I should actually say: “Best REAL Amp On the Planet” because I am still enjoying the tones that come from my Axe FX 2 XL. But let me tell you that the Bludo Drive amplifier (this is the 70s voicing with optional FET channel) has been in my peripheral vision ever since my pal PF got one a few years back. The Bludo really came into focus for me a couple of weeks ago when PF and I had a few “Lugtreads” and proceeded to audition a few special guitars thru his Bludo.
Traditionally, when I start “the hunt”, everything becomes tunnel vision towards the new piece of sonic glory – and this time was no exception! I was fortunate enough thru a happy coincidence and the positive energies of some guy named Todd and some guy named Brandon, to acquire my Bludo Drive amplifier and Loopalator almost immediately! Good karma! Last night, my pal PF jumped in his Prius and headed for the Rancho (more good karma – thank you PF!) – mainly so he could show me the “ins and outs” of both the amp and the Loopalator.
Now these amps already have a huge reputation – you’ll see Santana with a couple, Larry Carleton loves his… there’s a long list. The Bludo Drive amps apparently were inspired by those “D” amps – made by the eccentric and brilliant Howard Somebody… or was it Alexander? I actually played a 100 watt “D” and wasn’t smitten – but, to be fair, I didn’t spend more than a few minutes with it. Back to the Bludo… this amp is like no amp I have ever heard – and I have owned 100s! Even when heavily over-driven, there is a depth of tone, complexity, and a big sound that you don’t hear in other amps. Most amps flatten out and become less-dimensional, smaller, as you increase the amount of distortion – not so with the Bludo. The cleans are also spectacular and very big, with no tendency to be “limited”. The FET channel adds an FET pre-amp and it makes the tone a bit “tougher”, brighter, and more focussed. A nice option. When I got the amp, I immediately flipped the 1/2 power switch to 50 watts, and all my auditions were done at 1/2 power. The 100 watt setting is obviously a tad “bigger”. The Master Volume works exceedingly well too – and I would have no problem using this amp in a small pub. The Loopalator is an impedance matching device that has a 12AX7 tube in it. I makes the amp sound ever so slightly fuller, and the effects loop is killer, I have never heard my delay pedal sound so good. Now I know why I don’t like the sound of my delay on my pedal board “in front” of the amp! This Bludo Drive amp is completely in a class of it’s own… best amp ever? Quite possibly!
So I guess there will be some amps for sale! maybe I’ll keep my Black Face Princeton Reverb, my Divided By 13 LDW (for Marshally tones), my Tex EF 86, and, of course, my custom Funk Farm “Hughbie” amp… hey, if you had a model of your own, you’d keep it too!