Mick Purchase’s stripped-down SE-5a

“Well, here is my latest amp and cabinet. I can’t claim it as one of your kits but it does use a lot of parts I’ve had from you – thanks! The amp is basically a stripped down SE-5a with no tone control but a three-way gain boost, run a bit cooler and attenuated somewhat because my brother’s studio is above the local cafe and next door to his landlord’s mother’s house!”

“The cab, based on an old Valco design, is 14x15in and, being a little wider than high, is a bit more pleasing on the eye that a pure square. I’m intrigued to discover just how much of the eventual sound signature is due to the cab design. With an open backed cab you get phase cancellation between what is coming out of the front and the back wave, which cuts down the low/mid frequencies and hence the traditional bright Fender sound. It’s when you start closing up the back that it begins to get interesting. I wish I could say this was mathematically calculated but my ‘port’ results from experimenting with boards to get a sound I liked. The resulting brick-sized cutout results in a lot more mids and lows than a more open design as well as allowing adequate ventilation. The results of the mods are a dark and eerie blues tone with an early breakup.”