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  • GUYTRONIX ARDMORE AND GILMORE JR (tube amp kits)

    In this review, we're going to be taking a close look at a couple of Gary Gerhart designed tube guitar amp "DIY" kits from Guytronix - the 8 Watt EL84 based Ardmore ($299, direct from www.guytronix.com ), and the $249 1/2 watt (2 watt optional) Gilmore Jr.

    First off, a couple of disclaimers. Normally, a reviewer obtains a "loaner" of the product to be reviewed, and return or purchase it at the end of the review process. In this case, we're dealing with a pair of tube amp kits, and as such, they can't really be assembled and reviewed and then returned in the same state as they arrived in. And since putting together a tube amp takes a certain amount of time and labour (stay tuned to this thread for an idea of exactly how little or much ), and since that itself has value (IOW, the company can take the returned / completed amp and sell it for more than the price of an unbuilt kit), Rich at Guytronix and I negotated a deal where I would built both kits, do the review with complete freedom, and send back only one of the completed amps. That way, he doesn't profit from my build time, and I "pay" for whichever amp I decide to keep by the labor I put into building the amp I return. So right upfront, you know I'm keeping one of these two kits... and since these are Pro Reviews, you're all invited to participate and help keep things honest and above board.

    There are many potential uses for a small, low power, yet toneful tube amp. Practice at home and recording purposes are two places where such amps are commonly used. In this review, I hope to cover the actual kits themselves, the build process and the difficulty level and experience / skills you'll need if you decide to build one, and what level of customer service and assistance you can expect to recieve from Guytronix. Additionally, we're going to fire up the studio and do some tracking of the completed amps so that everyone can get an idea of how these amps sound, with particular attention to how well they perform in a studio recording environment - after all, this IS a studio forum. But we'll also break out the SPL meter and see just how loud a 1/2 or 8 watt head really gets. That should be of interest to those who are considering one of these amps to use for practice.

    What I'd like from you is your participation. Let me know if you have any questions. If something's not clear, point it out. If you have built one of these amps, feel free to voice your opinions about them and tell us about your experiences. Rich from Guytronix will also be participating and will be making comments and answering questions as appropriate as well. He's a good guy, and you'll find him easygoing, knowledgeable and helpful. I'll also be asking for suggestions regarding what you want to hear insofar as clips, and we might even try to set up an in-studio session (at my place) with a few of you to let you get some hands-on, in person playing and listening time with the completed amps. We can track some clips of your playing, and give you an opportunity to tell everyone what you think based off firsthand experience playing through the completed amps. If you're interested in participating in that part of the review, please let us know.

    Ready?
    **********

    "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

    - George Carlin

    "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

    - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

    "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

    - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

  • #2
    I'd be happy to put two of them together in order to keep one for only the labor. My soldering station is ready to go. Then again, since I'm nobody...

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by amplayer
      I'd be happy to put two of them together in order to keep one for only the labor. My soldering station is ready to go. Then again, since I'm nobody...


      So am I... I just thought of the idea before you did.
      **********

      "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

      - George Carlin

      "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

      - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

      "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

      - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

      Comment


      • #5
        uh oh. i kind of want a Melrose. and a Ventura. and right now there's nothing stopping me from buying them.
        <div class="signaturecontainer"><b>Sean Eldon</b><br />
        <a href="http://www.mercenary.com" target="_blank"><b>Mercenary Audio</b></a><br />
        <br />
        <a href="mailto:sean@mercenary.com">sean@mercenary.co m</a><br />
        <br />
        &quot;Gearslutz -- Where the uneducated go to fight it out with the misinformed.&quot; - <a href="http://recforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/f/30/13519" target="_blank">Dave Hecht</a></div>

        Comment


        • #6
          My next installment of this review will be up in a day or two guys... I need to notify Rich that we've started, and I have to get some photos uploaded to my site first.
          **********

          "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

          - George Carlin

          "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

          - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

          "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

          - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

          Comment


          • #7
            Hello Phil,

            I am poised and ready to participate.
            Best regards,
            Rich
            www.guytronix.com

            Comment


            • #8


              One less phone call I have to make today!
              **********

              "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

              - George Carlin

              "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

              - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

              "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

              - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

              Comment


              • #9
                I might be interested in the last part of that review process too (playing, evaluating, hanging out). Thanks.
                Ken Lee on 500px / Ken's Photo Store / Ken Lee Photography Facebook Website / Blueberry Buddha Studios / Ajanta Palace Houseboat - Kashmir / Hotel Green View - Kashmir / Eleven Shadows website / Ken Lee Photography Blog / Akai 12-track tape transfers / MY NEW ALBUM! The Mercury Seven

                Comment


                • #10
                  Yeah, I'd be interested in playing and hanging out too. Would anyone volunteer to send me a plane ticket?

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    You are in for a treat- the kits from Guytronix are foolproof and complete. Absolutely no missing parts or problems. Great documentation and killer tone! I have demoed my 1/2 watt through multiple cabinets for some of the best ears around and everyone was blown away.
                    <div class="signaturecontainer"><a href="http://www.guitarparamedic.com" target="_blank">www.guitarparamedic.com</a></div>

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Good to have you with us danbomb - especially since you've personally built a Gilmore Jr.
                      **********

                      "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

                      - George Carlin

                      "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

                      - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                      "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

                      - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        I actually knocked it out in 6 1/2 hours while drinking Jack&Coke! I could probably do one in 4 hours now that I have one under my belt. I used to work at Tophat in '98 wiring up amps.
                        <div class="signaturecontainer"><a href="http://www.guitarparamedic.com" target="_blank">www.guitarparamedic.com</a></div>

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          Originally posted by danbomb
                          I actually knocked it out in 6 1/2 hours while drinking Jack&Coke! I could probably do one in 4 hours now that I have one under my belt. I used to work at Tophat in '98 wiring up amps.


                          Somehow I have a feeling your experience might make it a bit easier for you than the average Joe.

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            Took me 8 1/2 hours while drinking coffee and having a torn rotator cuff
                            Best regards,
                            Rich
                            www.guytronix.com

                            Comment

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