Stormhenge Superthump 50 Amp

  • Found this and it is really a extremely interesting read / watch.


    Aside from the story of building a custom amp chasing the ever elusive brown sound, at around the 11:00 min mark in the video they mention capturing the sound of this new amp circuit on a Kemper and how it was identical but also even better than the amp! I must find a way to get this profile. I may reach out to them and see what's possible in obtaining it.


    Stormhenge Superthump 50

  • Found this and it is really a extremely interesting read / watch.


    Aside from the story of building a custom amp chasing the ever elusive brown sound, at around the 11:00 min mark in the video they mention capturing the sound of this new amp circuit on a Kemper and how it was identical but also even better than the amp! I must find a way to get this profile. I may reach out to them and see what's possible in obtaining it.


    Stormhenge Superthump 50

    First of all, thank you. I really appreciate all the love my little monster is getting.


    And I know I'm opening up a can of worms here, but there is a whole thread dedicated to why I'm not in any hurry to distribute these profiles. I love my Kemper, I love the ecosystem, but for this one hiccup to which there is no simple solution. So I'm sad to say that until something changes on this particular front. I won't be putting these profiles out there. :(

    Creator of the Stormhenge Superthump and the DSL MAX mod. Amateur tinkerer, and lifelong tone chaser. Magically broken.

    Gabrielle Graves bassist and producer

    Edited 2 times, last by stormhenge ().

  • I've always said that majority of the sound is from the fingers....but wow that video is impressive! What a sound, even through my PC!


    Amazing job Stormhenge!

    Why, thank you. It was a labor of love.


    I always dreamed I'd one day get to show Eddie what he had inspired, but he has left us way too soon. :(

    Creator of the Stormhenge Superthump and the DSL MAX mod. Amateur tinkerer, and lifelong tone chaser. Magically broken.

    Gabrielle Graves bassist and producer

  • Why, thank you. It was a labor of love.


    I always dreamed I'd one day get to show Eddie what he had inspired, but he has left us way too soon. :(

    You can see that and your attention to detail is amazing. I do think the resulting sound is actually better than Eddie's TBH. Its funny that most of his sound is as much accidental by products as much as creativity...in other words he clearly knew what he wanted and just kept experimenting.


    Shame Eddie didn't see your efforts and I think he would have been impressed.


    Just read the thread on sharing the profiles, so I get your point. Its a real shame but I don;t blame you considering the effort and work.


    If you do want to send them to me to have a listen and give my opinion, then I'd be happy to test them and promise I won;t share them - Joke :).

  • If you do want to send them to me to have a listen and give my opinion, then I'd be happy to test them and promise I won;t share them - Joke :).

    I appreciate the offer, but we already tested them. They sound great! :D (I mean you had to at least try, right? Tip of the hat to ya)

    You can see that and your attention to detail is amazing. I do think the resulting sound is actually better than Eddie's TBH.

    Quietly, Bryan and I feel the same way. It's nigh sacrilege to say out loud, but there's a reason he abandoned that amp. He did pretty much everything he could do with it, and then started exploring other options.


    I'm not really a fan of the Peavy or Fender 5150 heads, I feel they're a little too compressed and I feel like all that gain tends to step on itself, but I liked his Soldano sound a lot.


    John Shanks said that on A Different Kind of Truth, they re-amped the whole record through the Marshall, and that it made it sound like vintage Van Halen, and every time he'd swap out the 5150 for the Marshall in the mix Eddie would just shake his head, and say "You're killin' me, man. I'm done with that tone. Get over it. Turn it off." But I, for one, would LOVE to hear that whole record remixed with the Marshall. I like the songs, and his playing is stellar as always, but that 5150 tone just doesn't feel right to me on those songs.


    Or better yet, maybe reamp the whole thing through the Superthump. :D A girl can dream, can't she?


    I would have loved to hear him play through the MKII, I think it has everything he liked about the Marshall, but with a little beefier and slightly more compressed tone profile.


    The first thing I learned with the prototype is; that in it's pure plexi form, it's not a bedroom volume amplifier, it has to be played all the way up, every knob dimed to get that magical tone out of it. It's excruciatingly transparent, and it will reveal every flaw in your playing. There is NO compression on it. No training wheels. It's completely out of control. And it's really hard to play through in the beginning cuz there is zero room for error. But playing through it makes you a better player, cuz you have to up your game. The MKII is much easier to play, and can be played at bedroom volume, but since I have the profile on my stage, when I feel the need to noodle, I just use that.



