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Anderson Amp Page
Bob’s Anderson review: I first met Jack Anderson at the Portland Oregon Rose City Guitar show in 2002. Being a vendor with my own booth for Eurotubes at the show didn’t give me much time to do more than spend a few minutes listening to his amps, but I was impressed to say the least. Guitar shows are noisy affairs and hardly an ideal environment for critical listening. My booth at the show was across the room and up about fifty feet from the Anderson Amp booth, but even with the rapid fire assault coming from dozens of guitar amps emanating throughout the room, I could always tell when one of the Anderson Amps was being test driven. That sound which is lush, warm and extremely pure, stuck in my head. The drive channel sounds were rich and smooth, and I thought that one day I would get serious about owning one. The 2004 Rose City guitar show came and went, and once again I got to know Jack a little better and the sounds I remembered were again lived up to and surpassed. At the 2005 show I pulled the trigger on ordering a 20/45 Anderson. Jack custom builds every amp with nothing but the player in mind. He worries every component into place, meticulously dresses every wire, and in the end builds you a piece of art where the build quality is only surpassed by its sound. Jack usually has a waiting list of several months up to a year, but it’s SO worth the wait! His prices are unbelievably low when compared to most hand built amps, and you would never meet a nicer guy. As the photos in the “Anderson Amps” album show, Jack’s amps are contagious to say the least. The following are short write ups on each of the Anderson Amps owned by the Eurotubes crew. The Green Anderson shown by itself on the Trutone cab is an “18/20/30” model and uses a pair of EL84’s and a pair of 6V6’s. It belongs to a longtime customer of ours Kris Siewell.
So fast forward to 2006 and after spending about a year on Jacks waiting list I received my Anderson 20/45. During the creation of my amp Jack would send pic's of it's progress. Here is a shot of the insides during the construction and then the final product. As you can see for yourself these are hand wired works of art that are created by an individual who I will very respectfully call "possessed" with build quality and tone. Every minute detail is worried into place to achieve what is more than likely to be high on anyone's top five "best of the best" list for build quality. Jack works with every customer to build an amp that is truly custom made for you. I elected to go with his 20/45 head cab option (I don't like combo amps) and had it decked out with tube driven verb and tremolo along with the variable tube boost circuit and channel switching. The only option I didn't go with was the tube buffered FX loop, I don't use effects. I requested the cab to be loaded with a couple of Ted Webers 12's, specifically an alnico Silver Bell and an alnico Blue Dog both with light dope. I've had quite a bit of exposure to and experience with Ted's speakers and back in 2002 I had a local customer with a Carvin Belair and the tone he was after fell right between these two speakers so I recommended that he try one of each. About a month later he showed up grinning from ear to ear with the amp and a few minuets later I found out why. The combination of the Silver Bell and Blue Dog were truly outstanding! Jack had not tried Ted's speakers yet and was worried that the amps voice would not be a good match. He agreed to give them a listen and not long after Jack called with that child like enthusiasm that we all get when tone knocks at the door, proclaiming the Webers to be it! I whole heartedly agree, Jacks 20/45 with the alnico Silver Bell and Blue Dog is right at the top of my short list of the five "best ever" amps! The tone? Well, it's a little piece of heaven! The one thing that impresses me the most is the amps ability to get that sweet spot at just about any volume. Even at lower volumes you can get a pristine clean and then dig in and get a bit of breakup. This is one of those amps where just playing a nice open chord lets you know instantly that you're playing something very special. I will own and play my Anderson 20/45 for the rest of my life. The drive channel is deceiving, and has more gain on tap than given by first impressions. This is because it's so smooth and defined that you don't realize how gained up you are.  