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Mastered tone like nothing you've ever heard.
The 3rd Power HD 100 hand-wired 100W tube guitar amp head was inspired by the 12000 Series 100W plexi. What sets the HD100 apart from other faithful renditions as well as hot-rodded versions on the market is a patent-pending circuitry that enhances the playing experience to deliver a finished guitar tone that needs no further corrective equalization down-stream. Access to this circuitry enhancement is available via an unassuming mini-toggle switch located on the front panel. It is here that guitarists have the ability to switch between a stock Plexi tone-stack voicing and the 3RD POWER "mastered tone" setting. When engaged, corrective equalization occurs.
3rd Power's proprietary DirecDRIVE preamp circuitry delivers vintage clean to modern mean all on a single Gain control. Their approach to the generation of harmonically rich distortion is unique and does so without employing any clipping diodes - often the source of harsh high-frequency content that simply cannot be removed from the signal. There's also a dramatic reduction in hiss and noise leaving you with a superb tone and clarity that eliminates the barrier between your fingers and what comes out of your speakers.
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Reviewed by 1 customer
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Comments about 3rd Power Amps HLH Series HD100 Handwired 100W Tube Guitar Amp Head:
This may very well be that amp satisfying those looking for "a one channel amp with the blue channel of the Bogner Ecstasy", something you hear people wishing for or finding a better value with the pleasing feel and gain quality of a Friedman Browneye, PT100 or Komet Concorde...the best gain tones I have personally experienced for my purposes.
The amp is a one channel head with familiar hot rodded Marshall styled controls with the following useful additions:
A level adjustable solo boost, foot-switchable!
A mid smoothing switch.
An insert styled effects loop allowing insert of effects between the preamp and power amp sections.
I'm one who prefers to let the amp do the work, so the level adjustable boost means I don't have to rely on pedals for lead boosts. I've come to appreciate that this approach is far superior to trying to use gain/boost/eq pedals for a solo bump which tend to run out of clean head room and not work nearly as effectively as this solo boost does which can add far more then enough bump for solos, far more than enough.
The amp does take pedals well, I have tried Dunlop Wah, OCD v3, RC Booster, MXR Carbon Copy, Fulltone Deja Vibe, /13 Switchazel.
As I understand it some well known artists such as Steve Miller, Simon Townshend and Brad Whitford have toured with the HD100. Those are credible endorsements that jive with the majority of the overwhelming feedback on this amp.
So what's the big deal? Well, it gets the knod on being a high gain hot rodded marshall. It's only about 40 pounds, which is a delight after owning some 60 pound heads and 95 pound combo's!.
With the gain set high, it rolls back like a dream…. killer bluesy tones that roll into screaming high gain tones.
With the gain set lower, it sounds warm and full and takes pedals well.
Kerrang! The best plexi kerrang I've found yet (better than a plexi!).
The EQ section is very responsive…the mid control has a huge sweep of effect, and the amp can provide more than enough bass and treble.
The master volume is fantastic! I gigged this in a small wine bistro and still had my tone with the master volume almost minimized.
To give you a sense, I had a double header gig in a narrow long reflective wine bar with two different bands, two consecutive evenings. One a pop rock (Bill Withers, Eagles, America, Clapton, Mellencamp, STP, Trower, Nirvana) and one a hard rock dance band (SRV, Hendrix, Jeff Beck, Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Tonic, Weezer, Green Day, Nirvana, STP, Soundgarden, AIC, Pearl Jam, Bush, Velvet Revolver). Volume control was mandatory in this highly reflective long narrow small venue.. In either case the range of tones required was wide… I was able to pull this off easily. It sounded phenomenal, and I had patrons and bandmates commenting on my tone. I did not even have the footswitch yet for the solo boost…so I did this all, riding the guitar volume and using a clean boost (Xotic RC Booster). Now with the footswitchable lead bump it's that much easier.
Lastly, to put this all into perspective. I undertook a 9 month search for amps. My search was focused on specific parameters that I could best define as definition, string separation, harmonic content and "presence in the room"…something that some call a 3d or 4d quality…features were important, but those qualities were more important to me. In my quest, having considered, and personally played many amps in many cities at many shops as I traveled the country for business, a few amps had risen to the top.
3rd Power HD100
Friedman Brown Eye KS
So I enthusiastically place the HD100 in that category of amp. They all have different features, weight and significantly different cost, so they are not equal in all regards…but they are all great amps. So if you already have a PT100 or Friedman, good for you, great amps. For those looking, be sure to add the HD100 to your evaluations. For those looking for a lower priced one channel amp, run don't walk to your nearest dealer!
Lastly, as we have all come to realize, customer support is key. My interactions with 3rd Power before and after purchasing a USED head have been top knotch. 3rd Power clearly understands that having top rated customer support is