    Creator of the Stormhenge Superthump and the DSL MAX mod. Amateur tinkerer, and lifelong tone chaser. Magically broken.

    Gabrielle Graves bassist and producer

    Edited 7 times, last by stormhenge ().

  • Damn you caught me out, I was perhaps sneakily looking to access that sound :).


    TBH - Im not the worlds biggest EVH fan....what he did for the guitar is nothing short of amazing and he deserves all his plaudits but I never though his sound was that amazing....sometimes people do mix the sound with the playing. I love Randy Rhoads but I don't like his sound if I'm being really honest :). But the Superthump sound I listened to seemed to take his sound to a different level. also regardless of what gear you have, its generally sounds better loud, especially the old Valve stuff - I ran a JCM 800 which sounded great...but only at ear splitting levels, making it impractical at even pub gigs...


    I'm glad what you said about compression etc..in my very limited experience, many great amps are so unforgiving! Particularity those that cut through, and this was my scepticism in the early days with digital. I tried a Line 6 rig ( Spider I think it was) and its sounded really good on its own. Felt like I could play anything, so forgiving.....then the band started....gone. Can't hear it. Turned up the volume, still lost in the mix.


    Ironically I find many of the sounds in the KPA comfortably unforgiving....although my mistakes ( and there are many) punch you in the face :).


    Anyway top stuff and I love that it was a labour of love! I just wish I had the "ears" to do what you did!

  • stormhenge Sorry to bother you again but I woke up in the night thinking about this...


    I fully understand your stance not to offer profiles of you amp but just wondered what, if any, commercial route you are going down? In other words, you've worked sooo hard to build this thing. If you did offer your profiles commercially, accepting that some people will share them but the vast majority will actually pay for them, is this not better than nothing?


    Alternatively if you do/are you going to produce the amp, isn't it an inevitability than some someone will profile it any way and publish for free?


    I promise my motivation is to get you recognition and monetary payback for your efforts so don;t feel you have to respond, I was just curious..I also realise its not all about money so if its to keep it within your friends then I get that :)

  • V8guitar sorry for keeping you up at night. This post may end up be longer than it needs to be, but --


    I never set out to become a professional amp maker. I have no aspirations of being the next Dave Friedman or Mike Fortin, or any of the other amazing boutique amp makers out there. I built this thing for me. Because to buy something in it's class would cost more than some of us paid for our houses. They're priceless. I asked George Lynch at one point if he'd ever sell his Plexi, and how much he would want for it. He said, (and I'm paraphrasing) "Never. I've played dozens and dozens of these amps, and none of them sound like this one. There's no price that would interest me. The amount of money you'd have to offer me to even think about it would be ridiculous... like in the millions, which is totally impractical." Which is exactly how BRYANMELTSYOFACE feels about his mkII.


    I only built one for Bryan because we're in a band together (built for cost) and because I thought I could improve upon the original design, and have an amp that would work well within our band, giving Gab the sound she always wanted for her music that in her words "Sounds like how I feel". [Gab plays through a heavily modded Marshal DSL I call the 'DSL MAX' - Mean And eXtremely clean, and when you blend her tone with Bryan's you get this wall of sound.]


    I've had several people inquire about buying a Superthump since the article came out, so I'm considering building and selling them. I've already long ago considered all your points. With Bryan, I had him sign a EULA in which he's not allowed to make public any pictures or video of the amp's internal workings, nor is he allowed to create profiles for distribution, for threat of litigation. But I feel that Bryan, respects the amount of work and talent it took to make the thing, I mean he watched me struggle with the amps I had before - trying to get that tone. and was there every step of the way watching me struggle to build this thing. So out of respect, and his own sense of personal honor I don't think he'd undermine all of my work. But the EULA is one way to go. It's a deterrent, but not a guarantee.


