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Microphone Month 5

Egnater SW45 45-watt Handwired Tube Head Reviews

4.5 stars based on 4 customer reviews
  • from Virginia, USA March 11, 2015Music Background:
    Recording & Mastering Engineer, Singer-songwriter, Guitarist, Life-long Musician

    This will become a classic...

    I've held off on reviewing this amp, because I keep wanting to use descriptions that a kid with his first new amp might use. Been playing since the '60s... still rockin' on stage and in the studio. Played a '72 Marshall JMP 50 for almost 30 years. Foolishly sold it to experiment, and have been the gambit with popular amps since. This amp gives me those big, real tones that I've been searching for. The bass, mid and treble adjustments are not 0-10... they are zero'd at 12 o'clock and can be additive or subtractive. The presence and density controls really work - especially at mid to lower volumes - they really help to dial in a particular tone. Built with the best of boutique amps, the SW45 is a solidly built, hand-wired amp that is how everyone should be doing it, IMHO. The effects loop is a huge bonus! Don't know why more builders don't offer one stock. And yes, as another reviewer noted, even when cranking the grind channel, the highs are sweet without the fizzy whine on top. Warning: this amp will lay bare your guitar playing, pedals and guitars... it's that good; and would be a great amp at twice the price. Mitch... pay no attention to that last comment, please. Cheers!

  • from NEW CASTLE, DE June 26, 2014Music Background:
    Amp builder, modifier, electronics, amatuer musician.

    Best Marshall tone ever

    Ok, this amp is no frills, no reverb, no channel switching but good god does this amp have tone and harmonics. I wonder how many Sweetwater has sold. I was completely blown away by the tone. The Classic input has the best clean I've heard... punchy, articulate, chimey, etc. The Modern side is hot-rodded JCM 800 all the way (without clipping diodes). Very warm, brown, sustain and lots of gain and harmonics...even with single coils. I have a PRS S 24 and 305 and they both sound killer. The Classic side with a booster is killer hot-rodded Plexi tone and cleans up incredibly well with the guitar volume.
    The reason the amp is so harmonically rich....its hand wired....no circuit boards. Don't by the hype...circuit boards can NEVER sound as good as hand wired due to parasitic capacitance. All circuits boards are prone to this. Its especially heard when playing clean. Circuit board amps are and harmonically chimey on the top end. The capacitance kills all upper end harmonics. Sorry, its a fact. I've owed some of the best "boutique" amps and this amp easily keeps up with them. The gain on the Modern channel is Loudness (first album), Yngwie, early Eddie VH, George Lynch, etc. The best of the thick harmonic 80's / 90's bi gain type of tone. 60's / 70's on the Classic channel. THIS IS NOT A SCOOPED MIDRANGE AMP. BUY IT APPROPIATLEY.

  • from Erie, PA November 1, 2014

    A great amp for the money

    I've had this amp for a couple weeks now and have had time to adjust my ears and playing to it. The build quality is awesome and the parts are great too, Heyboer transformers, a couple Ruby EL34's and there's even a Tung-Sol 12ax7 in V1, which is different from the other tubes so care was taken in that regard where many manufacturers don't.

    Onto the tone... The cleaner channel is awesome, it's got really great cleans that don't get all muddy with a Les Paul, nice and punchy with a lot of character and spank when you dig in. I wasn't expecting the cleans to be as nice as they are. The dirty channel has a huge range of gain on tap, the knobs are all very sensitive in that a small tweak here or there is noticeable and this helps to make the amp really versatile. The Density and Presence work very well and don't add harshness, it's easy to dial in great tones at various volume levels and with different cabs/guitars using these knobs. The gain is always tight and clear with just the right amount of "chewiness" to allow you to feel every note you play just as you'd expect based upon how you picked/plucked it. There Marshall vibe is there with enough of the hot-rodded "modern" edge on tap to allow you to easily get into metal territory.

    The bright, "fizziness" characteristic of a JCM800 type tone is not really there, but the Marshall mids are; it's an Egnater take on this type of tone, not a clone.

    It's a very cool amp for being hand-wired and affordable (in my opinion); it's lacking versatility but I don't need the switching so it works for me.

  • from Los Angeles, CA October 24, 2013Music Background:
    Luthier who jams with a bunch of friends in the PM

    Egnater SW-45

    I demoed a sw45 receintly and it has the Plexi look which I really liked. If you want to get the true British crunch you better have some good overdrive pedals. I plugged in my Fullyone OCD pedal and my Maxom delay and the amp really came alive. Like an old Plexi I cranked up the amp and controlled the volum at the guitar. As far as plugging straight into the amp without a pedal I'd buy a Marshall for the same price.
    All in all, it's built very well . It is built in Los Angeles which is also a real plus.

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