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Amp Hype

Quality Components 
At Graytech Sound, we build two types of amps: one is built at an affordable 'price point' with good performance that will satisfy the musician with a modest financial budget.  These are the Ceriatone line of amps that are a good value for the money.  The second line of amps are built to offer much more in terms of advanced tone and performance.  Is there that much of a difference?  Sure!  But, there's a cost factor to consider.  With all the gold and silver added to the parts list for the Pro Series, along with NOS components and other high-performance hardware, the results will speak for themselves.  Can a stock Ceriatone be upgraded to offer even better tone and performance?  Of course!  This approach can be used with most anything that is manufactured.  There is an assumption that all amps are the same and everyone uses low cost resistors and caps.  Not so!  Granted, most modern amps are built using pc boards and they do sound good at moderate volume levels.  Crank these amps and they will not last as long as one that is built to higher standards.  Ceriatone and Graytech Sound are two options that will meet any player's requirements and expectations.  Why?  Simple.  I'm as demanding with tone and performance just as much as any musician that needs the amp characteristics to match his or her technique without using a bunch of pedal effects to compensate for the deficiencies we all have endured with name brand amplifiers. 

Amp Warranty
As long as I'm alive, I offer a lifetime warranty on the preamp board and transformers which is the heart of the amplifier.  As with any warranty, there are limits, such as: abuse or accidental damage.  Examples: not keeping a proper impedance load on the amp, using an improper bias setting, and/or modifying the amp.  Tubes are warranted by the manufacturer or distributor.  Certain parts such as: fuses, electrolytic caps, pots, and switches should last for at least 10 years without any trouble.  If they fail due to poor manufacturing, just let me know and I'll replace the part(s).

Send and Receive Jacks
It has always been better to plug 'effects pedals' directly into the front input of the amp the vast majority of the time.  The effects are actually designed to be used in this manner.  Nothing is more discouraging than paying for 'bells and whistles' that compromise the tone or offers no advantage.  There are a few exceptions where certain effects do work better after the first gain stage, or using an active circuit design to process the signal.  But, it's the exception, not the rule.  Any unnecessary, added circuitry typically compromises the efficiency and tone.  The bottom line is: if a manufacturer is trying to sell you on great sound with an amp loaded with 'bells and whistles', chances are the tone and performance will be missing 'key' elements.  It is why race-cars do not have air-conditioning or power windows; it puts a load on the power supply, slowing it down. 

Correct Amp Design
The proper way to design a high-performance amp is to concentrate on its engine; aka the power supply.  The engine installed in all amps that dictates performance is: the Power Transformer and Output Transformer.  Designing power supply components to fit in a certain space, often limits the strength of the required current that feeds the circuit, which has a serious degrading effect on tone.  This is why in certain combo amps it is difficult to make the amp sparkle without a redesign of the preamp circuit so it compliments the existing power supply components.
We build the engine first, and will design/modify all other components that compliment the transformers; the foundation of your sound!

Vintage Design and Modernism
Most vintage amp designs are beautifully simple, creating the most authentic and natural sound.  There is a lot of hype about keeping vintage amps as close as possible to the original specs.  Unfortunately, the power supplies (engines) in most of the old amps are not as strong, compared to those we can build today.
A ‘65 Mustang is a classic car, but if you wanted modern performance, you would install many upgrades to make it perform more like a present day sports car.  Cruising around in a ‘65 Mustang looks cool, and you get to brag about your vintage wheels, but when you step on the gas, modern performance is just not there. 
At GrayTech Sound, we know that upgrading a vintage design to eliminate the short-comings, only makes the tonal response more vintage!

Many amps today sound as if they have a 'solid state' distortion pedal built in.  Some manufactures claim to have designed an 'all tube' signal path, which only means the amp has tubes used in the circuitry.  Solid-state and digital designs are being used more often in modern amps, forcing compromises that serve nothing, except to make the amp less expensive.
Modern digital circuit designs integrated with vintage tube/analog design equates to an oxymoron.  Tubes and analog circuitry are completely different from solid state / digital design.  Often, the unstable performance from: carbon comp resistors, electrolytic caps, along with tubes sometimes will create problems when combined with modern digital design concepts.  This is a known fact, as discovered by many amp technicians around the world.

Today, we have solid-state tube replacement modules that rival the sound of a traditional glass valve.  However, they don't replace high-quality tubes.  When an amp is properly designed, you can easily hear the different tonal colorations from one tube design to the next.  This is the beauty of high-performance tube circuitry.     
Our Mission at GrayTech Sound is to produce and enhance the natural tube distortion and its harmonics with unrivaled punch, sensitivity, and sustain.  You will know within minutes that the difference is unmistakable.

Some self-proclaimed tube experts have offered unfavorable opinions about certain tube designs, as well as specific brands being of poor quality.  There is an element of truth to this statement, but it's not the whole story.  Tubes are constructed by hand, so they will vary a bit from one batch to the next.  This is why testing is done to identify the operational characteristics.  Add to that variable, the materials used inside the tube will also affect the tone and performance.  NOS (new old stock) is thought of as being superior to modern-made tubes.  This is not entirely true.  In my own experience, I've done comparisons.  Many of the power tubes and preamp tubes manufactured today are every bit as good as vintage NOS.  If they weren't, nobody would buy them, including me.        
One last note: the bias setting is very important to the life of power tubes, as well as the overall performance of the amp.  Setting the bias correctly for maximum performance will not offer maximum tube life.  If you are a musician with a well-developed ear for discerning good sound, you don’t worry about getting the most 'playing time' out of a tube.  Instead, you will be concerned about how tubes affect your playing style and ability to use certain techniques that can only be achieved with an amp that is set up properly!!
Speaker Cables and Speaker Wire
With any high performance amp, it is critical to allow the complex musical structure from the instrument to arrive at the speakers without being choked off by the wire.  Thick, lush tone requires a properly designed speaker cable along with the wire installed inside the cabinet.  Without any commercially available cable that meets the performance characteristics of GrayTech Sound, we make our own cable to surpass everything else being used in guitar amps. 

A few more Comments

We know what it takes to build the best sounding amp with a certain style of tone, as we are doing with our 'Pro Series' line.  The GrayTech Sound 'Pro Series' is one of the ultra high-end performing amps on the market right now.  This is a story about evolution.  Someday, far in the future, technology will produce a dilithium crystal amp that will eliminate the use of tube technology.  But not today! 

With every amp, we will be very upfront explaining the how’s and why’s of the components being used, so that you can be informed and shop around fairly when upgrading your sound becomes desirable. 

Please Email Us for custom quote & pricing.