    After researching the current price of all the components needed to build more, I could price it where some of the other boutique guys price their custom amps in the high 4 figures and make a modest profit. -- OR -- I could, perhaps, charge a price that would discourage profiling and distributing. If one has to pay a very sizable price to acquire one, they'd maybe think twice about sharing or selling profiles on a platform that can so easily be pirated - that is if the goal was to buy one and pay for it by selling profiles, so as to break even on the exhorbinate cost of the amp. I'm sure I won't get many takers at that price point, as it would rival the going rate for a Fender Custom Shop EVH Frankenstein Replica. But that's another way to go.


    The third and easiest option is to do nothing. To wait and see.


    I know people would then ask, "Why did you go to all the trouble to show this amp off, if you're not planning on selling them? You live in the US, you've created something unique and wonderful that people want - the wet dream of every capitalist on the planet, Go ape shit. Make bank. There's a demand, be the supplier. What's wrong with you?" -- Well, the video exists primarily because Make Magazine thought the sounds coming out of the amp and the story of it's creation were worth sharing, and asked us to make a video that they could embed into their article. Also I'm really proud of the work I've done, and wanted to share what I accomplished along with my love and respect for Van Halen with the world... (Well, to date, less than 3000 people, but who's counting, right?..lol) And making a video for those purposes was long overdue.


    So idk what I'm going to do. Right now I have complete control, and every option is on the table. But, in the end, I don't want this amp to turn into a source of aggravation and regret.

    Creator of the Stormhenge Superthump and the DSL MAX mod. Amateur tinkerer, and lifelong tone chaser. Magically broken.

    Gabrielle Graves bassist and producer

    Edited 2 times, last by stormhenge ().

  • After i have read this the only conclution it seems is that you could rent out your amp for recording purposes.

    I guess it is like building your own custom motorcycle and you want something unique for yourself that is personal and means a lot for your own sake.

    At least we could hear the exhaust note if nothing else ;)


  • I missed out on your old thread while on a forum hiatus (the quote is from that thread), and completely agree with your logic: don't create profiles and don't sell them.


    That is what I was arguing about in the earlier thread which was pointed out to you when you posted: Just because something is legal does not mean it is ethical.


    It's like beating a dead horse though. I fought the wave of piracy in the late 1990s and 2000s. I bought my CDs and paid for movies. And I lost badly and the pirates won.


    And that's fine. Be the change that you want to see. As I mentioned in that ethics thread: "What do you think amp manufacturers feel like when a technology comes along and captures the sound of their inventions, thereby taking food from their months?"


    You should have heard the hatred for David Friedman, lol.


    Yet, you had no compunction about owning the Kemper, though you knew what it did. In that regard, it's a classic case of the sauce for the goose not being sauce for the gander.


    In particular, this statement from the quoted text just screamed of naivete: "This is the future, This is the free market. This is the fallout."


    It sort of comes across as a tirade in the end, even if that wasn't your intent: "I won't put my profiles up for sale because they'll be pirated."


    Perhaps it was the warning/threat that Kemper users would be jumping ship that made it sound churlish.


    Jump ship? Why? We already own the Kemper. Now jump to a system where "profiles" are not free, they are paid for? Because someone made an amp and wants to make profiles for it but won't make the profiles available until DRM is implemented in some cutting edge machine?


    You know what the joke about capitalism is? Everyone wants free stuff. Nobody is going to pay for something if they can get it for free.


    So by all means, hang on to those profiles and charge exorbitant rates for your amps to keep them off the device that you now want to change to suit your own dreams of financial benefit.


    Have you heard rmpacheco's Morgan AC20 profile on the Rig Exchange? It's free. Have you ever used a free profile? Why are you distinguishing between the profile you created and want to sell and the profile someone created of Joe Morgan's amp and handed out for free?


    In the end, as someone succinctly summarised in your thread, you're a hypocrite (and I mean that in the nicest way possible).


    This isn't a case of sour grapes either: I'm not chasing Eddie Van Halen's tones and if I need to cover them, I will just get something off the rig exchange that does the job and not give a second thought about unobtanium profiles. Just like everybody else really.


    Just some food for thought. Cheers.

  • There's at least one company (maybe, or maybe not, listed) I know for sure has a working profiling amp that they've had in development for the past 5 years. Their tech works exceptionally well (reportedly), and they're currently refining their ecosystem, OS, and end user experience. They are in no hurry to rush it to market until the whole package - out of the gate - is a total slam dunk. [I know this because I have a friend there working on the project, and he likes to facetime me at 3am when drunk and talk about things he shouldn't.]


