playing the amp, I’m happy with the results.


Now, that’s the basics. Where this gets fun is experimenting with different amps and tubes and what you want to get out of them.

Looking for more headroom, playing cleaner stuff, set the bias on the cold side, say 65%. If you have an old Marshall, set it higher, then play test the amp. You’ll let your ears be the judge of what bias setting works for you and your amp. There’s no real rule, just what your ears tell you is right.  Too cold and your amp will sound like garbage, too hot and you’ll wear your tubes out prematurely…but that could be worth it to some guys, so be mindful of shortened tube life.  I once had a tech tell me he biased everything cold. He was worried about a tube failing and the amp combing back for warranty repair…didn’t matter if the player preferred the amp set on the hot side.  Really, it’s more about experimentation than anything and finding what works for you. These simple tools and some math can open up another level of tweaking for us eternal tinkerers.

N Sanford.



Hey everyone, I just wanted to give a low down on my experience at Summer NAMM in my home town of Nashville TN.

To my surpise the show was jamming right from the start.  The convention center is excellent and parking was a breeze.  It was fun because this year I was able to drop off a bunch of the Rockett products at a local dealer’s booth and just let them be there for everyone to sample.

I of course have more important things to do like check out recording gear….;-) That being said, I have to recommend a microphone.  The new Telefunken Copperhead mic….wow!! it has a U67 capsule, sounds like pure silk and can take 138db spl….that is crazy high and will work amazingly well on electric guitars.  I was told it was used all over the new Greenday record if you want reference.  Did I come home with one…..hmmmmmm?

So onward, I cruised over to my buddy Josh Thomas’s little known Rupert Neve Designs booth and pimped him for free preamps (It did not work) but they have a new DI that rewrites the book…looking forward to that.  I, however, shall keep pushing them to send me one of these 5060 and some 500 series pres…….such great gear!!

Right next to them was the Antelope Audio booth and for those of you looking for home studio stuff that pretty well gets you into the Pro realm check out their new Zen Studio WOW! does this thing sound amazing and for relatively cheap for one of their products….in my future indeed… if I could afford those ATC monitors I would be set!!

There is a lot of cool new gear in the pedal world as well but who needs those…;-)

After party at the Warwick facility on 12th was a blast.  I got to meet lots of superstar bass players like Chuck Rainey, Vail Johnson (Ok, Vail is my motorcycle riding buddy but nobody else can claim MC Hammer), Victor Wooten and many more.  Of course Phil X was rockin as well.  A special thanks to Hans Peter Wilfer (Owner of Warwick) for a great spread of food and drink…HP knows how to party.  Big thanks to Wolf Hoffman for letting my wife get her metal god photo!!

I am hoping that Summer NAMM continues to get better because it is so much more relaxed and easy when compared to Winter NAMM.  I think after this experience we will pony up for a booth next year and see how it goes.  Make sure you check out some of the gear I mentioned above….that is, if you are into recording.

Hope to see you there next year!