rh photography

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Here is my 2010 Gisbon Custom Les Paul Special Double Cut, VOS, & my very first low-wattage tube amp, a Mack Gem.  4 watts, switchable to 0.4 watts. http://www.mackamps.com/products/gem-2g.html

Most of my friends know that I am a guitar collector, but many do not know that I also collect low-powered tube amps.  "3" makes a collection, right?? :D

Why? Several reasons:  1) I like my guitars to sound good. 2) I can’t get that sound with a solid state amp. 3) My neighbours are nice and do not deserve to hear my digital (i.e. related to the fingers) caterwauling at all ungodly hours. 4) In the band I used a 100 watt Fender Twin…and even in a large nightclub/bar it was so ridiculously over-powered for what I needed that I have never forgiven myself for making such a foolish purchase!  Unless you’re playing arenas or REALLY big auditoriums, and PA systems haven’t been invented yet, then about 90 of those 100 watts are completely wasted.

So a few years ago, I said to myself “Self,” I said “SOMEONE out there must make a low wattage tube amp that meets my needs for home playing and recording, without being ruinously expensive”.  I figured 10 watts and under would do the job…but then I realized that even 10 watts is WAY more than I need for home playing.  So I started looking for 5 watts and under.  The Gem was my first sub-5 watt amp…and since then I have found two more great 1 watt amps - a Blackstar HT-1RH and a Marshall JTM-1, both of which are EXACTLY what I need when I am at home and playing with myself and I don’t want the neighbours to hear.

No wait..that didn’t come out right…