    • They're looking to totally dominate the profiling landscape within 18 months of launch. They are absolutely going to have a closed system - one that operates in the ways similar to what I've already detailed.
    • And here's the kicker: 3rd party manufacturers won't have to port existing algorithms, or code new algorithms to run on their OS, because the platform will run it's FX engines as zero latency AU plugins, meaning you can run; not only profiles created on the platform, and profiles purchased through the platform store, but amp emulator plugins, and any AU based FX plugin you already own - running like insert slots on a DAW, programmable, and switchable from the pedal based surface. Similar to the Stage and Helix.
    • As well as a mobile app for full GUI control of all onboard settings as well as naming functions too detailed for the inefficient button and wheel/arrow combo right there on your phone or tablet.
    • The whole thing has been running fairly stable on a custom array of outboard RISC based chips (idk the exact details on that part) while they've been waiting for an ARM chip fast enough and robust enough to make the whole thing work in a cheap, energy efficient as well as real estate efficient form factor.
    • And with Apple's new M1 breakthrough, it won't be long till there's a non-apple, multi-cored ARM chip on the market capable of powering the whole unit. - It'll be affordable too, possibly a $999 list $799 street price point. They're coming for it all.
    • I don't know the full details on inputs, outputs, fx loops, midi, ADAT et al, - except that based on the company's history it'll have them...lol

    i wonder who could be this company? :)

  • nightlight Valid points.


    I think the disconnect for me, is I'm not passionate about building amps, or I'd do it for a living. Building this amp kinda made me sad. I was more interested in chasing the mystery, and solving it. And then it's like when you figure out how a magic trick is done, you kinda go into a funk, cuz you actually didn't really want to know, but were for some reason compelled to try to solve it. So there's that.


    Then people hear the amp and want the sound, and inquire about me making them one, and tbh I do not look forward to making more of them, it's a chore. But, making profiles and selling them, that sounds like a lot less work, and due to the nature of profiling can result in more even consistent results in the end product. But I put a ton of work into getting here. So if someone wants what I worked very hard to achieve, I feel I should be compensated. I feel anyone who has done what I've done should be compensated. And clearly if that means having to pay for profiles... I'm all over it. I pay for plugins, and hardware et al. I'm totally down.


    As for why I got a Kemper. I honestly got it because of my broken Ampeg. I have an Ampeg amp that is busted and the output transformer just cuts out for like 10 seconds and the comes back (it did this live a couple of time) but the DI still works. And I haven't yet figured out what's exactly wrong with it, but it has a unique sound in its broken state that I love. A sound that no other bass amp that works correctly and can blast 410's at 4ohms has (I tried buying a new one, and it's not even close). -- So the Kemper solved multiple problems. It allowed me to capture that unique sound, and back it up, so that if in my tinkerings with the amp, I ever screw it up, I'd still have the sound. And with that, it massively changed my live rig. I got rid of all my pedals save 2, the whole rig fits in a backpack, and goes on my shoulder (versus my large and way too heavy pedalboard and case), and my load in /load out footprint is so easy and minimal. The profiling ecosystem was just a bonus, one that tbh lately I don't even use. I have profiles of our amps, and I pretty much stick to them. I have a purchased 410H that I fiddle with occasionally, that I would have rather bought from Marshall, but they don't offer any as of yet. And as of yet, haven't found a Mesa mk IV profile that I like yet, but if I ever do, I'll buy it and play around with it.


    And in the end. If you don't care about having a Superthump or a Superthump profile then why put so much energy into trying to take the shine off my metal? That's a lot of words, for "Keep your amp that I don't care about." or "Stop attacking the pirating ecosystem that I'm enjoying even though I'm against pirating. Which makes me a hypocrite, but I feel compelled to label you as one, while conveniently keeping that label far from myself as possible" I can't really figure out which you were saying the loudest.


    Lazy? yes. Hypocrite? possibly. Bored by all of this? absolutely at this point.

    Creator of the Stormhenge Superthump and the DSL MAX mod. Amateur tinkerer, and lifelong tone chaser. Magically broken.

    Gabrielle Graves bassist and producer

    Edited once, last by stormhenge ().



