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Conrad Velvet Hammer

I have had the privledge of recording a Velvet Hammer lately as Mr. Sundhy has loaned me this one to dink around with. I gotta tell you thats its a fantastic amp with a LOT of features.

Its two channels with switching. There is separate 3-band EQ on each channel as well as Drive and Volume controls and a switch labeled 'Thick' on the 'Lead' channel. The Clean channel has a volume control as well as a Bright switch and they both cascade into a Master Volume with reverb, presence and another switch to increase the gain to the output tubes at the Master section.

So, its very versatile and controllable.

This particular version has a 6L6 power section giving it that Fendery shimmer in the clean channel and that grind in the Drive section. I'm okay with that, although personally, I like EL34's for driven sounds just a bit better. The amp can be built with any sort of output section you might desire, and I have personally played on designs with EL84's, EL34's, 6L6's, KT66's, and I think there was one with 6V6's......Conrad will have to confirm that.

The point being that custom tailoring your style of amp is very doable.

The Clean channel is by far the best part of this amps performance. With the balancing of the channel levels and the master output you can control the crunch and the shimmer with the guitar volume control to your own tastes. The 3band EQ is very effective on both channels and gives even more pallette to choose from.

Its a very linear amp in its controls, and allows you to dial it in at any volume. This makes it an ideal recording amp as you have all the thickness and tone at a whisper if you should want that, or it will seriously crank to a very loud level and retain its settings with no audible degredation.

This one is around 28 watts and its a BIG 28 watts. At a high level of master out as well as the switch controlling the voltage to the output tubes on high, this thing give that beautiful singing type of sag that all tube amp players love. With the 6L6's its a bit slower than EL's would be, much like a Super in its crunch, but with an added amount of drive in the Lead channel. Conrad will have to address the way the pre tubes are being used to achieve this. Suffice to say that you can get a bunch of voltage to the output.

This one is equipped with a Webber Blue Dog Alnico 12". I like this speaker! This one has had quite a break-in period as it spent some time in California at Conrad's son, Steve Sundholms' studio he worked at. It got played on a lot there, so I'm told, and thus the speaker break-in was already done. This makes it easy to really hear what the amp will do.

Overall, one of my favorite Conrads. The fit and finish is superb. Quality tolex work....pine box....nifty look....great sound....hand built.....excellent design for a pro players needs.

Heres some pics I took. I'm working on some new material and hopefully will get more tracks down with it. I will eventually get around to posting these and will link them up, though if you absolutely want to hear some things you can PM me here and I'll work out a way to get you some examples.

Thanks again to Sundhy for the loan. He knows I covet this thing!

Attached files


Profile picture for user BobRogers

BobRogers Sun, 04/18/2010 - 15:10

I have a ceramic Weber Blue Dog in the cabinet of my Blues Jr. Very nice sound. You gotta stop showing me these things. The last thing I need is another guitar amp. I should not be coveting these babies.

Profile picture for user moonbaby

moonbaby Mon, 04/19/2010 - 09:05

It's an addiction, isn't it? Just what I need...another amp. And I just bough a pink paisley MIJ Strat and a tweed Blues Jr 2 weeks ago...:)

Profile picture for user Davedog

Davedog Tue, 04/20/2010 - 17:27

Its time all you tube guys got in touch with Mr Sundhy and tell him what you like. And what color.

I always thought that a nice red tolex with a cane grill was strikingly piping...or, brown tolex with the gold fender cloth and cream colored knobs....cream piping........This amp in tweed with cream knobs would be extra special looking....Brown control plate.......yee-frikin-haw!

I didnt mention that he builds an extension cabinet with the rising sun in the down position so its a complete sunset when stacked....or did I???

Profile picture for user blaumph2cool

blaumph2cool Tue, 04/20/2010 - 21:18

Davedog wrote: I didnt mention that he builds an extension cabinet with the rising sun in the down position so its a complete sunset when stacked....or did I???

oof, my brain (or sompin else) is gonna explode.

...No temptation has seized you except which is common to man...

Profile picture for user Davedog

Davedog Wed, 04/21/2010 - 13:00

blaumph2cool, post: 346493 wrote: oof, my brain (or sompin else) is gonna explode.

...No temptation has seized you except which is common to man...

Ya know.....You live here in town, and theres a bunch of these running around here where you could actually hear one in business......Suburban Slim's jam @ Duff's Garage on Wednesday night, Robbie Laws plays one fairly regularly, There's a bunch of different models to listen too.....

Profile picture for user Davedog

Davedog Sat, 05/20/2017 - 11:53

Hey Chris. Yes and yes. I have two soon to be three. And then two again. Conrad is retiring soon and these will no longer be produced. He could have actually built the last one...not sure as he's a bit of a workaholic about these things.....I'm selling my Tweed Deluxe Conrad clone to a friend. I don't really need it as the last one he built me is like a Super Deluxe Tweed....It's basically a 5E3 based circuit with 4 6V6 power tubes, a nifty 3 band EQ instead of the balance between treble and bass, a master volume and a half power switch. It's like having a 30watt Deluxe with really cool EQ. There's a footswitchable EQ defeat which is instant +6db of inyerface midrange boost. It has both a solid state rectifier and a tube rectifier on a switch. Kinda neat in the studio.

The new amp is just a head. It has all the bells and whistles and will probably be my summer concert live rig. I have a couple of cabinets, one closed and one open back. This amp has KT66 tube power. Probably about 45 watts. Master,EQ, active loop with a 20db pad, half power switch, presence control, mic level DI .........somewhere between a Vox and a Marshall voicing......Surprisingly he named it The Sonic Dogg.