Before I get down to the business of singing the praises of my number one, let me give you a little background. It’s a common story these days. I was just another player in search of a tube amp small enough to provide the awesome sound of saturation at volume levels that would work in modern day gigging. I’d had one major misstep already. I was in search of THE tone. So a Blues Junior obviously wasn’t going to cut it. I thought I’d found the answer when I snatched up a ‘79 Deluxe Reverb cheap off Craigslist. Unfortunately, the Hempdog speaker my tech put in it made the DR a little bit too much of a good thing. Sure, I could have just tried subbing in a low efficiency speaker... but I was truthfully starting to GAS for a brownface Princeton. The Chris Stapleton reissue had just been released, and the demo videos I watched really intrigued me. Plus, around this time there seemed to be a dozen 6G2 builds going on here on TDPRI. But I don’t have the knowhow to build my own amp, and the $2000 price tag for the Stapleton was too rich for my blood. I inquired with a couple of known boutique builders, but they all wanted something in the same neighborhood as the Stapleton. I ended up noticing a startup boutique builder was offering very reasonably priced tweed clones on Reverb. He didn’t really have any feedback yet, so it was a pretty big gamble. But I ended up exchanging emails with the guy and decided to take a chance. Besides, I reasoned, if I paid for it via Reverb, they’d have my back. So I ordered a 6G2 custom built just for me from this upstart builder. It was actually his first attempt at a brownface amp. I’d already decided it had to have a 12” speaker, and I went with the Eminence Maverick, so I could adjust the speaker’s sensitivity, and have a little wiggle room in finding the amp’s sweet spot. I also went with NOS RCA tubes throughout. I figured it’s a sound investment, if bought through a reputable source. They were built to last. So after waiting what seemed like forever, I received my amp back in late August. I wouldn’t say it was love at first sight. It was more like LIKE at first sight. There were a couple of growing pains the 6G2 and I had to go through before we figured out how to maximize our tone together. First and foremost, I was still using a TubeScreamer-style pedal for my overdrive. Let this be a cautionary tale for brownface users: if your amp doesn’t have a mid scoop, a TS-style pedal isn’t nearly as magic. It made my amp, with its already-pushing-the-envelope 12” speaker in a cab meant for a 10”, sound as boxy as could be. Not good. So a couple of months into my experiment, I did a little more research and found myself a reasonably priced “transparent” overdrive, the Caline Pure Sky pedal. And with that, everything started to click. Regardless of volume level, my amp sounds just like I’ve always wanted to sound. The guitar tones I’ve always tried to emulate are found in rootsy classic rock. Stuff like the Stones’ peak years. Petty. CSNY. The Allman Bros. The Layla album. You get the idea. And I now have it, in a perfectly portable little package. All my guitars sound great through it, but my strat sounds REALLY great through it. Magic. I can’t express the joy this amp has brought me. I’ve never sounded better. It sits well in a band mix. It records exceptionally well. And, a cool little trick: with an EQ pedal to scoop the mids, I can sound just like a blackface whenever I want. I go back and forth often. It’s the best of both worlds. AND I HAVEN'T EVEN MENTIONED THE TREM YET!!! Such a great textural tool. I know guitar players are kind of like snowflakes... no two are exactly alike. So this circuit wouldn’t be right for everyone. But this is the perfect amp for me, and I just had to share my continuing joy. I also wanted to share this video: This isn’t me, or my amp. But it’s very representative of what this awesome circuit does, and this is the video that ended up convincing me to take the plunge into brownface-land. Pure classic rock perfection.