The current preamp tube lineup is a JJ Gold Pin ECC803S in V1 which is insanely rich sounding followed by a couple more JJ Gold Pin ECC83S's which seem to work better in the drive channel where the GP-ECC803S's where almost too lush. As for power tubes my son Eddie and I just can't quite decide from one week to the next! The amp is so expressive and sensitive to power tubes that it just makes everything sound good in it's own way. We have run JJ Electronic 6V6's, EL34's, E34L's, KT77's, 6L6's and KT88's in it and both of us seem to come back to the JJ 6L6GC's for a while and then off to another flavor for a few days. Lately I have settled in on the KT66's for power and they have stayed in for the past several months. A conclusion? It's hard to come to one because this amp won't let you stop playing. Dollar for Dollar it's the best amp on the planet and taking the dollar out of the equation nothing changes! The only bad thing about a Jack Anderson amp is the waiting, (I think he is close to being two years out now) but you know what they say, good things take time! You can find the Anderson amps here at http://www.andersonamps.com/ When I received my 20/45 from Jack in 2006 I asked him to put Eddie on his list for an amp. Carla and I talked over and simply didn't want to take a chance on him not being able to get an Anderson of his own. Jack was out about two years at that time so figured it would make a nice birthday/Christmas present for 2007. Eddie and Jay were keeping Eurotubes afloat in the summer of 2007 when Carla and I were in Europe vacationing and visiting the great folks at the JJ Electronic factory. We knew we would be missing Eddies birthday so I hid an envelope in the office with a little note about his future Anderson. We emailed him a happy birthday pic and directions to find the envelope. To say he was surprised would be the ultimate understatement!!
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Ed's Anderson review: Wow! Where do I start? I have learned that the amp you play is just as much of an instrument as whatever you choose to sling over your shoulder. It reacts to your finger pressure, your picking intensity, your attitude and the environment you’re in… Well, at least that’s what happens when you find the other half of your tone (the instrument over your shoulder being the first half). I won’t get into how I met Jack Anderson as it would seem like déjà vu after reading the review above. I will say that Jack’s amps have captivated me since I first saw his prototype setup at the Rose City Guitar Show. He had the chassis pulled with the innards exposed underneath a sheet of Plexiglass. This amp befuddled my eyes just as much as it did my ears. The amp he plugged me into was clean when you where nice to it but when you attacked the guitar it barked right back at you. After this first encounter I already new that Jack was producing the other half of my tone. All I had to do was come up with the money (in a nut shell I’ve been blessed with the most accepting and supportive parents imaginable). After spending some time with Bob’s 20/45 I new exactly what I was after. Everything a guitarist wants; more power and more gain. I asked Jack to build me an amp that was capable of running anything from a pair of 6V6’s at 20 watts up to a quad of KT66’s for 90 watts and everything in between. Jack said it could done and he called it the 20-45-90. Features: Two channels with independent EQ and presence. The first channel is clean to slightly broken up when pushed or using hot pickups (it’s incredibly sensitive to whatever guitar you are using). The second channel is voiced differently and it has a master volume. It has about as much pre amp gain available on this channel as a Soldano hot rod but it still sounds very different. Both channels feature tube driven reverb, tremolo and variable boost. All of which are foot switchable. I couldn’t write this review without mentioning the cab that Jack built and voiced for this amp. It’s a 4X10 cab loaded with Ted Weber’s 10V and 10VS speakers. These are just like his Silver Tens and Blue Pups but they feature a 40oz Alnico magnet instead of the standard 11oz plug magnet. This gives them an individual rating of 40 watts which makes the cab 160 watts total. Needles to say this cab will hang in there with just about anything you plug into it. Plus with the ten inch speakers the cab still retains its dynamic response with lower wattage amps. Here are some photos of the amp. Hmmm….What’s better than having an Anderson Amp? Having two Anderson Amps! We’re all still cave men at heart right? At any rate, in the studio photos above you’ll see a red setup and a purple setup. The red rig came first and this is still my go to setup and possibly the one thing I own that I’d risk my life in a fire saving. During a visit to Jacks place a couple years back I had the opportunity to play an 18 watt head he had just finished along with a matching stand-alone reverb unit. There aren’t very many low wattage amps out there I really dig but this setup was just a blast. After a couple of years passed I found myself craving “that” tone. So I decided to scratch the itch and get back on Jacks wait list. I’ve always had a thing for purple so this setup was done up in classic purple tolex with a matching vertical 2X12 cab. The head features a full EQ section with switchable volume controls and bias vary tremolo. The 2X12 cab is loaded with one 75 watt alnico Silver Bell and one 75 watt alnico Blue Dog. Unlike most 18 watt builds, Jack’s is not cathode biased. It’s fully adjustable and uses a GZ34 rectifier. This makes for a very potent setup with lots of headroom (relatively speaking) and a more aggressive overdriven tone. Lately I’ve been using a JJ 5Y3 along with a pair of the new EL844’s. This creates a very noticeable drop in output and headroom. This combination makes for the perfect bedroom/practice setup!
