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Re: Kendrick and 'Boutique' Amps

1/13/2004 10:21 PM
Chuck Re: Kendrick and 'Boutique' Amps
It's my opinion that it's in the transformers. Specifically the OT. All the parts can be purchaced and there's no real mystery or mojo to it. If you can build an amp rote from a schem, then you can build an amp as good as you can buy. Get as close as you can with your layout and schem. Ask alot of Qs here for tweaking. I'm not that talented as an amp builder but I've got some really great sounding amps that I've built. If your tedious and patient, it's like falling off a log.  
1/13/2004 10:27 PM
Oh yeh, A great way to get there with alot less trouble is to buy an existing amp that is of known good tone. Then change the OT to one of the Kendrick models (you can buy them from Kendrick OR their supplier, but I can't remember who makes Kendrick's trannys). Change a few key ingredients on the board and change the speakers. It's not much cheaper than building from scratch, but it is alot less trouble, and alot cheaper than buying a botique amp.  
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1/14/2004 1:44 AM
The OT does make a big difference to be sure.. I believe that ElectroMagnetic Corp of TX winds those trannies for Mr. Kendrick. There are also a number of other winders (of ill repute!) said to operate within the lower 48. ;) If an amp sounds great, I would not change the OT. If it's missing that certain 'something' and you've looked everywhere else, then I'd look to the OT. It would be nice if the OT could cure everything - I could sell more of them ;) but IMHO it is part of the big picture. In order of where to spend $ first, (once you have a known good circuit!!) tubes, speakers, OT.  
Tubes - make sure you try various brands and play with the bias on the outputs. A world of difference to be had here.. from smooth and clear to cold and gritty.. and everywhere in between!  
Speakers - their distortions and nodes etc can either add to your tone or kill it dead. Don't discount the effect of Kendrick's speakers on the tone of that amp. I use 4 of his 10's in my own '65 Super as a mof. That was a night and day difference from the mix of CTS and recones I got it with. I've had producers come up out of the audience on occaision to see what I'd done to the amp.. it's bone stock, except for the speakers.  
OT - is really your final tone control, esp once the output section is in OD mode and your -fb essentially does not work.. Once you are sure you like your tubes and speakers if your amp is still coming up short against vintage or boutique models this is where you go next IMHO. The difference between something custom wound and the stocker can be night and day.. like getting a sheet lifted off the amp. But make sure you don't care for the tone of the sheet first. ;)  
Have fun, and trust no one but your ears!
1/14/2004 2:38 AM
Yeh, I did mention speakers. But your perspective is right on. I have tried the Kendrick 10s too. Very good right out of the box (no breakin).  
So...Kman...What he said. :)  
P.S. I think the Black and Gold amps that have 12s are using Kendrick blackframe speakers. They are reported to be very efficient and unique in their bass response. They sport an unusual cone design for a guitar speaker.
1/15/2004 4:15 PM
dunno about the new 12's, but I used to run his old ones (the original 'black frames') and they had amazing low end in an open back cabinet. Up there with an EV but without the heft.. Very chimy high end which is a love/hate thing I find. I think it's cool (and easy to EQ around if it's an issue) other folks think less of it. You know what they say about opinions.. ;) Anyhow, using 1 of those in my old DR I was able to keep up with a 4 piece R&R band on all but larger gigs (which got a SR or Twin depending..) very full sound, cool breakup too. With humbuckers and good 6V6's the Kendrick 12 would help conjure up 'marshall-esque' tones from the DR. Thing about the "trumpet" shape is interesting.. the same reason horns are shaped that way - matching impedence with the air better IIRC.  
The Kendrick 10's sound a lot like Weber C10R's last time I had them side by side, there are 2 good options. I've had good results with the Mojo 10's as well as the Jensen ones too.
1/17/2004 4:36 AM
I got a flyer from Kendrick about two mos. ago stating that they were no longer going to be making amps, but all the speakers, trannies and parts would still be available.  
Interesting thing, Gerald Weber, while never actually saying as much, suggests that the trombone shaped cone is a Kendrick innovation and unique. But I own an old P12R from a console system that has a trombone shaped cone...Hmm. I haven't heard it yet (I'm afraid I'll crack all the old brittle animal glue it's put together with).  
Always got an opinion. :D  
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