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Old April 6th, 2007, 07:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Ceriatone Trainwreck Liverpool

I just recieved my Trainwreck Liverpool from Ceriatone and I have to put my two cents worth in on the amp and Ceriatone.

I was VERY HESITANT to order an amp from a company 10K miles away in a foreign land. I did weeks and weeks of research on both the Trainwrecks and Ceriatone in particular. I found it very odd that of all the hundreds of reviews on Ceriatone, I didn't find ONE that had anything negative to say.

The "wrecks" are legendary, almost the unicorn of amps. There wasn't a chance in hell I'd ever fork over $40-50 THOUSAND dollars for one of them even if I could afford it. I'd heard the numerous clips on the net and I was convinced that this amp was what I was looking for. My main rig has been a GDS 18watter based on the Marshall schematics I built 4 years ago and it's never failed me, but I wanted that ONE amp where I could go from clean to insane feedback controlled distortion by twisting the volume knob on the guitar.


Nik at Ceriatone was responsive to my various emails and helped me customize the amp to my particular needs. My style is "hard blues and blues rock".

I've worked with electronics for over 30 years so I was absolutely knocked out by the incredible quality and attention to detail of the PTP wiring of the wreck. I'm sure he has a number of people building his amps and who ever trained them did a magnificent job. The work is mind boggling.

Nik got behind a bit on the delivery date of my amp by a few days and with an upcoming gig, he worked hard to make sure my amp arrived in time so I could get it installed in the cabinet and get some playing time on it.

I'm pushing an Avatar 4x12 cab with Celestion greenbacks and vintage 30's. About the only thing I can say about this amp is that it is a BEAST in every sense of the word. I thought my 18watter had great note defination, this thing never loses it even as you crank the volume up and the 3 stages of gain kick in. I'm running 4xEl84's and it sounds like somewhat like a Vox/Marshall on steriods then injected with nitrous. The amp response is amazing.

I'm so pleased with the amp that I'm going to order an Trainwreck Express that runs El34's next. I've got to know what they are like after this thing.


There are so many times we read about companies or individuals who rip consumers off, or products that are more hype than substance, but this isn't one of those time. Now that everyday bar burners like me can get our hands on holy grails like Trainwrecks, I expect to word to get out very very quickly what these things are really like.

My kudos to Nik, he really came thru!

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Old April 6th, 2007, 09:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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must... see... pictures...
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Old April 7th, 2007, 07:03 AM   #3 (permalink)
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yes we need pictures ..............
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Old April 7th, 2007, 06:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Good to hear. I've got a Ceriatone 18 watter in the pipeline. Not enough spare
minutes to do a kit, so I sprung for a built chassis.
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Old April 8th, 2007, 08:15 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I gigged with my Liverpool on Friday night and I am totally knocked out. I only had a couple of hours to play with it prior to the gig so I was walking in pretty cold. These have reps as very articulate amps with tons of gain yet don't lose note defination, and those descriptions are dead on.

It has a 36/18 watt half power switch and I left it on the 18 setting. Having an 18watt marshall clone I knew it would be more than enough for this club and this time I'd be pushing 4x12s in a closed back cab instead of my 2x12 open back in the 18.

The amp is incredibly bright, and I really like to play single coils so the bright switch was off, the presence off and the treble off.

I've never had an amp anywhere like this thing. I think these two videos will give you and idea of what they can do.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=j6VAipqeIpo

http://youtube.com/watch?v=IKSH_KUoJPc

The volume knob on your guitar becomes incredibly important as it's now your "boost pedal". It can go from a gritty kinda clean to insane feedback controlled distortion instantly. I'm a huge fan of players who use feedback sustain like Gary Moore and Carlos Santana and this amp will do it with at TELE! The amp loves single coils and with buckers, you are instantly into hard rock territory. I can't imagine anybody running and distortion or boost pedals with the wreck.

I've owned possibly a hundred amps in my life and never had anything close to it. People look to the Soldano SLO100 (owned one) as the cadillac of insane gain with note defination and this goes beyond that. Where the SLO got "buzzy" with so much gain, this doesn't. It has the articulation of the Plexi's and

It's not an amp for an inexperienced guitarist because one has to have an idea of the tone they want and how to control the feedback sustain. It's an amp for those who want the ultimate in simplicity, you-guitar-cord-amp. It's a dream amp for those who love to take solo's as the amp really soars when you crank the guitar volume knob to 10. I loved the freedom of not having a pedal board in front of me especially having to stomp on and off a boost pedal for my solos.

I believe that Ceriatone, by offering low cost clones of an amp that is virtually unattainable is going to have a giant impact on guitarists. This amp is the first that I've owned that truly lived up to both the hype and my expectations. I built my own head cab, bought a used avatar 4x12 cab which I recovered and my total cost for the amp, cabinet, and tolex/grill cloth is about $1100.00!!!!!

One of the best parts when gigging was watching the looks on my friends eyes as they watched me play. I was having a blast and the band and crowd were too. We were into a real "roadhouse" vibe all night long. I then invited a couple of my friends onstage to test drive the amp during the night while I stood in the crowd and listened. These are some damned experienced guitarists and watching them get a grip on the amp and then taking off was just too funny. The common statement was "Holy *****"!!!!

