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A "Sleeper Amp" from New Zealand

by vaughn skow February 01, 2011 4 min read

It’s been a miserable day today ... cold, rainy, just plain yucky.  I know, those of you in the mid-west and northern states are right now wondering what the heck I’m wining about, right?  And those of you who are reading this from Nordic and Scandinavian locations must just plain think I’m a whimp!  But, let’s face it, this winter, for most of us in the US, has been a long and dreary one.  As I sat down to start this blog, I was all prepared to give myself a little pep-talk to get my attitude in the right place for ripping out an awesome blog.  But then the miracle happened, I opened an email from Jason, a WGS customer in New Zealand.  Jason evidently enjoyed my blogs on "sleeper amps", and had a great story to tell about his own personal "sleeper amp", along with a great testimonial as to the ability of a WGS speaker to bring out the best in an amp.  Tell ya what, I’ll shut up for a little while and let Jason tell his story ... oh, and it’s complete with pretty pics, too.  So, dear reader, please read on!

Hi there all the team at WGS.

This here is my sleeper amp. It is a Fender performer 1000.  The combo is a 1x12 100w hybrid, solid-state with vacuum tube distortion; it’s a 2 channel amp that has spring reverb and an effects loop with effect level control.

The clean channel is just that: clean with lots of headroom and takes pedals very well.

The overdrive channel (it has  OD1 & OD2) is fantastic as well, from slight overdriven blues to howling rock.

Now, I thought this amp had a great sound ...... please bear with me.

My amp had a ripped grill cloth & being somewhat pedantic I wanted to replace it.  I could only buy the spare cloth by the yard here in New Zealand so I had some left over & thought I should make an extension cabinet to match. While building the cab I looked for a suitable speaker and found a  brand new  ET65 on TradeMe (N.Zs Ebay) so I did some research and liked what I read about You guys.

Anyway, when I had finished the cab with the ET65 and it was time to plug it in to the amp.....HOLY SHIZNIT!!! The tone! The body! The depth! 

This amp now sounds and looks fantastic. I use a 2007 Gibson SG3 and a 1978 Ibanez Les Paul and both guitars now sound freakin awesome through my little "stack". 

Maybe I will replace the stock fender speaker with a retro 30 in the near future, but before that I am going to build another extension speaker, this time for a Peavey 1x15 delta blues that I have...gonna need a G15C I think.

Cheers to Everyone at WGS for making great speakers at a great price.

Jason, New Zealand.  p.s. attached is some pics of the finished product, I hope you like ...

Hey Jason, yes, we like very much.  You are most definitely "one of us".  The cab with the ET-65 was a great choice to add to the performer combo, the ET-65 always ads a heaping helping of nice tight bottom end, and who can ever get too much of that?  I’ve owned a 1-15 Peavey Delta Blues, and I  never was too satisfied with it, that was before I had heard of WGS, and in retrospect, I just bet that the week link in that amp was the Peavey "Blue Marvel" speaker.  So, I’d say the addition of a G15 is a good idea, not just in an extension cabinet, but maybe to replace the stock speaker!  If yours is a 2-10 model, then I’d say just the 1-15 ext cab with a G-15 should prove to be a good combo ... but boy would it be better with a pair of G10’s! 

Anyway, thanks so much for the inspiration, and for making my blog so easy to write this week.  Jason, you prove what I have always said about WGS customers:  we are not just tone junkies, we are definitely creative "outside the box" thinkers.  To all you other WGS mad-scientists out there, email me your creations and adaptations, we LOVE to share these kind of stories.

Oh, and I have one more comment that I'd like to share with you that came in on the 1-12 Bassman that never was blog from last week:


The Fender amps from 1955-1965 may be the best consumer products ever built, PERIOD. I, too, play a couple of times a week with amps older than my girlfriend, and they are magnificent.

Your Bassman fills the inexplicable gap created by Leo’s dropping the Vibrolux. A 1x12, 2-6L6 is sorely missing from the Golden Era amps.

Love these blogs.


Sherman Allen - Hollywood Vintage Acquisitions

Guitar Center Hollywood, 7425 Sunset Blvd

Hollywood, CA 90046

Thanks Sherman, and I agree totally with your take on the Fender amps of the "golden era"!  I always say that I like my amps to have more years of experiance than I do.  As soon as I can, I hope to post some youtube clips of my one of a kind Bassman combo, and guess what, I’ve got some WGS 4-Ohm 12’s in the works to try in her.  Now that’ll be seriously "Suh-WEET"!

Okay, I’m shuttin’ up now.  See ya all next time around -Vaughn-

email vaughn

About Vaughn Skow

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