#1
Is this a first for UG? I bought a Fryette Memphis...






What your opinion of this amp in regards aesthetics does not matter to me – I love how this beauty looks. It is a perfectly design based around both the details and the simplicity.


I bought this at a great price from Rich at Stormshadow Toneworks, a great guy who is not only the sole distributor of Fryette amps within the UK but is also a great guitar maker. His designs are all based on famous '80's rock' models and aren't my cup of tea, but the sounds and feel are all excellent, and the prices are beyond belief. Check his guitars out.

The reason why I found the amp at such a great price was because Guitar and Bass Magazine were reviewing this exact model and sent it back to Rich last week. I guess because Rich and I have been talking for a while now and have become friends, he offered the amp at the reduced price to me first! Awesome guy.

Anyway, on to the review. This thing has way more gain than you'd expect for an EL84 30-watt amp. Seriously, with the second channel cranked, the gain maxed and the boost function engaged, there is no way you'd need more distortion. You'd certainly need a tighter attack and less power valve compression for a more djentlemenly style of music, but for me it's awesome.

The loop on this amp is actually one of the most important features. It can help fine-tune the volume levels and tone in really intuitive and dramatic ways, without having as many as switches as you'd suspect. Seeing as I have so many pedals in the loop and in front, setting the loop in the right way has taken me a very long time. I have a headache now from playing the amp at full volume and sitting right in front of it to reach the switches on the back panel.

Regarding the tone, it is exactly what Stephen imagined when he designed and built it: it is an amp for those 'in-between sounds'. My Soldano does one thing and one thing only – brutal metal both the doomy and the djenty kind, which suits me perfectly. However, I did need an amp that took pedals more accurately, had a sweeter and brighter clean tone, and hit those knarly stoner rock tones from the 60's and 70's that I love.

The clean sounds break up very early. You won't be able to play a high output pick-up guitar with a drummer without it being as distorted as your average tubescreamer overdrive pedal into a clean Fender Twin. Although that is awesome for certain applications, it is not for others. That is where the preamp swapping and tone-shaping effects loop comes into play. I haven't been able to mess with the preamp yet as I have no replacement valves, but the manual tells me exactly what I need to do in order to decrease the gain, and it is a very easy process something that isn't set in stone once done.

The tone is sweet, supple, organic, full of life, and crunchy all at the same time. With the clean channel volume maxed out, the sound is alive and sporadic, full of strange and unique frequency flutters that bounce and shine no matter what guitar you're playing or in what setting. The EQ controls are as effective as I need them to be, and although the switches have little affect on the sound, they feel different and are useful for fine-tuning.




The second channel is a tad mushy at times, but I knew that when I bought it. You can dial it out but I actually quite enjoy the compression and sustain for soloing and for that uber dirty dirge that I particularly enoy with the preamp gain down slightly, the volume pushed hard and the seven string strapped on.

Speaking of which, the two input sensitivity jacks are great for matching guitars. It really works as the website describes--unlike a lot of amplifiers I know... *cough* Blackstar *cough* Marshall *cough*
The Ibanez Apex seven string particularly loves the amp, even though it usually requires an oversized cabinet and copious amounts of low-end and wattage. It also loves my Strats, though I do have to dial down the treble for the single coils.

The reverb is very sweet and nicely controlled for both channels. There is only a global pot for the level but it never becomes washy or overpowering, something I've had a problem with in other amps like the Orange Rockerverb.

The speaker and cabinet design for the combo seem perfect. The open-back construction is a blessing and a godsend from the projectile and directional sounding Matamp cabinet I have for the Soldano. It is warm, open, airy and very organic sounding.






tl;dr
fryette memphis awesome it sound good anywhere all the time i like it big time you should all be jealous
#2
Love new amp days, even more so when they're this unique. Awesome amp, HNAD!
#5
That power light looks blinding . Is that etching in the metal on the front?

I'd say that's one sexy combo, although I think black grill would be even sweeter.

HNAD! Looks like you really enjoy it
/rig
#6
I was gonna say I wasn't fussed on the looks until I saw it lit up. It actually looks pretty cool lit up, like the terminator or something.

Haven't tried the memphis but I'm sure it's awesome, all the other VHTs/Fryettes I've tried have been.

Don't want to hikack the thread, but those stormshadows look really nice. I've heard of them before but was put off by the slightly-too-low prices. Are they all made by yer dude rich? Even the stealth models? And they are awesome, right?
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#7
Thanks!

Yeah, it is etching. It looks there is a skyline of a city engraved into the front panel. It's faint but it adds a lot of character.

I just went back outside to play it again and it's very, very nice. I'm not having major doubts that this one was a bad purchase. It takes pedals so well that I can fine-tune my tone to perfection.

Quote by Dave_Mc
I was gonna say I wasn't fussed on the looks until I saw it lit up. It actually looks pretty cool lit up, like the terminator or something.

Haven't tried the memphis but I'm sure it's awesome, all the other VHTs/Fryettes I've tried have been.

