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Review: Vintage 47 Amps

OK Gypsy Jazzers, lusting for that "real" vintage sound?  Looking for that later Django or Charlie Christian sound?  This builder has it dialed in!

In their own words; "The Vintage 47 take on Gibson's classic EH185.  A guitar amp with more headroom, well suited for the jazz player, or anyone looking for a smoother overdrive in their amp.  The EH-185 was made famous in the late 30's and early 40's by guitar greats such as Django reinhardt and Charlie Christian." Want proof? Listen to Django play Anniversary Song or Low Cotton after 1937 and you'll hear what I'm talking about.

I don't remember exactly how I found this amp builder but I'm really happy with my VA-185.  It sounds best with the Peche or Krivo, but works well with any pickup I've tried including the Ischell and K&K Trinity system.

The only piezo it works well with is a bigtone I got from Leo Eimers.  Don't have a clue what he uses, but the rest, including the Dupont don't really work well with this amplifier.

This builder bends over backwards to please the cliient and the amps (I've personally tested half his models) are truly vintage, truly tonally wonderful and his warranty can't be beat.  If you are a true tube geek as I am, you'll love the Vintage 47 product(s).

This is one of the very few amplifiers I've owned that stays tonally great regardless of the tube(s) you use.  So no need to spend hundreds or more for those NOS tubes that won't change a thing.  Not being a fan of JJ's, I did swap them out for Mullard and Gold Lion where appropriate.  After swapping the power tubes with RCA Black Plate 6L6's, there was no perceived change in tonal quality, perceived power or breakup.  Stick a stompbox of your choice on it if that's your inclination and it changes the complexion of the amp and gives you a bit of crunch at lower volume.

At $995.00 for the VA-185, the price point is slightly less than half that of the Peche, roughly a third of the cost of an equivalent Dupont and many hundreds less than most boutique amplifier builders.

The VA-185 is only a few pounds heavier than an AER or Roland and appears bulletproof.