Alfresco Custom™ GEN-2

MSRP: $1,399.00
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Pending development of new Henriksen electronics. Please Inquire for ETA. Thank you.
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The ALFRESCO™ is a Jazz-voiced solid state open back all-in-one combo amplifier that pushes 135-watts through a custom 1x12 speaker. A partnership between SOUNDISLANDMUSIC and HENRIKSEN Amplifiers. Now featuring the new 310 and 312 electronics!

Delivers great sound in the tradition of the old Polytone amps, just better. Portable - physically only large enough to hold the speaker and circuitry; weighs about 27 lbs [12.5 kilos].  Retains Henriksen's unique 5-band EQ that's intuitively simple to use yet so effective. On-board Reverb. Worldwide 115v/230v operation. DI Out. And a protective vinyl cover. All this is standard equipment with the ALFRESCO.

... "The amp arrived today and it is everything I had hoped it would be. It sounds killer! Thanks for the wonderful support and awesome amp!" ...

... "Played the amp last night and was very, very satisfied.  Love the tube-like quality.  Worked beautifully with the Collings Eastside and Sadowsky Bruno. My wife even commented favorably while listening in another room.  Tonight I will experiment with the ES 175 .  Great Job !!!  Great Amp !" ... 

It seems that we're always brewing something interesting and Jazz guitar oriented here at our sound laboratory deep within the SOUNDISLANDMUSIC campus. In this case we wanted to explore liberating a solid state circuit from the seemingly ubiquitous closed box speaker cabinet designs. Meaning: what would happen if we combined the reliability of a proven analog solid state circuit with the open back speaker cabinet construction prevalent in tube amp combos?

But why an open back cabinet? A few reasons:

1. So you can better hear yourself in typical Jazz sized playing rooms. Ever notice how difficult it often is to hear the amp well when playing in a small area with a typical closed back solid state combo? That's because the tradeoff to their efficient reproduction of low freguencies is the directional way that closed back cabinets project...typically away from you.

2. So your sound spreads around the stage to the other musicians who are playing with you. If you can't hear yourself yourself well then what about your bandmates? If they're not hearing you comfortably either then the entire band struggles to have a musical conversation.

3. To provide a more natural sense of "air" and 3D dimensionality around the amplified sound of the guitar...more like you hear when you're playing your guitar acoustically.

Enter the ALFRESCO. 

Because we were looking to emulate certain characteristics of a tube amp...the epitome of analog...we chose an analog solid state circuit design. And the name in solid state analog amp circuits who understands Jazz guitar is Henriksen Amplifiers. Over the years we've enjoyed a close working relationship with Peter Henriksen and previously with his Dad, Bud Henriksen, designer of the original JazzAmp™ models. Ensue several exchanges of ideas and excited chuckles about the possibilities. Didn't take either of us long to agree on a new product development partnership, with us here at SOUNDISLAND driving the project. 

Where to begin? Our view is that for Jazz guitar, especially archtops, Bud's approach of a "neutral" flat preamp circuit was wise. The idea is to amplify without coloring and do so linearly across all frequencies. Somewhere we stumbled on an old Johnny Smith interview where he spoke about this point too adding credence to our gut feeling that we were onto something. Plus the Henriksen 5-band EQ is so much more useful than the common 3-band common in other amps. Our conclusion: Henriksen's stock electronics are only too logical and needed to stay...without changing a thing...which coincidentally also opens the amp to Henriksen's electronic upgrades.

However, speakers are anything but ruler flat in their frequency response. To make our open back concept work the way we intended would take determination and patience carefully auditioning and gig-testing to find the one speaker which produced THAT classic Jazz voice when mated to the amp's electronics, and yet could also handle the significant power.

We started with the Eminence Beta 12A that works well in Henriksen's tuned closed back/ported cabinets, but that speaker wasn't a good match in the Alfresco's open back cabinet. We then began auditioning several models from Weber, Jensen, Warehouse, Eminence, Fane. Swapped speakers in and swapped speakers out, back and forth. It was a l-o-n-g methodical process. Eventually collecting what seemed like a wall of speakers [!] we concluded that only a custom speaker made specifically for the Alfresco would deliver THE sound we targeted and the power handling the amp required. So our special speaker does. Hats off to the kind folks at Weber for working with us. We are open to fine tuning your ALFRESCO with other speakers, if appropriate. 

Then too there are all the little details that sets the ALFRESCO apart. Like a separate internal compartment for the electronics to prevent rattle when the speaker moves air at volume combining the sonic benefits of a separate head+speaker cabinet with the portability of an all-in-one combo. A strong durable leather strap to carry the amplifier. Extra large/tall rubber feet to help de-couple the amplifier from the rumbling of a stage. Vintage inspired aesthetics [tolex and grille cloth] that are understated and elegant yet say that this amplifier is special. Because, in fact, it is.

And since the ALFRESCO is built to last a lifetime, a protective cover is a requirement. Maybe we're overly sensitive to this factor living in the Pacific Northwest corner of the USA where we get a fair share of rain, but we see covers as a necessity rather than an extra cost option. Long story short: with the ALFRESCO we include a cover.

So there you have it. The ALFRESCO. Tuned by the only instrument that really counts: our ears. Developed by SOUNDISLAND in partnership with Henriksen Amplifiers. Distributed worldwide by SOUNDISLANDMUSIC.COM. Guaranteed to make you and your music very happy for many years to come.

Buy one today at our special introductory price and we'll have it at your doorstep as soon as we can assemble yours, ready to make music!

POWER:   120 watts RMS @ 8-ohms [internal speaker]
               160 watts RMS @ 4-ohms [when external speaker is engaged]
VOLTAGE: 115 or 230v [switchable]
SPEAKER: 12" | 30,5 cm
CABINET:  15.5"h x 13.5"w x 10"d
                39,4 cm x 34,3 cm x 24,4 cm
WEIGHT:   27 lbs | 11,8 kgs
EQ:          Classic Henriksen 5-BAND
REVERB    Beltron chip




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  • 5
    Wonderful Amp!

    Posted by Joe Smith on 25th Feb 2016

    I bought this amp about a month ago and it truly is a great jazz amp. It does that Jim Hall and Joe Pass thing perfectly. It is loud enough to keep up with the big band I play with at university, but is soulful enough for solo or duet gigs. The tone is very bass focussed and with a p90 in my es125c really thumps. For my purposes this amp can't be beat it even takes pedals wonderfully. The service from Michael was wonderful as well from beginning to end and I would buy from him again in a heartbeat!