It was probably just coincidence, but one of the waitresses told us as we were loading out that it was the best night ever for her tips...and the bar....
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Old April 8th, 2007, 10:25 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanx for the links, & fer the heads up !
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Old April 8th, 2007, 11:09 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Nice tone Nice playing
i too have an 18watt TMB on the way from Ceriatone.

But that Trainwreck sure sounds good

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Old April 20th, 2007, 02:00 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Over on

http://www.thegearpage.net/board/sho...d.php?t=239051

there is a head to head comparison between a REAL Trainwreck and one of Niks clones...

read for yourself...
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Old April 20th, 2007, 07:03 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Loudness

How loud is it? Is overbearingly loud in a bar? Thanks,
-Jack
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Old April 21st, 2007, 08:57 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackdc100 View Post
How loud is it? Is overbearingly loud in a bar? Thanks,
-Jack
I have the 1/2 power switch and the PPIMV...so I have a firm control over the volume. It's been a blast to play!
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Old May 22nd, 2007, 04:46 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I know I am getting this thread late but first, the playing kills; Kudos!

Next, do the Ceriatone offer built amps or is it a self built kit? I have been pining away for a 4xEL84 amp for some time now.

Thanks
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Old May 22nd, 2007, 06:41 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Go here:

ceriatone.com

They've got everything, from boards & chassis, to fully built up (no cabs or speakers).

And they've got kits from Champs to various Marshalls, 'wreck clones, and even Matchless clones.

I was gonna build one of their 5E3 heads, but I'm jonesing for an Express (2X6V6) myself.

I just got a 2204 (PTP!) board today from Ceriatone. All of those Mal 150's are just beautiful looking, and installation should be a breeze.
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Old May 22nd, 2007, 07:22 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I just finished my Ceriatone Matchless DC30 build a few weeks ago. I couldn't be happier with the quality and service that Nick provides.

You can get pre-built amps from him for not much more than the kits. There are a few builders who put them together, from what I gather, and between the quality of work on my boards and the photos I've seen, they do a great job.
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Old May 22nd, 2007, 10:45 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caffeinate_ed View Post
You can get pre-built amps from him for not much more than the kits.
For the average guitarist, this is the way to go, unless it's a single-ended design like the Champ, or a very simple design, like the 5E3.

But even the complete 5E3s from Ceriatone are so affordable that it really makes sense to buy them complete (unless you've got time to kill).

Nik makes it easy for an amp tweaker like me to be lazy and buy the completed project. I try to stay one step ahead by implementing modifications to the circuit (hey - that's the beauty of PTP).
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 01:08 AM   #15 (permalink)
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carrot, thats some sweet sweet playing and the juice out of that amp is remarkable. From whisper to bark, damn. Congratulations on that fantastic amp, and yes I'm envious
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Old May 24th, 2007, 09:32 AM   #16 (permalink)
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My Guitar tutor has been looking at one of these .
This thread and my Ceriatone 18watt made his mind up - he's ordered one with a few mods.
when i hear it next week i'll give you a heads up.
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Old May 24th, 2007, 09:47 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I've had my wreck for a couple of months now and I am in total tone lust. It's so cool to have it set for a plexi style done for some songs and then crank up the volume to increase the gain and jump right into ZZ Top "Tres Hombres" tones. This kind of flexibility makes for a really fun night of playing.

and pedals....who needs steeenkin pedals?
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Old May 24th, 2007, 10:33 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Carrot - Is the Trainwreck 'better' than your 18watt? Can the Trainwreck do Angus? Page? Keef?
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Old May 24th, 2007, 11:31 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Carrot, what's you feeling about feedback? The clips that I've heard seem to show that some very nice feedback can get going at low volume levels. Does it feel to you like simply a matter of sustain, or do you think something else is going on? It is a very notable and attractive feature for me.
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Old May 25th, 2007, 08:19 AM   #20 (permalink)
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68 - I have a PPIMV master volume and a 1/2 power switch so I can drop it to 18 watts and I did a side by side comparison with my 18 watt and yes, the liverpool can jump right into that same terroritory my 18watter can. The real fun is playing with the volume and master volume controls and you can radically change the amp. It can go from plexi style clean to bone crushing distortion by just twisting the volume controls. As great as the Marshall 18watt circuits are, I think this takes them to the next level and beyond.

Larry - I LOVE THE FEEDBACK!!....it's an entirely new dynamic that I have searched for and never been able to find. I thought the Soldano SLO100's would do it but learned a very expensive lesson that they don't. With the PPIMV, i can get feedback induced sustain at any moment at even the lowest volume levels. Think Carlos Santana and those one note "cries" where he grabs it and just holds it, playing the sustain like any other note. It will do it with my teles, my strats, my Les Paul, but with my Flying V it almost becomes a religious experience its so fun! You really have to learn how to play this feature as you can burn on the fretboard and then stop on a dime and play that sustain, as you change your finger pressure on the note, the note will change as your pressure does! This is just way too cool to even try to explain.

This thing just absolutely blows me away. Having had more amps than I can even begin to count over the last 40 years, I have finally found my holy grail. It might not work for everybody, but there are those out there who aren't afraid of an amp you have to play just like you play your guitar.

I don't use nor need any pedals with this amp. It's great to be back to basics, me, guitar, cord, and the wreck. I can now just play the guitar instead of thinking about when I have to kick in what pedal to get something that the amp wasn't capable of doing.
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