65amps Value Over Competition

JellyOnToast2345

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My endless search for tone is hopefully soon to end. I've spent over a year GASsing for a small handwired American amp, and I've spent countless hours and hundreds of dollars in gas researching and driving around to try different ones. About a year back, I posted a few threads comparing Swart amps with 65amps. At the time, I was only lucky enough to have played the Swart amps, and thought that was the end of my tone search, but then money got tied up elsewhere and I could never make it happen.

Well, ample time has passed since then and my priorities have changed. I've also spent a lot of time watching Dan Boul's 65amps lunch videos. For those of you that don't know, Dan is the president and co-founder of 65amps and he is the one in charge of all the designs. These videos are a weekly series he does where he does tech talk and interacts with fans (he streams live on ustream then posts them on Youtube).

I have to say, I have become extremely impressed with Dan as a person and with his amp designs. He comes across immediately as someone who is very laid back and personable, and he is extremely intelligent when it comes to amp design and components. He uses Allen Bradley carbon comp resistors, SOZO caps, and other high end components and all of his amps are meticulously hand wired point to point.

The biggest thing that sets him apart from Swart and other boutique builders is his transformers. He uses Mercury Magnetics handwound transformers, which cost around $700 a piece. Swart and many other boutique companies use HeyBoer machine wound transformers, which cost around $70 a piece. 65amps cabinets are also second to none. Baltic birch plywood, dovetail joints, etc.

Now I'm not saying those transformers make the amp 10 times better or anything. But what I am saying is that I can get a 65amps Tupelo for $2500, which costs Dan about $1200 to build (according to the man himself), or I could buy a Swart AST for $2500, which in theory should cost him $570 to build if he does everything the same as Dan except transformers. And $70 is the individual price for HeyBoers. The wholesale price that Swart pays is likely even less.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that 65amps give you so much value for the same price as other boutique amps. The margin in the amp world is 8x. Fender makes the entire Hot Rod Deluxe amp for $90 and it sells for $729.99. Dan is barely making 2x his money back, and that's just the sale price for the dealer, not the price Dan sells them to the dealer for. He likely makes less than double his original investment.

I don't know of any other company that is so selfless, and I have yet to hear an amp that sounds half as good as the 65amps Tupelo. It's interesting, because the company barely markets this particular model at all, but I think it's the best sounding amp they make. The tremolo is fantastic and the tone is unbelievable.

Here's a short demo of the amp that Dan did himself. The tone when he kicks the bump in around 1:13 is just perfect. I hope more people flock to this company. Dan deserves it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5BHd49D5i0
 

LPV

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You seem to have done your research. I've been down the boutique road just be forewarned that its a slippery slope. Boutique amps should have fantastic resale value but it doesn't always work out that way. But because of that there are some GREAT used boutique deals out there.
 

JellyOnToast2345

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You seem to have done your research. I've been down the boutique road just be forewarned that its a slippery slope. Boutique amps should have fantastic resale value but it doesn't always work out that way. But because of that there are some GREAT used boutique deals out there.

Well the hope is that I won't have to worry about resale value. Given my past however, that's probably quite unrealistic.
 

rockinlespaul

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I'm pretty sure the Ventura model will be my next amp.
 

JellyOnToast2345

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I'm pretty sure the Ventura model will be my next amp.

Looks like a fantastic amp. I love how small it is. Lots of flexibility as well. 4 distinct tonalities. Dan seems to mention that amp more than any other when someone asks what amp they should get to get a certain tone. He really likes that one. I don't blame him!
 

Spoonful

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I've had bad luck with chasing tone and boutique amps. Owned several from the well respected makers. They just didn't end up being what I was after. No place around here to try this type of gear before you buy.

In those cases the amps were fine, just not for me.

My 65 amps experience is a different story, I'm sorry to say. I also liked what I heard on-line and Dan is a great spokesperson for his products. I decided to buy a L'il Elvis. The first one I got buzzed pretty bad. I tried contacting 65amps via their email address from their web site. Nothing. Then I called their phone number a couple of times and had to leave messages. Nothing.