  • It's not what you're saying, stormhenge! It's just the way you said it. For the record, I actually agree with your position that it would actually make sense for some kind of method to ensure that profiles are treated like any other software and protected from uninhibited sharing.


    In that regard, profile kipr files could be comparable to IR files created by commercial companies like Tonehammer. There is an EULA that dictates terms of use. So in that ethics thread, the discussion was about the ethics of using commercial IRs with an amp and loadbox and creating a profile for commercial use. And the overwhelming opinion was that it was against the terms of the EULA, though we agreed that it would be fair to use it personally.


    That's at least what people say on the forums. Just to give a real life story, some guy in a band I jammed with once offered to give me a gazillion commercial profiles that he had somehow procured. I declined, but I'm sure he probably offers it to others to curry favour or whatever. And we have also had users who have used commercial IRs to create profiles and then been exposed after they gave them out for free on the Rig Exchange.


    That said, I am incredibly curious how amp companies would react to a profiling device that established anti-copy protection on the resultant sounds. It would literally be the funniest thing when the lawsuits commence.


    No one is trying to take the shine off anything. In fact, it's wonderful that you've created something that other people are interested in.


    Still, please don't paint yourself as some kind of martyr. I never did that, and that's why it's hypocritical on your part. I'm just calling you out on that doublespeak.


    And just to be blunt: (1) your amp really doesn't interest me because I've never chased Eddie's tone, I feel it necessary to clarify that because of the dig towards the end of your post; (2) I am the least bit concerned if you want to resort to histrionics about the ecosystem that developed around a device you bought despite knowing full well what it did and now hoping to capitalise on it; and (3) please don't try and turn this around on me. The whole thing smacks of delusions of grandeur, like you got a big head because of a magazine article. That's not to try and rain on your parade, but jeez, try and be down to earth. Like I said, be the change you want to be, aka please don't call other people pirates just because they point out BS (e.g. appropriating other people's photos from the Internet and then demanding that they engage a costly lawyer in order to force you to do so. I know how I'd react if someone told me they didn't want me to use their creative output).

  • So, your main problem with me is with the photo incident? Maybe you should have asked ST how he feels I handled the situation, and whether or not I was unreasonable in my reply, or in my reasons for my response, before using that as the crux of your argument. I think you'll find not everything is as it might appear. Which is a huge problem online, but C'est la Vie.


    As for the sound of the amp suits, yes they would be complicated, but I'd be very interested in seeing not only the arguments but the results. I think we stop short in defending artists (and yes, I behold amp makers as artists) and hold ludicrous this idea that claims of ownership are really so hard to defend. We almost dismiss their rights to what they create like a reflex . As if art has no real value, and cannot be quantified or qualified - re: the defunding of art and music programs in public schools, the entire streaming model for both movies, TV, and music. And in everything I've already said regarding amps ad naseum.


    For the record: Fender would have a great case that the designs for nearly every high gain amp ever built was stolen from them. I mean every time we cover a published song we gotta fork over 10 percent. Shouldn't we all be forking over 10% to them. And before you ask, I'm more than happy to fork over 10% to Marshall for the parts of their design that I used.

    Creator of the Stormhenge Superthump and the DSL MAX mod. Amateur tinkerer, and lifelong tone chaser. Magically broken.

    Gabrielle Graves bassist and producer

    Edited once, last by stormhenge ().

  • Hi, nightlight.

    ✄ - ✂ - ✄ - ✂ - ✄ - ✂ - ✄ - ✂ - ✄


    Like I said, be the change you want to be, aka please don't call other people pirates just because they point out BS (e.g. appropriating other people's photos from the Internet and then demanding that they engage a costly lawyer in order to force you to do so. I know how I'd react if someone told me they didn't want me to use their creative output).

    This is old news.

    So, your main problem with me is with the photo incident? Maybe you should have asked ST how he feels I handled the situation, and whether or not I was unreasonable in my reply, or in my reasons for my response, before using that as the crux of your argument. I think you'll find not everything is as it might appear. Which is a huge problem online, but C'est la Vie.

    ✄ - ✂ - ✄ - ✂ - ✄ - ✂ - ✄ - ✂ - ✄


    stormhenge and I worked it out. No problem.


    ST