Features: The Cornford Hurricane is a 20 Watt Combo tube amplifier for the electric guitar. Cornford is an ambitious up and comer, led fearlessly into battle by Paul Cornford. This guy is a workhorse who has paid his dues with blood, sweat and tears. The meticulous attention to detail and rigid, uncompromising perfectionism, makes one wonder what is going on inside the walls of this fledgling member of the amplifier aristocracy. I imagine barracks with steel beds designed for efficiency over comfort and a steam whistle... Maybe, there are a few guys in white lab coats, wearing glasses and taking notes. I picture Cornford artist and all around disgustingly amazing guitarist, Guthrie Govan, chained to an amplifier while carefully selected savants test and analyze every frequency produced by the consummate shredder-extraordinaire. Cornford must terrify the competition. // 8
Sound: The Hurricane is one of those little 45lb., 1X12, 12" Celestion Vintage 30, 8 ohm equipped combo amps that works in both studio and live settings. Watch out though. It is all the rage these days to employ smaller amplifiers for shows. However, I get the distinct impression that many players don't really know what they are getting into with this type of approach and you don't want to make a $2500.00 mistake (the Hurricane price tag from the U.S. distributor). Just keep in mind that micing a beautiful sounding amp like this is very different than lugging around that head and cabinet. While all that space, cost and effort are frustrating, your half stack or 212 is much more reliable as you don't have to rely on a venue's sound system. I'm not saying the small combo approach is bad but just be aware of the pros and cons. // 9
Reliability & Durability: The Hurricane is not about bells and whistles. This amp just sounds absolutely shocking and looks cool too. Unlike its predecessor (the Harlequin), the Hurricane has reverb and enough wattage to annoy the whole neighborhood. The Amp is completely hand built and the reverb and effects loops are both entirely valve driven. Solid pine and speaker birch ply baffle board, that is permanently dadoed into the cabinet, are sheathed in burgundy tolex. This makes the cabinet durable and look rustic, vintage, classic and awesome. There is a long list of ridiculously nuanced subtleties that makes the construction of this and all Cornford amps wonders of scientific innovation. I maintain that what is truly striking though, are the standards this company has for every millimeter and piece of material that goes into its amps. Their process is obviously mired in painstaking scrutiny and systematic perfectionism. // 9
Overall Impression: Yes, the Hurricane is expensive for a 1X12 boutique tube amp that boasts only 20 Watts. Yes, that is small for a live setting. Therefore, with a price of $2500, make sure it's what you really want. If this is the type of amp you are looking for, it is the best in its class. That is why it has won so many awards including "Guitarist's Choice" from Guitarist Magazine. We are sure to be hearing a lot more from Cornford as this company is a rising star whose amps are a cut above the competition.
By Josh Hiken // 9