Custom Guitar Amps
The Dynamo Difference in Components
Our goal was not to design a louder amplifier but instead to design a guitar amp more suited to push today’s modern High power Speakers such as the 300w EVM 12L Black Label and the 200w Fane Axiom Studio 12L in a 2x12 and 4x12 cabinet configuration with a maximum power handling up to 1,200 watts. Long ago in the recording studio we discovered that cranking a 100w SLO style amp into single 300w speaker produced the most monstrous wicked tone ever caught on tape. For a live stage application, we wanted to re-create this combination with double speakers and thus double the power! The GTS was designed around the concept of using a compact high power 2x12; Head Rig to achieve God like stage volume that’s easy to transport and a space saver to travel with.)
Many custom and boutique guitar amplifiers all use the same types of components such as the Orange drop capacitors for tone. To achieve pure sonic clarity, Dynamo uses a high-end audiophile class capacitor that cost 10x as much and audio specific 1 watt metal film or carbon film resistors with 1% Tolerance that deliver pure tone and stunning detail and definition. Most high gain amps are “Balls to Mosquitoes” meaning they sound balls to the wall while playing heavy rhythm but when it comes time to solo, it sounds like a symphony of mosquitoes. You often need a boost channel or pedal to allow your solos to cut through the mix. Because of higher grade components, when playing a solo with a Dynamo amp, it sounds like a virtual sound man boosted your volume and it cuts through the mix unlike any other hi gain amp you have ever heard.
Orange Drop 716P
Sonicap (Hi Definition, lush tone)
SoZo (Sweet Vintage Tone)
Xicon Metal Film
100k 1/2w 1% Tol
PRP Metal Film (Audio Specific)
100k 1/2w 1% Tol
PRP Metal Film (Audio Specific)
100k 1w 1% Tol
Takman Carbon Film (Audio Specific)
100k 1w 2% Tol
Alpha Control Pots
Precision Electronics Components
500k 2w Mil Spec $9.95
500k 2w Mil Spec $12.95
The heart and soul of any guitar amp is its Transformers. It is the most important components of how it operates and how it sounds as the power transformer is its heart and the output transformers is its soul. Growing up as a practicing musician we progress from a small solid-state combo amps up to lower and mid-priced tube amps commonly found in most music stores. Most of these amps are built as cheaply as possible to allow a profit to both the manufacture and retailer, which is a normal business practice. Because of this, the transformers used are very cheap and adequate just to satisfy the basic operation of the amp while depending on the pre amp or digital tone processors for the sound. As a professional musician, you learn higher end amps have more personality that accents your playing style and captures every nuance of your technique and you begin your quest for the perfect tone. The transformers are the heart and soul of this personality that creates this perfect tone.
Dynamo amps use custom Toroidal transformers that are encapsulated in epoxy resin inside an electromagnetic shielded can to reduce vibration and mechanical noise. After one long year of R&D, Dynamo is one of the only tube guitar amp builders to use this type of transformers in a high gain tube amp design. Toroidal transformers are pretty expensive compared to traditional EI laminated transformers most commonly used but their main benefit is lower noise and more efficient operation. The story behind this is, for our first design we went to the best tube guitar amp transformer manufacturer and had custom EI laminated transformers made for our 200w prototypes. These units were pushed to the design max to supply the proper voltages and even though they were built like tanks, they got very hot and produced mechanical noise that was audible. We then decided to switch to a toroidal design commonly used in high-end hi-fi audio tube amps and high-power pro audio amps used for venue concert systems. This resulted in a much quiet and cooler running amp
The Output Transformer
Believe it or not, most modern guitar amps have almost the same preamp circuit design minus a few variations for gain, extra channels, and EQ. This design traces back to the Fender Bassman 5F6A from which all other amp have been modified and born such as Marshall, Mesa, and many others. The Output Transformer is what converts the power from the tubes into the speaker output to push the speakers. This component is the soul of the amp and just like a speaker it has a certain signature created by its winding of wire that gives the amp a voice just like your favorite speaker has. This voice is the biggest contributor to the signature sound that distinguish it as a Fender or Marshall Sound, and not so much the pre-amp.
Dynamo GTS uses a custom High Definition Output transformer that has a neutral voice and is more comparable to an audiophile Hi-Fi style transformer. It has a ruler flat power bandwidth and is amazingly detailed. Bass is very tight with, fast, muscular definition that allows it to handle even dissonance without faltering. The mids and highs are clear, fast and very revealing without any trace of harshness. This transformer is very similar to those used by Soldano and Hiwatt for their signature sound. What this equates to is a high-gain amp with a range that allows heavy drop-D playing styles with a tight bottom-end that does not bottom out, and the ability to play crisp progressive Jazz chords with amazing string to string definition.
Dynamo is working with Menno Vanderveen in the Netherlands to develop custom Toroidal Output Transformers to meet and exceed the current High Definition OT in the GTS line. Premium Mercury Magnetics Transformers are also used in some models.