John Stowell. Unique in every respect. As Herb Ellis was credited with saying: "if anybody else could play like John Stowell, they surely would!" We like to say he has "yoga hands" with those amazing stretches to grab chord voicings the rest of us have never considered...but John makes them work so amazingly well.
When John approached us to help him with a tube amplifier we were frankly as thrilled as we were a little reluctant. John's chord voicings are very demanding on an amplifier. Plus he's seemingly always on the road so if John is traveling in his little red car the amp had to be compact. Sonically it would have to be warm, full and balanced to bring out the wood in his various thinline style guitars and thicken his sound. We also well understood the amp had to be highly responsive to his touch while also providing clear note definition for all the major and minor seconds he incorporates inside his chord structures. One tall challenge!
After several telephone discussions we were able to get together in person and in the company of "several" of John's every growing guitar collection! Hours went by with John auditioning alternate circuits and many speaker combinations. At the end of the day John had a smile on his face: the essence of what is now the VSA-JZ John Stowell signature amplifier.
In a nutshell: 50-watts RMS 1x12 @ 38 lbs design packed into a very compact Princeton© sized cabinet. Volume | 3-band EQ | Presence. John prefers the flexibility of a digital reverb pedal so the amp has none onboard. The speaker is a twin cone design providing a broad flat frequency response considerably beyond the limits of the usual guitar driver.
In a way, the John Stowell signature tube amp is as unique as the man himself. Thank you again John for the opportunity to work with you on this project but mostly about the dedication you have to the music. We so much appreciate what you do and how you do it!