Don't want to hikack the thread, but those stormshadows look really nice. I've heard of them before but was put off by the slightly-too-low prices. Are they all made by yer dude rich? Even the stealth models? And they are awesome, right?
As far as I know everything is made by Rich, by hand, in the UK. I can't say for sure, though. It certainly is set-up by Rich and perfected by hand.
#8
Thanks.

Yeah it'd probably be worth an email. The stock specs on the customs are close enough to what I'd want that it might be worth considering- I was half-thinking of one of the charvel pro mods (may still get one), but considering his customs start at £900, with the schaller OFR (I assume- he mentions the frt-1000 on the stealth models), and bulldog pickups... I mean the charvels are £600, maybe £550 with a good exchange rate from thomann. Factor in a schaller OFR and pickup swap and you're up to £900 easily... plus you have the bother of actually doing the swap. Only real advantage of the charvels is that you don't *need* to do the swap straight away, so you can save up for it.



Time for some thinking, I think

EDIT: i think i can kinda make out the skyscrapers on the front of the amp- that's awesome
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Apr 11, 2011,
#9
He's actually bringing out some new models in the next few months. He'll also finally be able to advertise his guitars in magazines and whatnot as he has designed himself a unique headstock and has stopped using the traditional headstocks that have a copyright attached to them.

You should definitely email him, Dave. He's a really good guy, very down to earth and patient. He likes the same styles of music as you do (from what I remember you telling me a few years back) and definitely makes a very solid custom instrument.

He said he'd email me pictures of his new guitars when he gets them. I'll send them to you, along with the prices and options, when I receive them.
#10
ah sweet, that'd be awesome And yeah it sounds like he likes the same stuff I do.

I like strat-style headstocks And the kramer banana ones

That'd actually be a negative in my book if he stopped using them, lol. I mean it wouldn't be a dealbreaker (as long as the new one isn't horrible), but yeah.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#11
He might still be producing the old headstocks as a custom option, but he won't be able to be consistent with his production models if he doesn't use a non-copyrighted design.

I prefer the originals, too, but you might love what he has in mind. He showed me a 3D mock-up of his new headstock design and it's really unique. It should, above all else, help immediately put Stormshadow on the map.
#12
Nice! It doesn't look bad at all, especially next to the Soldano.

Quote by AngryGoldfish
Thanks!

Yeah, it is etching. It looks there is a skyline of a city engraved into the front panel. It's faint but it adds a lot of character.



I think the etching is actually Egyptian hieroglyphics and architecture. Makes sense with the name.
E-peen:
Rhodes Gemini
Fryette Ultra Lead
Peavey 6505
THD Flexi 50

Gibson R0 Prototype
EBMM JP13 Rosewood
Fender CS Mary Kaye

WTLT

(512) Audio Engineering - Custom Pedal Builds, Mods and Repairs
#13
Yeah, I just did some research on it and you're right. I had no idea that the name Memphis was Egyptian.
#14
I didn't until I took an art history course a couple years back. I didn't make the connection with the Fryette until I saw those etchings. I always thought it was named the Memphis after Memphis, TN since it was geared more towards blues/county/rock tones. Apparently Memphis, Egypt was known for a high level of craftsmanship standards so I'm guessing that's where the name came from. The TN connection is just a secondary benefit.
E-peen:
Rhodes Gemini
Fryette Ultra Lead
Peavey 6505
THD Flexi 50

Gibson R0 Prototype
EBMM JP13 Rosewood
Fender CS Mary Kaye

WTLT

(512) Audio Engineering - Custom Pedal Builds, Mods and Repairs
#15
it should't be that mushy. have you messed with the sag controls?
Jumping on dat gear sig train.
PRS Hollowbody II / BKP Warpigs
Strandberg OS6T / BKP Aftermath
Strandberg OS7 / Lace Poopsticks
Skervesen Raptor 7FF / BKP Warpigs
Skervesen Raptor 6 NTB / BKP Juggernauts
Hapas Sludge 7 FF / Hapas Leviathan
Anderson Baritom / Motorcity Nuke BKP Sinner Anderson H2+
Warmoth Baritone / BKP Piledriver
Ibanez Rg2120x / BKP Nailbomb

Blackstar ID:Core Beam
#18
Quote by AcousticMirror
it should't be that mushy. have you messed with the sag controls?

AM could you ever be happy for someone to get a new amp.

HNAD dude. lol
#19
i'm happy. it just should't be mushy.

I love that amp.

There is a sag control though that tightens it up considerably.
Jumping on dat gear sig train.
PRS Hollowbody II / BKP Warpigs
Strandberg OS6T / BKP Aftermath
Strandberg OS7 / Lace Poopsticks
Skervesen Raptor 7FF / BKP Warpigs
Skervesen Raptor 6 NTB / BKP Juggernauts
Hapas Sludge 7 FF / Hapas Leviathan
Anderson Baritom / Motorcity Nuke BKP Sinner Anderson H2+
Warmoth Baritone / BKP Piledriver
Ibanez Rg2120x / BKP Nailbomb

Blackstar ID:Core Beam
#22
Wow HNAD looks sweet.

Reminds me of Nicolas Cage.