Luckily, I was able to return the amp and the dealer talked me into ordering in a replacement.

When it arrived at the dealer's site, we plugged it in and it buzzed so loud that everyone in the place came over to see what was wrong. This happened with and without an instrument plugged in. Needless to say, I didn't accept delivery of that one and gave up on 65amps.

Another thing I found interesting is that when I went searching their web site for contact info, I couldn't find any information about a warranty or how to go about getting a repair done if needed. I should have checked that out before I bought the first one. This was really a red flag after they failed to respond to my email and phone messages.

I've read enough positive reviews of their products that maybe I'm just really unlucky. And I truly hope no one else has to go through what I went through. What a disappointment and waste of time it turned out to be for me.
 

THDNUT

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I've had bad luck with chasing tone and boutique amps. Owned several from the well respected makers. They just didn't end up being what I was after. No place around here to try this type of gear before you buy.

In those cases the amps were fine, just not for me.

My 65 amps experience is a different story, I'm sorry to say. I also liked what I heard on-line and Dan is a great spokesperson for his products. I decided to buy a L'il Elvis. The first one I got buzzed pretty bad. I tried contacting 65amps via their email address from their web site. Nothing. Then I called their phone number a couple of times and had to leave messages. Nothing.

Luckily, I was able to return the amp and the dealer talked me into ordering in a replacement.

When it arrived at the dealer's site, we plugged it in and it buzzed so loud that everyone in the place came over to see what was wrong. This happened with and without an instrument plugged in. Needless to say, I didn't accept delivery of that one and gave up on 65amps.

Another thing I found interesting is that when I went searching their web site for contact info, I couldn't find any information about a warranty or how to go about getting a repair done if needed. I should have checked that out before I bought the first one. This was really a red flag after they failed to respond to my email and phone messages.

I've read enough positive reviews of their products that maybe I'm just really unlucky. And I truly hope no one else has to go through what I went through. What a disappointment and waste of time it turned out to be for me.


:shock: WOW! :shock:

I guess I'll get a Divided by 13 instead.....
 

JellyOnToast2345

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I've had bad luck with chasing tone and boutique amps. Owned several from the well respected makers. They just didn't end up being what I was after. No place around here to try this type of gear before you buy.

In those cases the amps were fine, just not for me.

My 65 amps experience is a different story, I'm sorry to say. I also liked what I heard on-line and Dan is a great spokesperson for his products. I decided to buy a L'il Elvis. The first one I got buzzed pretty bad. I tried contacting 65amps via their email address from their web site. Nothing. Then I called their phone number a couple of times and had to leave messages. Nothing.

Luckily, I was able to return the amp and the dealer talked me into ordering in a replacement.

When it arrived at the dealer's site, we plugged it in and it buzzed so loud that everyone in the place came over to see what was wrong. This happened with and without an instrument plugged in. Needless to say, I didn't accept delivery of that one and gave up on 65amps.

Another thing I found interesting is that when I went searching their web site for contact info, I couldn't find any information about a warranty or how to go about getting a repair done if needed. I should have checked that out before I bought the first one. This was really a red flag after they failed to respond to my email and phone messages.

I've read enough positive reviews of their products that maybe I'm just really unlucky. And I truly hope no one else has to go through what I went through. What a disappointment and waste of time it turned out to be for me.

Damn I'm really sorry to hear that man. I haven't heard any other horror stories like this about 65amps. I hate to say it but I think you were just outrageously unlucky. I'm still considering the Swart AST Pro because, despite it's cheaper transformers, has this indescribable magic that I've never heard before. Logically it makes no sense to go with it. There's just something about that thing though. Doesn't hurt that it only weighs 30 pounds and it's a 1x12 20 watter. Just kicked my AC30 to the curb because it was too loud and heavy. Just something about that swart though man.
 

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