The TRIBUTE archtop Jazz guitar amplifer by SeQuel Amplifiers[tm]. A respectful modern interpretation…not a clone…of a famous 1948 amplifier, The Gibson GA50.
Tubes: 6L6’s Selected, EF86 & 6NS7
Speaker: Jensen Vintage Alnico P12N & P8R
Dimensions: 23.5″W x 16.5″H x 10″D
The original amp model became an integral part of the classic Jim Hall sound, it was Barney Kessel’s favorite, and found its way to Howard Roberts for a while among other leading Jazz guitarists. More recently Dale Bruning used one to record a wonderful Duo album with Bill Frisell titled “Reunion.”
And we were distinctly honored when the legendary Jim Hall selected the prototype of the SeQuel Tribute for his 4-night concert series at Seattle’s Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley in March 2011. It wasn’t about business; Jim simply liked the amp’s sound and response. And to us in the audience he sounded like…well…classic Jim Hall. No fiddling around with controls necessary; it was just “there” from the beginning.
But then, perhaps there’s another reason to all this. The point of the SeQuel Tribute is simply to amplify an archtop guitar purely and honestly.
But why tubes? It seems only too logical that using amp technology steeped in the same musical tradition and which evolved in close parallel with the archtop’s development as an electric instrument makes a great deal of sense. In other words, a good vintage style archtop plugged a good vintage-style amp based on the era and voiced specifically for the purpose should equal a very toneful match. And indeed it does.
But technology has obviously changed since 1948. This has left us with some components no longer manufactured and others which are technically superior. So we asked ourselves: “what would the engineers of that time have designed if today’s materials were available then?” The result may well be what we’ve developed in The Tribute.
Then there is more point; we don’t have to answer to Corporate bean counters which means that we could select by careful personal audition the very best audio components we could find. And like finding just the right spruce or maple for a luthier, those components have made a world of difference in The Tribute. Better components = better sound.
There are exactly three control knobs on the Tribute: Volume plus only enough Bass and Treble function so that a guitarist can adjust the amplifier to the room but not to alter the inherent sound of the guitar. The Tribute generates 32-watts clean which translates as “enough” power to reproduce a fine archtop but not too much where a guitarist might cause feedback.
Here are some quotes from SeQuel TRIBUTE clients:
“I have played the Gibson GA 50T side by side the SeQuel TRIBUTE. They both have a beautiful authenticity in each note. Clear as church bells on a snowy night in the mountains! Each is “warm” in tone. There is a difference – the TRIBUTE has that astounding “head room” thing going on. The GA 50T does not. That’s what separates them.”
“Believe me, I LOVE the Tribute. It’s the most beautiful sound I have ever heard for archtops.”