The SeQuel VERMONT™ guitar amplifier. Our homage to the great Johnny Smith. Named after his seminal album titled "Moonlight In Vermont" released in 1952 with a nod to the music he created and amps he continued to influence throughout his career.
Johnny Smith's recorded sound evolved over time reflecting changes in technology. However throughout his professional career, he was unwaveringly specific in his views on how an amplifier should sound, specifically for archtop guitars. And he held to these views with both tube|valve and solid state circuit designs.
Johnny had deep respect for the archtop guitar advocating it as a unique instrument a breed apart from flat-top, classical/flamenco, and certainly solid-body guitars. He wanted a highly balanced sound that didn't exaggerate any particular frequencies, strings or notes.
Championing a neutral, un-hyped, somewhat audiophile approach specifically for amplifying archtop guitars, Johnny eschewed the far more common Fender/Marshall/Vox "voicing" for this unique application. He joked about how with his amplifier voicing turning the Bass control to "10" was like a Fender amp's Bass EQ knob set to "0!" A slight exaggeration perhaps but Johnny was making the point that the vast majority of electric guitar amplifiers are purposefully colored and intended to electronically enhance the sound of solid body instruments rather than amplifying the inherent tone of an archtop guitar.
In the SeQuel VERMONT, we've wholeheartedly embraced Johnny Smith's ideas and ideals while also remaining open to modern state-of-the-art circuit topographies. Then adding a few respectful thoughts of our own.
Rather than cloning the past, we looked to the future and took a less traveled path. As Johnny would have hopefully encouraged, in the VERMONT hybrid we've created a respectful interpretation that at once embodies Johnny's philosophy while also embraces modern day audio technology to reproduce a high quality 3D dimensional sound that reflects an archtop guitar faithfully and beautifully...and allows for ease of maintenance/reliability.
After several months of gestation, the VERMONT has evolved as a hybrid housed as a compact 1x12 combo with a medium gain tube|valve preamp and a 350-watt @ 8-ohm Class D power section. Flat EQ with controls @ 12n plus individual non-interactive Bass and Treble controls that allow for tonal flexibility. Spring reverb for "that" vintage sound. Very quiet self-noise floor suitable for studio recording yet able to achieve extremely high SPLs when required.
Whatever "it" is subjectively, when you connect to the VERMONT's silky preamp, muscular power section, and sonically revealing components there's an agile athlete inside waiting to help you play quietly or loudly at the stroke of your pick or fingers...responsive is the word that comes to mind. You'll hear depth and articulation in your guitar that you might have missed before. Plus the overtones are gorgeous.
The SeQuel VERMONT is a very special amplifier reflecting the teachings of a Master and specifically conceived for archtop jazz guitar. We'd like to think that Johnny Smith himself would have wholeheartedly approved. And we highly suspect that you'll agree too...once you plug in! The VERMONT is an amplifier that is an equal partner to your guitar with which you can play most any Jazz gig in any Jazz club from solo to ensembles, to a B3 Organ trio, to Big Bands and in Orchestras.
So here it is at last. The SeQuel VERMONT. Simply Special. Easy to operate. Sonically flexible. Low maintenance. Compact and portable. Beautiful to look as it is inspiring to play. Choice of 115v and 230v models for worldwide operation. Distributed exclusively by SOUNDISLANDMUSIC. "Because the amp is the other instrument we play.™"
Posted by Jong Ha Choi on 20th Nov 2016
I heard about this amp from a professional jazz guitarist friend of mine who only had heard about this amp but never had played before. After a few lengthy and informative phone conversations with Michael , the proprietor. I decided to give it a try. Getting an amp shipped to Seoul, Korea and clearing customs was not as cumbersome as I had imagined, thanks to a very professional service from Michael. I cannot be more grateful. The amp was a real gem right out of the box. Maybe it came to me already well broken in since mine was a prototype. A few weeks after, I have hosted the famed guitarist Ben Monder for his series of concerts with fabulous vocalist Sunny Kim in Seoul and recorded an album which is due for release in early December under the title, The Dream of The Earth, ADVART0002. I naturally wanted to get an opinion from Ben about my new amp. The moment he had a chance to audition this amp, he refused to use any other amps I had arranged to be used for the concerts and the recording sessions. He simply fell in love with this amp and asked me for Michael's address later, telling me that he wanted to order his own.
Now. I am using this not just for my arch top guitar, but also with my bass guitars and keyboards and organ. It has such a warm and round voice but quite articulate at the same time. I am very happy with this amp and can recommend this to firstname.lastname@example.org with no reservation. As a matter of fact I would like to have a second unit so I coul us them in a stereo setting as well.