Archive for: May, 2011

Tube Amp Factory FB-10 Review

Tube Amp Factory FB-10 front

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The FB-10 is a 14 watt model produced by the Tube Amp Factory. It is small only in size and packs a good punch and tone. It looks like a handmade amp, because that’s what it is. There are no unnecessary graphics, grills or frills. It is a minimalist approach, and for what these amps do, it’s perfect. What I like about the Tube Amp Factory, is that they do something well, and stick to it. (I think this may change, but more on that later). Owner Dave Harris is able to faithfully build these amps by hand the same way he did 50 years ago.

 

Tube Amp Factory FB-10 Performance

Tube Amp Factory FB-10 insides

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The amp has only the most basic controls: volume, treble and bass. The dials, input, and the switch for the clean/fat boost are on the front of the amp, while the back contains the power, standby, and 4, 8, and 16 ohm outputs. This particular amp head pairs well with a 1×12 speaker cab. The amp produces a clean, warm tone and uses a 12AT7 twin triode in the preamplifier and a 12AU7 in the phase inverter/ driver circuit. It has a push-pull 6V6. It’s good at reproducing the sound of early amps. It has a warm tone, and actually gets pretty loud for only a 14 watt amp. The fat channel is a good crunchy sound, and when paired with another overdrive sounds amazing.

Noticeably absent is a reverb chamber, however Dave Harris has already thought about that, and is looking in to making that happen. It doesn’t come standard with a foot switch to activate the fat crunch but it can be added when you purchase it. One thing you will love is the ability to customize all elements of your amp. There’s not much that they can’t do to help get you the tube sound you have always wanted. Contact them for more information, they will get back to you quickly.

Tube Amp Factory FB-10 No Case

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All in all, you can’t beat this amp for what it costs. What sets this amp apart is the care put into production. As a musician, to have anything that is built by hand is always a treat, and these amps are just that. Produced by a master craftsman, they are affordable tools that are capable of teaching young players the importance of dynamics and tone over volume, as well as seasoned veterans and studios.

We have some great samples coming later this week! As always, if you want to hear this amp in your next custom song, for your viral marketing campaign, contact Old Port Jingles today.

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Meet Dave Harris & The Tube Amp Factory

David Harris of the Tube Factory

Courtesy of JLH Photo

It was through the power of the Internet that Old Port Jingles was introduced to the Tube Amp Factory. We were looking for a small tube driven amp that could be used in a studio setting and ran into them using Twitter. Not knowing about them, we did a little research which involved a call to the owner and mind behind the company, Dave Harris. Here’s our first reaction and a little information that you might find useful if you are in the market for a tube amp.

Their name is somewhat misleading, however only in the best possible way. The factory is actually one man named Dave Harris, who has been in electronics for years, assembling amps by hand, in his basement. As a musician, having anything that is hand made tends to be special. From all the original instruments, to modern toys, when something is crafted by hand, you can almost hear it. Dave Harris has been tinkering with amps since he built his father a tube amp out of old ham radio parts because he thought the SilverTone amp he was using could sound better. He built them as a young man, and people were impressed. In 1964 he was busy building amps, but he entered the military to help America fight the war in Vietnam. When he returned to civilian life, the need for tube amps had died down, solid state amps were more popular, so Dave got into manufacturing industrial electronics. He still owns companies that do this.

It was during a move, his family began asking questions about the boxes of old amp and vacuum tube parts they had discovered, and soon a new business was born. He started putting the name on the amps officially about two years ago and has seen the start up grow. He’s passing on his tube amp knowledge onto his children and grandchildren, because it’s to him, important to keep this art form alive.

One of the things that sets the Tube Amp Factory apart from other amp companies, besides its size, is Dave’s commitment to quality. He’s the first to admit that the expression is over used, but as he talks more about the parts he uses like the hand wound transformers, and the way he manufactures them, you begin to understand that this is something he actually believes. He wants to be able to make a tube amp for musicians who can appreciate dynamics, thinks that young musicians should have the option out there for affordable tube amps. To keep prices low, he is able to use his connections from his other businesses to get better prices on the parts, kind of like how Batman was able to use Wayne enterprises to make his gadgets.

Currently there are four styles of amp available on the Tube Amp Factory website, but he did mention that there is some pressure coming at him to make some pedals, which would be a great idea. Our new amp just arrived, and we look forward to recording some tracks with it so you can hear just how it sounds. Here’s a video that they put up showing the FB 10-a. Not sure who this woman is, but she rocks an awesome looking hollow body green Telecaster.

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