Posts by stormhenge

    With that mindset. When ever you record a song, shouldn’t you be paying a percentage to Apple or Microsoft, plus Protools (or what ever software company you use), maybe your internet provider because you sent that file over their network. Let’s go full on capitalism (now you all need to pay me because it’s my idea). Sigh...

    No, because Apple and Pro Tools set their price for fair use. If I make music with their products I'm adhering to EULA and fair use. If you re-read what you quoted of my words, you'll see I was referring to AMP MAKERS ONLY in that instance, not musicians. Musicians pay for the amp, so they can get unlimited use out of it for whatever purpose they choose. That's the agreement you both enter into.


    And am I crazy? Does no one else see the irony of me being called a hypocrite here? It's not like Kemper is giving their amps away for free, or allowing their devices to be copied and distributed for free. They get paid, and paid well for their innovation. An innovation that allows anyone who PAYS THEM to do to other's tech, what they will not allow anyone to do with THEIR tech. You can't get a Kemper for free (unless you gotta rich uncle). And I'M the hypocrite? Their whole business model is cloning. THEIR WHOLE BUSINESS MODEL. And I'm somehow the villain for resisting, and trying to change things. It's not like free profiles are only being distributed by 3rd parties, on privately owned sites, and it's a case of... "Well, we can't control what people do with our tech." THEY LITERALLY HAVE THEIR OWN DISTRIBUTION NETWORK built into their app. Here. Here's a rig exchange...take free shit. It's ok. YOU STILL NEED TO PAY FOR OUR SHIT. But everyone else's.... help yourself. We've even made it super easy for you. You don't even need to open a web browser.


    I don't even have a business model, except in theory. And in theory it's selling my hard work to those who wish to partake, and trying not to allow it to be redistributed for free. I'm not in the ubiquitous cloning business. I made a better version of a Marshall than Marshall currently makes, or some may argue, EVER made on purpose. Their magic amps were made on accident. I figured out a lot of what comprised those mistakes, and implemented them, and then improved upon them IMHO. - - Nothing Orange, Wizard, Blackstar, Fortin, Soldano, Friedman, Suhr, Metro, or Germino haven't done over the years. But my model is a variation on a theme, bringing something into existence that didn't previously exist, or was realistically affordable. My model is not making something that's primary use is the cloning, distribution, and playback or devices.... And like I said, I'd happily pay a percentage to Marshall should it ever come to that. They earned it.


    The irony of blasting me in Kemper's defense, is more than a little mind-numbing.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    Regarding your amps and profiles of it, I totally understand.

    I have taken the expense to go to a studio with a great room, excellent microphones and outboard to profile some rare and very expensive amps they have at that studio. These profiles are for sale but it didn't take long for people to start trading them for other commercial profiles, doing "group buys", or just giving them away "because everything digital on the Internet should be free".

    I feel your pain. I do.

    I really like this!

    I'm getting old and seldom find anything "new" to my liking. Much of the music I hear nowadays are in many ways a rehash of older music. But this felt new and fresh and I will listen to it many times.

    On behalf of my bandmates, thank you!

    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.



    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. :(

    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. :(

    I'd think that clever amp makers need to look into a way to use their great knowledge and how to transfer it into the digital world. I was thinking of those who could just build prototypes which are further developments, enable new sounds etc., then profile them, sell the profiles and actually never put the physical amps into mass production.

    That's the future I'm hoping for, but explain to me how that works without iron clad DRM?

    You know what? Nevermind.


    I would only ever presume that both physical and profile sales of my creations would be modest at best. Nobody is getting into profiling as a primary source of income, or to get rich, there's just not enough money in it even if you're profiling multiple amps, let alone just one. I'm not an idiot.


    I understand the value of the Kemper as a tool. I really do. I use it all the time and I love it. But I'm talking bigger picture. And I can see I'm alone in my view point. I'd like to try and prolong the life of a certain creative avenue that whether we realize it or not, we all value quite a lot. But it seems only a handful can see how this all ultimately ends if we continue in this direction. And that's just fucking depressing.

    I guess my big question is: Why would anyone pay a licensing fee from a manufacturer to profile their amps when they can currently profile that same amp for free, tweak the name a little, and sell it with zero overhead from some other company taking a slice?

    I'll answer these in chunks... This one is simple; because in a closed system, like the one that's coming (possibly more), you will have no choice. If you wish to profit from profiling said amp, and selling in said store on said platform, you will have no other choice.


    I'll get to the other points later. :)

    You make several excellent points. Following coffee and contemplation, I will maybe, possibly address them...lol