Guitars:
Charvel USA San Dimas | Jackson Matt Tuck Rhoads | Jackson DK2M Dinky | Epiphone Les Paul Custom Midnight | Fender MIM Sunburst Tele

Amp:
Jet City JCA100HDM | Framus CS 2x12
#24
Quote by AcousticMirror
i'm happy. it just should't be mushy.

I love that amp.

There is a sag control though that tightens it up considerably.
wait...wat?

I didn't find any sag controls on the amp at all. There were switches that tightened up the sound slightly, but certainly not considerably; it was just for fine-tuning. And it's only when you play the amp at gigging levels that it starts to 'sag' and mush up with a sweet taste of compression.

Quote by NakedInTheRain
hnad mate. that is the sexiest ugly amp i've seen yet.
I like that response.

Quote by Kev_369
Wow HNAD looks sweet.

Reminds me of Nicolas Cage.
That's good because I'm one of the only dudes on the planet who thinks Nicolas Cage is da bomb.
#25
yea nice amp dan, whatever lol. pfft.




is that a rosewood neck G&L tele i spy on the end there?

we can has some pr0n of that plox?

edit: i thought tires were only lawn decorations here in the US. next we'll see a bowling ball in the garden.

Last edited by gregs1020 at Apr 12, 2011,
#26
I wish. It's an all Mahogany Tele that my brother built for school when he was 17. It is too heavy for normal use and the fretboard is not wide enough so the strings flop off either side. I'm still proud to put it on my guitar stand, though.
#27
shit if it's that fubar, hang it on the wall.

or get a new nut?

sweet amp and rig Dan, that's awesome.
#28
It's really my brothers guitar and his baby. I can't change anything, really. It just wouldn't seem right. I rewired it but that's it.

Thanks, Greg! How is the Peters treating you these days?
#29
Quote by AngryGoldfish
It's really my brothers guitar and his baby. I can't change anything, really. It just wouldn't seem right. I rewired it but that's it.

Thanks, Greg! How is the Peters treating you these days?

I feckin love that amp. Everytime I get it dialed in Jorge comes over, we have a battle of the guitars and he makes it sound better with the most retarded settings.

if you ever run into one, try it.

I'm just glad the guy I got it from never biased it correctly, or I never would have gotten it so cheap.

Can you do any clips of the Memphis?
#30
That's awesome. I'm glad you've finally found something that you can stick with and be surprised with all the time. That's the sign of a keeper, in my opinion: if it surprises and sounds different every time you play it.

Unless Peters becomes a bit more popular and finds the money to set up a distribution in the UK, I doubt I'd ever be able to play one. There are a few American/Canadian amp makers like Peters that I'm dying to try out - DAR and Fortin are two of them.

Yeah, sometimes you find those deals where someone is selling their private stock PRS for half the price because the machine head has broken off.

I can't do a clip yet. I intend to buy the Zoom Q3HD (remember I was going to ask you to buy me the original Q3 from America?) when I have a little extra money in the next few weeks. I'll update the opening post with my clips then. It'll be a pretty extensive clip. I'll try and capture as many sounds and styles as possible, even the br00tz.
#31
the new amp looks fantastic! and you have a hell of a way of describing things! it sounds like everything i wish my about-to-be-sold crate combo was. i want to try out something, anything by fryette someday but i live over 2 hrs from anyone who might carry it.

any chance of clips?


7 String+ ERG Legion!!

LTD Snakebyte
Agile AL-727
ESP Horizon
Warmoth Swirled 7
Schecter C-1 Classic
Frankentele
Laney Ironheart 60w + Avatar Cab

#33
Quote by AngryGoldfish
He might still be producing the old headstocks as a custom option, but he won't be able to be consistent with his production models if he doesn't use a non-copyrighted design.

I prefer the originals, too, but you might love what he has in mind. He showed me a 3D mock-up of his new headstock design and it's really unique. It should, above all else, help immediately put Stormshadow on the map.


oh yeah, sure, I mean I'll definitely check it out before I make my mind up
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#34
Quote by AngryGoldfish
wait...wat?

I didn't find any sag controls on the amp at all. There were switches that tightened up the sound slightly, but certainly not considerably; it was just for fine-tuning. And it's only when you play the amp at gigging levels that it starts to 'sag' and mush up with a sweet taste of compression.

I like that response.

That's good because I'm one of the only dudes on the planet who thinks Nicolas Cage is da bomb.


oh right oh. gig volumes 30 watts can't be helped.
Jumping on dat gear sig train.
PRS Hollowbody II / BKP Warpigs
Strandberg OS6T / BKP Aftermath
Strandberg OS7 / Lace Poopsticks
Skervesen Raptor 7FF / BKP Warpigs
Skervesen Raptor 6 NTB / BKP Juggernauts
Hapas Sludge 7 FF / Hapas Leviathan
Anderson Baritom / Motorcity Nuke BKP Sinner Anderson H2+
Warmoth Baritone / BKP Piledriver
Ibanez Rg2120x / BKP Nailbomb

Blackstar ID:Core Beam