Friedman Amplification has unveiled its newly upgraded Steve Stevens signature tube amp within an interview and video demo with the person himself. The SS-100 v2 has been mooted for quite a while, with Friedman announcing at NAMM 2020 that it had updated the amp because of its longest-standing signature artist.
A 100-watt head, which just like the original comes packed with EL34s in the energy amp stage, the SS-100 v2 gets the same clean channel as before, but sports a fresh all-black look, with the Steve Stevens ray gun logo moving to an expanded control panel.
Moreover, it has revoiced rhythm and lead channels, making for a genuine three-channel platform. Dave Friedman in addition has added something volume global master control and a Thump control to check the Presence dial.
Friedman met with the Billy Idol guitarist at his home studio in NEVADA for the segment, where they discussed the development of the amplifier, ran through its new features and what Stevens searches for from an amp, prior to the latter put it through its paces with one of is own signature guitars from Knaggs.
This amp is indeed super-versatile, says Stevens. Nearly all sessions that I really do, I simply have that amp. That covers everything. It was previously I would need to go in to the studio and bring different amps with me one for soloing, and what now ? for the cleans? Well, then, youve surely got to generate a Vox or something. Nonetheless it is pretty self-contained. In the event that you cant cover all of the bases with this particular amp, I dont know very well what you are searching for, honestly.
A mini-toggle on the control panel switches channels between Clean, SS and SS+ channels though generally in most playing scenarios the accompanying footswitch would make channel switching easier.
The clean channel has controls for Bass, Middle and Treble, and also a Bright switch. Stevens typically runs his cleans bright, and there’s a good amount of headroom, which Stevens says produces a fantastic pedalboard platform. The SS rhythm channel and SS+ channels share a three-band EQ.
On the trunk panel, there exists a Fat switch for thickening the gain channels, that ought to work well for all those searching for a bit more of a scooped U.S.-style amp voicing because of their rhythm and lead tones. Addititionally there is an effects loop, and a rotary dial for speaker impedance.
Your guitar amp we see in the video isn’t just what well find in select Friedman retailers. Those multi-colored chickenhead knobs certainly are a little a thing that Stevens attached after obtaining the amp.
I put the goofy knobs onto it, Stevens admits. Dave doesnt just like the goofy knobs, however the only reason I’ve multi-colored knobs on the amp is that, easily am onstage, Im gonna change and, Oh, I wanna boost the gain stage on channel one, my eyesight aint what it was previously. I could just look and go, Oh, its the green channel It is extremely easy. It looks better with the black knobs. Ill trust that. It looks more deadly.
In addition, it sounds a bit more deadly. In accordance with Dave Friedman, theres a bit more aggression and percussiveness in the dirty channels. But ultimately, it still exists within that super-modded Plexi tone that Stevens is definitely connected with.
Stevens demos it with a Knaggs SS-C packed with Bare Knuckle pickups. Here, he could be utilizing a variation on Bare Knuckles PAF-style humbucker, the Mule, where Stevens pickups aren’t wax-potted. That may make sure they are squeal just a little live but Stevens swears by them in the studio, and says this SSC Gold Top is currently his number 1 guitar for recording.
Typically, his other Knaggs models include his Bareknuckle Rebel Yell signature pickups. Recently, Stevens revealed on Instagram that his live create for Billy Idol dates featured no live cabinets, with the output from his Friedman heads going direct into Two notes Captor X units.
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Jonathan Horsley has been authoring guitars since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly plays a part in publications including Guitar World, MusicRadar and Total Guitar. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s through the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure among Van Halens Panama.