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Jay’s Anderson: Model 100-2R, otherwise known as the Brit-Boost Machine, Jay’s band calls it ‘Moby Dick’- i.e. the White Whale. You can see the amp in the studio photos above next to Ed’s red Anderson. This amp was conceived as 100-watts, two channels with reverb, and switchable gain boosts for each channel. After a few minor modifications, the gain boost was hardwired into the drive channel, while the clean channel evolved into two sets of volume controls: A single for sparkling clean power, plus a pre and master volume setup for dialing in some chime and classic crunch. Lots of bells and whistles here: Global volume boost, channel switching, reverb, and two serial effects loops: one at the input, one post- preamp. All of these added functions are switchable, hence the myriad of LED’s on the front panel, which the guys refer to as the ‘Starship Enterprise’. This versatile amp really sings with any of the JJ octal power tubes, but the hands-down favorites are the KT77 and KT66 for their British flavor and midrange complexity. The oversized 2x12 cabinet is loaded with Weber 75-watt ceramics, a Blue Dog and Silver Bell, wired for 16 ohms. The icing on the cake is of course the white tolex, which is in honor of the late, great Randy Rhoads. More details to follow in a full length review soon, meanwhile feel free to drop Jay an email at Eurotubes@cnnw.net if you would like additional info. Michael’s Anderson: When I first started working for Eurotubes one of the first things I noticed were all of the killer amps in the studio. There are vintage Fenders, SUNNs, a Marshall Silver Jubilee…heck, there is even an old Vox AC50! The next thing I noticed was that even though all of these awesome amps were available to play, the amps that got the most play time and attention were the Anderson amps that both Bob and Eddie own. So after getting to hear and play both amps I knew that someday I had to have one! I contacted Jack Anderson to get on the waiting list. I decided to get the 18/20/45 model. You can see the amp in the studio photos above sitting on top of my “extra” 2X12 Anderson cab. Jack builds amps tailored to the player so we discussed the tones I was after. They are completely hand wired and carefully built with lots of care and attention to detail. On top of that, Jack is a really nice guy and is great to work with. I think of my 18/20/45 as the “Swiss Army Knife” of guitar amplifiers. It’s fixed adjustable bias and can run a pair of EL84’s (18 watts), a pair of 6V6’s (20 watts) or a pair of any octal power tube (45 watts). It is tube rectified so depending on what power tubes I’m running it can use a 5Y3, 5U4GB or GZ34. It has a tube driven effects loop, tube driven reverb and bias vary tremolo. Since you can use so many different power tubes the tone and dynamics of the amp really change. So far I’ve run EL84’s, EL844’s, 6V6’s, 6L6’s, EL34’s, E34L’s, KT77’s and KT66’s. I’m looking forward to running 6550’s, KT88’s and 6CA7’s in the future. So far my favorite combination has got to be 6V6’s along with a 5Y3. I get a chance to play a lot of cool amps but to me the Anderson reigns supreme. Its tonal depth and the way it responds to your playing dynamics never fail to amaze me. Michael
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