I'm always happy when I see some great things made by small manufactories, even musical instruments and amplifiers are concerned, and shows us: not only the so-called "big names" are able to create them. Best thing is to see when personal acquaintances of our immediate environment can produce something with genuine enthusiasm and competence. Something new that is equal with the well known iconic marks without any exaggeration.
The best example is the SP-100G Hydra amplifier, which Joseph Pálfi (a.k.a: 'Spulni') has been created with Zoli Hack in co-operation.

The absolute perfectionist approach applies to all in the amplifier, not only to the fact that for many years have been able to experiment to reach to making the possible best output transformers, moreover it is not possible to use cheap, low quality PVC insulated cables to use for wiring. Any "it showed it in little ways" also shows in the attention, that will not be accidentally draw the network cable to the connector. Completely unique security solutions protect the amplifier against all kinds of attitudes in the rock life. For example, is monitored by a circuit that the speaker is connected correctly, if it is not a LED indicates that error and the amplifier will not be on, until this problem is present. This function helps to the owner to avoid a lot of unwished moments: when someone kicking out the loudspeaker-cable during the concert, or it will be shorted. The possible damage of four 6L6WXT power tubes also indicated by LEDs on the back of the amplifier. The difference between Hydra and other amps: one dead tube does not means the end of the concert, the Hydra can continue the playing, only indicates the error. You can use the final stage in 100W or 50W mode, opposite with other amps at Hydra there is no any change in the quality of the sound, you can detect the power change only. Five 12AX7LPS tubes can be found in the pre-amp stage.

We have two channels, a pure and a distorted with common tones, but with independent gain and volume control. The Bright switch is only applies to the clean channel. If you want to set two different sounds, you have two separated potmeters for to do it.
Changing to Master 2 activates a mid boost on the input too, therefore it is recommended to use this for solos. Easy-to-use, yet flexible amplifier.

After powering up the first shock is that there is no noise coming from the amp. It's not small, I mean: nothing! I don't remember that I ever heard an amplifier, which could be measured to this. Spending long time with amazement, once Peta picks his strings and like an explosion had occurred, the sounds came so dynamic. The clean channel's sounds are wonderfully round, rolling. You can hear the quietest harmonics sounds with fine detail also - the shining, waving high tones remains the same, even at higher gain position too, when the amp's voice starting to go a moderated soft distortion. The distorted channel operating in a way that individually interesting, because the rate of the distortion can be adjusted by two potmeters. One is controlled the overdrive in normal way and the other is regulates the intensity of the distortion. So, for example is a very wide range possible different style distortion could be created.

In our settings the Gain, i.e. the overdrive was set near to the minimum, but the Sustain (distortion's intensity) knob was on relatively high position.
This is how the sound can be heard on the recording. Starting of sounds remains very clear at picking, while we receive a quite modern and agressive distortion. With usage the two control knobs various ratios, we are able to obtain completely different tones; this can be more creamy, fatter or 'leaking' singing depending on to whom what is the purpose of.
Anyway, beside any settings the amplifier's amazingly quick response and the ability to distinguish the sounds remains completely unique clean.

Written by Mr. Péter Gáspár on 28.09.2011.

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