As with guitars, I'm not a collector or horder of guitar amps either.
Port City Pearl & 1×12 OS Cabinet
I have owned the Port City Pearl since March 2015. It’s 50w and it sounds so good! I am so glad I bought this amp. It’s designed and built by Dan Klein. As usual I can’t leave well enough alone. I did swap out 3 tubes from what came in it. But I’m not telling! It’s my own secret sauce.
The speaker cab is a patented design by Dan Klein. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that my 1×12 cabinet sounds like a 4×12, or even a 2×12. BUT, it sounds awfully big for a 1×12. It’s got a front bottom port/slot (see pic) that projects all of the sound from inside the cabinet that usually just keeps bouncing around inside never released. It comes stock with a closed back. However, I like to hear the sound coming from the back of the cabinet to fill the room a little more then having the sound from the cabinet being so directional. (Although Dan’s cabinets do help with that) So I had him build me a back panel with an oval shape opening and I am so happy with the result. It’s not a big oval. Just big enough.
– Mods: Mine has Dan’s “Mega Mid” mod
– Speaker: WGS ET-65, 65w, 8ohms
Head over to the Port City website and check it out. Buy one even. You won’t be disappointed!
These soft “clamshell” cases for the amp and cab are custom made by the fine folks at Studio Slips. They actually encase the whole piece of gear. They’re awesome and you can get many added options.
Head over to the Studio Slips website and check them out.
Check out this cool amp tilt system I devised for the Pearl, all for $10!
1 – First, I flipped the cab upside down, then installed a spring-loaded surface mount handle I bought for $2.99.
3 – So once the head gets placed into position on the cab, the two hooks at the back get spread evenly apart and latched to the back. The single hook gets attached to the front of the cab.
4 – Tilt the amp back, extend the handle (now acting as a kick stand) and you’re done! That’s it. Here’s a side view with the amp tilted back. It took me all of 10min to install (just the handle/kick-stand really), and it cost me around $10! And it works great!! Cool uh?
Early 80s Roland CUBE Bass Amp
Yeah, I know. It’s pretty beat up. Can you tell I’ve used it a lot? I’ve had this amp since 2002 I think. I bought it for $180 in the Toronto area, pre craigslist.com days. Or at least before I was ever aware of craigslist. Believe it or not, this is the only amp I used to record with on the Out of the Blue CD.
These old Roland amps sound pretty good. The old solid state amps sound more tube like that the newer SS amps do nowadays. Why a bass amp? Well, I was looking for the same era guitar amp, but this fell in my lap instead. At the time, I didn’t use reverb, or even liked it, so the fact that it had none was fine. Plus I thought that the simplicity of the amp, volume, treble, middle, and bass is a good thing. That’s all it has. To me, the simpler the circuit the better. And the overdrive sound in their CUBE 60 guitar amps weren’t very good either, so I wasn’t bummed it was missing that “feature” either.
Someday I’d like to get a new cabinet enclosure built for it made from solid pine.
– Speakers: Speakers? Yes, speakers. The amp came stock with a 12″ speaker. I had Gerry Doyle put in a new baffle, and put in a 10″ speaker, AND a high frequency tweeter. It currently has an Eminence Ramrod 10″ speaker (75w).
– Line Out: It also has something that the guitar amps usually don’t have that often comes in handy, a 1/4″ line out that you can run to a soundboard via a DI box.
At 60w, if you need a compact amp that needs to be loud this is a pretty good amp. I need to squeeze into some tight places here in NYC sometimes. It’s a little noisy with some hiss. They aren’t the quietest amps. I’m sure I can get the thing re-capped, and other components changed and it might help. But man, thing this is a workhorse!