Wow there is barely a week that goes by that I see a new guitar related Kickstarter or crowd funding campaign launch but they are usually by small indie builders, this one however is by a big name in guitar amplification, Fryette. For those who don’t know the name Fryette used to be VHT both were founded by Steven M. Fryette, VHT was founded in 1989 and sold the brand in 2009 to launch Fryette Amplification.
Fryette are known for their powerhouse 100 watt high gain heads which is why the Valvulator project is a bit of a gamble for them and therefore probably makes sense to crowd fund. By crowd funding Steve and co. can immediately get a sense of how much interest there is in a direct recording Tube Amp.
The Fryette Valvulator GP/DI is an all-tube low-power guitar amplifier, preamplifier, direct box, and all-around low-volume-playing solution. It is specifically designed to work in situations where you can’t or don’t need to play loud, such as late-night playing and recording, headphone practicing, and recording straight into the board live. It is the first all-tube guitar amplifier designed to do that without any additional equipment, and a minimum of trouble.
The GP/DI is a single-channel amplifier. The preamp is based on the Fryette Deliverance Series, but has been specifically voiced for [even] more versatility in this ultra-low power tube amp. The preamp section uses three 12AX7 tubes and is switchable between three and four stages of gain. It is capable of just about any type of tone you can think of, from squeaky clean to classic rock to metal.
The power amp section is a one-tube push-pull design feeding a specially designed reactive load, so you can use it without a cabinet, or you can plug in a speaker cabinet and wail away. Even a very small amount of power through a typical guitar speaker can actually deliver some real volume! You can also plug that load directly into another power amp (or amplifier effect return) using the ‘External Power Amp’ output.
The Cab section controls a specially-designed post-amplifier dynamic voicing section (stay with us here) that allows you to shape the tone in “direct-to-board” recording and live situations. This post EQ feature only affects the ‘Amp/Direct’ output. It works through a purpose-built pre-emphasis / de-emphasis filter network – and don’t worry, it is very easy to use! This filter is dynamic – unlike traditional “Cab/Speaker Simulators” it actually responds to your playing style and pick attack just like a typical full size guitar amplifier and speaker system.
Here is a demo of the prototype Valvulator in action courtesy of Joe Gamble:
If you would like to donate toward this project use the widget below: