Ade – I’m Ade Emsley of Orange amps and this is Desertfest, I’m here with Matt Pike, from Sleep!

Matt – I’m Matt Pike from Sleep at Desertfest, playing his amps. So I take it you are a bass player?

Ade – I play both.

Matt – I do now too, I just got this Gibson fretless Ripper, its fuckin’ badass! I actually use a Dual Dark Orange and an Ampeg.

Ade – Nice! Do the top end on the Dual Dark!

Matt – I use some of those Earthquaker effects, they have some gnarly stuff.

Ade – I tend to like to bi-amp with the bass, I like to put a guitar amp on the top end.

Matt – That’s the way to do it, well everybody I play with does that, everybody at least has a half stack.

Ade – Helps if you have new strings, you get the harmonics off.

Matt – Ye, and it dirtys it up without a distortion box.

Ade – Sounds like punching a box of springs.

Matt – I like having multiples because the difference between, there is kind of a chunk thing, chunk riffs! There is smooth where you have to hold it real long and you don’t want it to feed back unnecessarily, you want it to feed back smoothly into stuff. So it takes some dialling in.

Ade – You like the Dual Darks?

Matt – I like the Dual Darks a lot yeh, I like the two hundred Watt Thunderverbs and I like those little OR50’s or 80’s?

Ade – It’s the OR50.

Matt – Dude! Those things fucking shred if you have a bunch of them and you mic the shit out of them and use them for the PA tone. Then like a Pignose out the back as well.

Ade – Ye, a lot of artists like those because it was meant to be, the original were like our 40th anniversary and we had a plexi glass front on them.

Matt – I would like to get my hands on one of those.

Ade – We ran them for a year and then people started contacting us saying “can you do the OR50 again?” We were getting emails about it every day, so we brought them back.

Matt – I like it because tone wise they are really, really good, they saturate because there aren’t so many tubes to spread out to. It’s just those two to saturation.

Ade – They have a sound, three stage they are, they are three stages of gain. Whereas the Rockerverb is four, Thunderverb is a three.

Matt – The Thunderverbs, the two hundred ones are really good for massive amounts of sound being projected.

Ade – Ye they push! They push the bottom out of the cabinets in a certain way. But they play really firm. Ye I just try and make a good honest amp, with proper transformers. The other thing is there are so many people that say their amp is a hundred percent fully tube and it’s not. Like the effects loop is solid state, some of the distortion is solid state and they are saying its a hundred percent and they are just lying to people. I don’t like that, I keep the solid state stuff, solid state and the tube stuff, tube.

Matt – All tube yeh! Well in my Laney I have Patridge transformers, that shits, fucking, why don’t they make stuff like that any more thats the weird thing, I can tell the difference.

Ade – I think Transtronic have got the drawings for those.

Matt – It’s like that and Mercury does them, I have SLO Soldano’s, Mercurys are pretty good but there is nothing quite like the Partridges.

Ade – Ye we used the Mercurys for a bit in the U.S.A. amps and I liked them, I thought they were really good.

Matt – They are, definitely.

Ade – It actually prompted me because they actually sounded better than what we were using at the time. It prompted me to, I obviously looked at getting coils sent over from Mercury to Europe and then laminating them here. But they wouldn’t do it so I went to the drawing board and redesigned all the transformers, until I was happy with them. So all the fifty Watt transformers and upwards are all eight sections, you know like proper.

Matt – They are good, I mean they perform, they put out.

Ade – No they were great the Partridges, you can get similar made now though.  I mean ours are not a million miles away, I mean they are different design because I went from scratch. I didn’t want to tear anything down and rip it off, its not the way I roll. I went I’m going to make something that sounds similar to this or maybe try and better it. Do my own recipe, make a few different ones up and feel them and play them.

Matt –  Well then it is all a matter of parts, you know little parts, like capacitors and diodes. That’s why I don’t build amps, that’s where I get confused. Dudes like you! Well thank you for making them!

Ade – We still build some hand wired stuff, you know like the Custom Shop stuff, I always have a lot of fun doing those! They are different, they do sound different.

Matt – What is your preference on speakers? Do you mess with stuff?

Ade – Ye! I do, I really like Alnicos, I did a bit of work on the gold 10’s, I like 10’s, I use them a lot. 2X10 Alnico cabs.

Matt – Really? Its weird but the low end thing, the smaller you get and the more of them, produces low end.

Ade –  Well I like open back because its not so directional and you can still get a lot of bottom out of them.

Matt – I like open backs, my friend who records my other band High on Fire, Kurt Ballou, he is in that band Converge. Emperor made him a bunch of open backs and I think there just Celestion greenback copys.

Ade – I don’t like  speakers that are less than a hundred dB, I don’t see the point. If you are going to lug a 4X12 you want it to be loud. If it’s 96 dB speakers then it is half as loud as hundred dB speakers. Its the way the human ear hears Decibels, its half as loud. I’ve tried the Fane Alnicos, they are good.

Matt – Alnicos I’ve got to write that down.

Ade – They do a 60 Watt cream coloured Alnico 12″ which is really nice. Its kind of like the Celestion but a little bit softer. But not too soft, do you know what I mean, its a nice balance. The bottom is really good on them.

Matt – If they are a little bit puffy to begin with, thats where your effects come in and how you are driving the amp. I use a lot of mids, its smoother than if I turn all the mids off and its the bottom and top its what everybody like in Metal. I like the Randy Rhodes mid thing, Iron Maiden even used a lot mids.

Ade – Oh you have got to use a lot of mids on guitar.

Matt – If you want your lead to pop out add mid.

Ade – Ye, you don’t want to take it out if you want lead! Its going to sound like a wasp in a jar if you do that!

Matt – I think a lot of people try to add a little bit of treble to it or volume and treble.  It doesn’t make it smooth, more mid smooth.

Ade – Its like the Tiny Terror, doesn’t have any tone controls.

Matt – Oh I love that thing! I have two of those!

Ade – It’s actually a filter on the power amp, so the preamp hasn’t got any tone stack in there at all. That’s why its got the perceived gain of like a three stage, when you crank the gain up. Its actually a two stage because it hasn’t got the tone stack loading it down, you get more through.

Matt – You know on my rig out there, usually I have one of those with me in the States. Usually I have two of them, I didn’t get a chance to bring anything like that over here, you know weight wise and luggage and shit. We usually have one of those Tiny Terrors and a little two speaker deal and then we put in a Marshall head case or one of the big cases and then we just put a 57 in there. I started with a Pignose doing that and then I got endorsed by Orange and I started using that thing and it really rips. That’s what the guy at the board can really do shit with my guitar with that thing, he has a bunch of FX pedals up here, that distort that thing or give it delay or swirl it around the room. That means I don’t have to touch shit, I just have to play!

Ade – That’s cool! That is what you really want to do. Those saturate in the output stage nice because of the way the transformer is, its like a baby fifty Watt five stage but miniaturised.

Matt – That is great!

Ade – That saturates like an old late 60’s fifty Watter would but in fifteen Watt.

Matt – I don’t need it much either because it is in a box, next to a mic, going through the speakers out there. I got that from, it’s an old Frank Zappa trick, he would take a little Pignose and fool everyone, he would just be shredding it!

Ade – I’m a big Zappa fan.

Matt – I love Zappa.

Ade – I just try to make good honest amps, don’t lie to anyone, don’t tell them its hundred percent tubes if its not. We make solid state amps but its a different animal and I try to keep them a hundred percent solid state where possible.

Matt – I’m not a big solid state dude, that’s not what I do. It’s cool for like practice room.

Ade – We make them for people who can’t afford the tube amps. We try to get them to sound as good as possible without being tube and so that the control panel, if they find themselves on a Rockerverb they’ll know where they are. The controls come in at roughly the same place, so they won’t be lost if they find themselves on a Rockerverb, a Dual Dark or Thunderverb. The gain structure works in the same kind of way.

Matt – Well I’ve been using these for so long, I kind of know all of them! I know what they all do. Thank you for making a solid amp!

Ade – Cheers man! No problem.

Matt – Proud to play them!

This Blog piece was written by Sam Hafferty. Orange is a supporter of Miami Girl’s Rock Camp.

Hi! I’m Sam Hafferty. 2016 Camper, 2017 Assistant Director at Miami Girl’s Rock Camp (MGRC). This would sound like a HUGE transition anywhere else, but those who know the MGRC environment and philosophies, know that this camp is not like anywhere else. Even though I was put in a more mentally (and physically) challenging position in carrying out my duties as a volunteer, I found the overall experience to be far more enjoyable and educational than difficult in any sense of the word. My overall time at camp over the past 2 years has created a combination of education, service, and emotional support fueled equally by every single person involved during camp week.

I remember when I first heard about a girl’s rock camp starting in Miami. I was 16 and very interested in my local DIY cultural communities. I knew that I was eligible to join camp in its first year, but was too thrown off by the fact that I might be the oldest camper. I now understand that at MGRC, It doesn’t matter if you are 7 or 70, you are still treated with as much support and love as the next person. After seeing how great the first year looked on social media, I decided I didn’t care if I was going to be the oldest camper anymore, and signed up in 2016. By the end of my first day of camp, all of my misconceptions and worries were forgotten, I was surrounded by people who cared about my comfort and upheld the ideals of positive relationships with one another.

At Miami Girl’s Rock Camp, I had made real connections and friendships with my peers and mentors. Many of whom I kept in touch with year-round. My experience as a camper opened up new possibilities for me to encourage positivity and creativity in all aspects of my life. After performing in the MGRC showcase as a newfound bass player, I was motivated to start a band outside of camp with some friends. My first post-MGRC performance was actually thanks to one of the directors of camp, Emile Milgrim, who invited us to play in her section of my favorite local gathering, the International Noise Conference! After that first performance, I felt confident enough to go out and proactively seek shows to play with my band all around the city!

Leading up to this summer’s camp week, I was excited to play a very different role. I performed a wide variety of tasks, from roadie work to administrative work to small counseling roles. I had a chance to see the behind the scenes of all aspects of running camp. Even though I was equally as active and stimulated going through camp week as a volunteer as when a camper, I had the added benefit of observation. I was able to truly recognize the transformation campers go through from all of the amazing experiences at camp. Whisperers become screaming singers and individualists flourished in a collaborative setting. In short, reflecting over my experiences as both a camper and volunteer at MGRC has taught me that this camp is equally magical, educational, and refreshing to all parties involved.

#zombie shred @thecranberries w/ @orangeamplifiers #mgrc2017 #thecranberries 🤘🏻

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2016 was a cracking year for east London music promoter Fluffer who’s notoriously known for their ‘Fluffer pit parties’ where the concept is simple; Band in the middle, and crowd 360. The idea behind the pit parties is to take the gig back to the fans and break the barriers between the band and the audience.

With a string of pit parties in secret warehouse locations, they ended it all with a bang at east London venue Shapes in Hackney Wick, featuring bands such as HECK, Bo Ningen and the Black Lips. After taking a bit of a break, Fluffer Pit Parties are back with a vengeance and bunch of killer pit parties coming up, the next one being headlined by none other than Californian dream team duo Lindsey Troy and Julie Edwards, in the form of Deap Vally.

The two piece who originally met at a crochet class (how every rock band starts out, right…?) in San Fernando Valley California back in 2011, have since then toured excessively in the UK and Europe as well as the US, with bands and artists such as Marilyn Manson, Red Hot Chili Pepper, Wolfmother, Garbage and Blondie –  to name a few. Not to mention, releasing two albums with their 2013 debut «Sistrionix», followed by 2016’s «Femejism».

The two piece who is known for their energetic and unapologetic live performances plays blues infused garage rock ’n’ roll, and can bring to mind other bands such as The White Stripes or Bass Drum of Death. Dressed in sequins, tassels, leotards or all of the above combined, front woman Lindsey Troy struts around stage, while drummer Julie Edwards becomes one with the drums; wild hair everywhere as she pushes the bands pulse to the max. As the pit parties are all about the energy, we can totally see why Fluffer’s so excited to have them – we’re super stoked to be involved!

Joining them, will be Denmark’s Baby in Vain and UK band Yassassin, making this a refreshing breath of fresh air in a world that is predominantly male dominated; Three, fierce full female bands taking names, kicking ass and playing rock ’n’ roll – we’ll be there with bells on, and so should you. Get your tickets while you still can, this’ll be a good one.

Get your tickets here.

First time I saw an Orange amp would have been when I was, kind of teaching myself to play guitar, I just remember seeing these great big, bright, beautiful things at the back of these stages. To notice the difference in sound, was kind of what first woke me up to Orange amps or at least made me first realise them.

I remember the first time I really genuinely played one and found that it was compatible with the kind of tone I was trying to achieve and the sounds I was trying to make with my fingers. It was a couple of years ago, using the Rockerverb MKII, which then ended up being the amp I toured with for about a year and a half or so. The thing I really like about Orange and the thing I really like about the Rockerverb is, it is quite restrictive, the rest of it is up to you. That is something I resonated with, there wasn’t too much fussing about.

So I recently in the last six months, switched from the Rockerverb MKII up to the Rockerverb MKIII. The thing that really stepped up the amp into a whole new territory was the attenuator on it, being able to know that there is one knob on the end of the chain that will affect the volume of the amp but won’t affect the tone.

Whether its festivals, whether its venues big or small, I get to turn up with this amp and know the tone is going to be the same every single time and not worry I’m going to leave people with hearing impairment.

The Two-Stroke in particular has been a really fun thing to play around with, as like a post EQ thing. The one thing I have always loved about Stevie Ray Vaughan tone is it sounds like he is tearing paper. For some reason he was able to make this sound, that sounds like it just tears through the air and comes to you, but you hear every note and rips apart the world to get to you. I find that Strats do that and I find that Orange, the amps do that as well and the two of them together, its the closest I’ve found to being able to achieve that tone for myself, in my kind of way. The thing I’m really interested in the Two Stroke is the clarity it brings.

The minute I switched over to Orange there was noticeable difference, the kind of reaction I was getting from the crowd, the comments I was receiving afterwards about the guitar tone. Just two songs in a 1/2 hour, 40 minute set and the one thing people always remembered was the guitar.

To be on a list of people of such iconic names, who also agree with that state of mind or like to play these amps is a crazy thing and I’m happy to be a part of the family. Because even though my tone and inspiration has come from Texas, I’m not. Its important that I can travel the world with an amp that respects the tone I’m trying to play and allows to make it unique if i’m ready to make it unique. It doesn’t do the work for me but gives me the tools necessary to do the best job that I can.


Tuk Smith – Rick thanks for meeting.

Rick Nielsen – Happy to be here.

Tuk – We are going to talk about some good shit. In the early days, you guys did 300 shows a year plus, you’ve never quit touring. You tour now more than any other band, what is your secret?

Rick – You got to like what you are doing and people have got to hire you, if we weren’t hired then I don’t know if we would be out quite as much. But about eight years ago we said maybe we shouldn’t tour so much, so we should raise our price and that didn’t stop anything, so we should have raised our prices ten years ago!

Tuk – I’ve heard you have a really special Orange amp? It’s an early one?

Rick – That one right there, right in the middle, I think it is the first one ever made. Basically I bought it from Orange music, in London, I bought it from Cliff Cooper who started Orange.

Tuk – What year was this?

Rick –  It was somewhere between 1968 and 1970, because I bought my Mellotron, my first Mellotron from Cliff Cooper, it was used one over in London and I had it shipped over by boat. It was on the first album of Fuse in 1969, we recorded in 1968 so that would have been in.

Tuk – So you’re a self proclaimed hoarder?

Rick – Ye! So this is number one and the guys at Orange told me they made four of them and they haven’t even seen one, so that’s the very first one, very rare. So I’ve had it for forty or something years. Except for the emblem being bust, its perfect.

Tuk – Do you ever track in the studio with Orange?

Rick – I track in the studio with it yes, its got a punch, its got great punch to it. Then Orange was kind enough to build me another one and they made a chequer board for me. Its a little different configuration, looks a bit different. But then about a month ago I was in Seattle, went guitar and amp shopping with Mike McCready from Pearl Jam and I walk in this store, they were all looking at this and that. Then I go BOOM! I point over and that was down on the floor, that is a direct copy of this same one I already have, so I have got two of the four.

Tuk – Have you ever thrown a pick into an orifice, a mouth or an eye ball and was there a lawsuit?

Rick – A lot of cleavage, that is where it is usually drawn.

Tuk – Tell me about the cameo in the Fat Boys movie, because that was fucking wild.

Rick – See they wanted a really crappy actor and they got it. I can’t act, I can react, I’m a pretty good reactor! But as far as acting…

Tuk – I think your rat tail sold it though, you had a nice one.

Rick – They cut out my best line in that movie because I said “I was only going thirty five” but the other line was “I was only going thirty five” and then I gave him the finger!

Tuk – Well if you need somebody cute, to play rhythm guitar Rick, so you don’t have to do all the duties, I’m right here buddy.

Rick – Well why don’t you play with us tonight?

Tuk -Well I didn’t know you were serious Rick but that is awesome!

“There has always been always been an Orange amp in every studio that we have recorded in for the last 23 years”

“Hey, whats up, this Brian ‘Head’ Welch from Korn and I’m with Orange.

The first time I saw Orange was in a recording studio, sometime in the 90’s, that’s when we started mixing the Orange tone into other amps for albums on certain songs. There has always been an Orange amp in every studio that we have recorded in for the last 23 years, every producer respects them. I know a lot of guys out there using them, like Jim Root from Slipknot, I love it as he is like plug in and that is Slipknots tone, pretty cool.

I’m using the Rockerverb on the road, as for now I’m using it for my clean channel because it just has what I call “buttery” clean sound, like drops of water. I use effects with it, this song “falling away from me” is really melodic and needs to sound like, watery and the Orange amp got me that tone amazingly. I’m also messing around with my dirty tone, I haven’t got that far yet but I think a lot of cool things are to come with the Rockerverb.

Just to be added to the roster of incredible musicians, the legends really of music. Being on the Orange amps roster is an honour, what history, its amazing to have history like that in a company and I’m honoured to be on board.”



Hey whats up, I’m Troy McLawhorn i’m the guitarist for Evanescence, I’m here in the U.K.  at the Hammersmith Apollo and I play Orange Amps.

I saw Orange amps in music stores when I was a kid, its hard to say though the exact first time I saw one, probably in a photo of Jimmy Page or someone when he was playing one on stage.  I was like what are these stupid symbols on the front, what do they mean! How do you control them! But they looked really cool, they looked totally different from most amps you saw back then. Everything was black and everybody was trying to look like 80’s metal but Orange definitely stands out.

I think the first time I played an Orange was probably in the studio, when you’re in the studio you try anything that is around for different textures and stuff. As a matter of fact, I think in Atlanta some friends of mine owned a studio and they had Orange, that was probably the first time I got to try one. The reason I really liked Orange is I’m always looking for something a little different from whatever everybody else is playing at that moment. The fragile high end of some amps, its something you wrestle with and you have to have all these other things to make it sound good. I really like that Orange has got a really nice, smooth high end to it, I was always really attracted to that.

I don’t change my rig in the studio unless i’m asked to but the way I run it live, I like the tone of it. I use a cable, I don’t use wireless and thats part of it because you have to EQ the amp because you are losing some high end through the cable. I also have a buffer that boosts the signal back into the amp, so I try to run exactly like I do live because to me that is my tone.

I didn’t even really try a bunch of amps, a friend of mine suggested the Rockerverbs and I checked into it. I went to the website and saw bands that are kind of heavy with that type of guitar sound which was what I needed to play in this band, I saw Jim Root and people like that were playing them. So I got one and it sounded great, so I got another one as a backup.

I got to say, legends have played Orange and it feels really good to reach a point in my career where to be associated with such a great company and all the artists it represents. Its pretty damn cool, you know Orange has taken really good care of me, I’ve not got that type of treatment from anybody, so thank you!


“For me their isn’t a better sound.”

The first time I remember seeing an Orange amp must of been 2009 or 2010 when we really started doing our first tours and stuff. You saw a lot of bass players with either an Ampeg SVT or an Orange head. I noticed the Orange AD200 MKIII which is what I used, I actually moved from the Ampeg SVT to that because I felt for me there isn’t a better sound.

I can’t really have a head that I will do two tours with and then its done with or I have to replace the parts in it. You can tell just by the weight of them, its not to be messed with, its a really heavy piece of equipment. Its got a really nice tone about it and I think it is just really user friendly as well. The master, the gain and then the three tone knobs, you can find your sound really quickly with an Orange head and that is what I like about it.

With it being four valve, usually I don’t really have a lot of me in the monitors, I’ll suck most of the mid out and I pair it out with my pedal board. I usually go with not a lot of mid, treble round about 10 o’clock and the bass around about the same 10 oclock to 12 oclock. You have got to be careful because with the guitar tones that Sean and Matt have, it is quite attacky and its got a lot of gain to it. The amp is quite versatile and you can have a lot of attack on it or a rounded off sound as well, so I think you can achieve what you want.

Its extremely nice and I feel honoured to be part of such a roster with amazing people on it. I just see myself as a guy from Sheffield, when you’re in a band and you are climbing the ladder of success you keep in your own bubble. Its very hard to get an outsiders perspective, in my eyes we are still this band who are still coming out of Sheffield but its nice to recognised on the same level as those people.

My first experience with Orange amps was with my band Hero Jr, I had been using vintage Marshalls for pretty much my entire career and I didn’t want to take them on the road. So the guys at Orange said try this one and I got the OR50 with the PPC212 cabinet and the minute I took it out of the box and played it, it was awesome. I had a couple of rehearsals with it and then I was on the road and I have been on the road with this amp for 650 shows over the last 5 years. They have been club shows, festival shows, I have used it in the studio, its been thrown around the van, its been across the country a few times and from the time it came out of the box until our last tour that ended yesterday it has been perfect.

I basically use the same settings in the rehearsal room, in small clubs and larger festivals, the only thing I change sometimes is the volume. But other than that this amp is super consistent and stays really true to the tone that I want, at all settings.

Today we are going to be playing direct, I have my pedal board it is on complete true bypass, so I’m just going from the guitar into the amplifier and this is the way the lead pickup sounds.

This amp just responds to the notes, whether I’m playing really hard, I think I have got a pretty heavy touch, most of the time i am really wacking the guitar.

But even for the softer stuff, its just got a really true sound. I would say I would use that setting more than 50-60% of the show. Sometimes for leads I switch to the middle pick up and it gives me the really nasally sound which with this guitar and this amp its really the classic British sound that fell in love with from the first time I heard it.

And it stays really clear when I go down the neck but its not too clean and I really don’t like that “guitar player clean” sound, I really enjoy this amp because it seems to catch my personality which is awesome.

When I use the neck pick up, its for some solos were I just want it to have a little bit balls and almost get it to break up in low end and the great thing about this amp especially when it is paired with this cabinet, this cabinet can take low end and really not break up, its super bad ass for that.

I really find that right there, with this guitar and this amp its a sweet spot.

The great thing about using this all the time is that, whether I’m on an album or playing live it really sounds the same, wherever I go, whatever mics you put in front of it, its super super reliable. So yeh its been on tour with me for 650 shows, no problems, couple of tube changes, everything else is exactly the same setup as when it came out of the box and its pretty rad.


In three days, Prong’s due to release their 12th studio album “Zero Days”, which will be the fifth in five years, and I can assure you it’s pretty damn great. While in London, I had a quick chat to frontman and founder Tommy Victor before their headline set at Camden’s Underworld.

Now, I’m pretty sure I’ve heard you originally started out as a bassist, how does that influence and affect your style of playing, and maybe more than anything, your sound?
I used to think about it more, I’ve always been more of a rhythmic player and never focused on solos that much, although I’ve learned how to do them over the years. I think it might be a simplicity thing, I have a problem writing with guitar players as they seem to go in this tangent where all they want to to is shred, and I don’t fucking give a fuck, I just want to write a song, I’ve got a different mentality, I wanna write a riff, you know? Something that’s memorable. I don’t care how many guitar players are out there watching me do my thing, I’m not out there looking to impress anybody. I’d rather have a guy set his guitar on fire than to be there and sweep all over it, as that just doesn’t do anything for me. I appreciate their talent and it’s great, and it’s all god-given. I mean, you could practice for twenty years, like my older brother who still sucks at the guitar, he’s been playing forever and still can’t play a scale, then there’s me, his younger brother who barely ever practiced but somehow ended up in a band he’s managed to make a living from. I don’t take credit for any of this, it’s all god-given, the whole thing is.

…and I guess, maybe some practice…
Yeah, but being able to practice, is god-given.

Anyway, let’s talk Orange Amps!
I love the cabinets, man! They’re unbelivable, 4×12 is all I use and they sound amazing. Monte Pittman turned me onto them, he plays guitar for Madonna and used to play bass in Prong, and he told me to give them a go and they just sounded really good. Then Alex (Alex Auxier, Orange artists relations) hit me up and asked if I was keen to check out some amps, and I told him I really wanted a cabinet.