Custom Audio Amplifiers Suhr OD 100 SE +. Tube Guitar Amp Review
Custom Audio Amplifiers Suhr OD 100 SE + belongs to the elite group of CAA amplifiers. CAA amplifiers are widely known to connoisseurs of high-quality guitar sound. Today we will talk about the advantages and disadvantages of this amp.
All over the surface of the box there are large numbers of “Suhr” logos. It’s huge number on the box is compensated by the absence of a logo on the amplifier itself. In terms of appearance, the CAA amps look monotonous, resembling a military box of US military ammunition. But Custom Audio Amplifiers Suhr OD 100 SE + is an exception to the rule. This amplifier is the result of a collaboration between John Suhr and Bob Bradshaw. Bob Bradshaw is the founder of “Custom Audio Electronics”. This company embodies in its devices a whole philosophy of sound production. Therefore, Custom Audio Amplifiers Suhr OD 100 SE + is not just another amplifier from “Suhr”. This is a qualitatively different amplifier.
The Custom Audio Amplifiers Suhr OD 100 SE + is the amp for those who love fat and dynamic high gain. It is one of the heaviest amplifiers on the market, both in terms of sound and weight. This is not the only and not the main advantage of this amplifier. But this is the main difference between the Custom Audio Amplifiers Suhr OD 100 SE + and other amplifiers of the CAA series.
The first of the two channels is pure sound. Crystal clear in the beginning, as the “Gain” controller level increases, the load increases as well. By the 5th mark on the controller’s scale, you may already be able to play something like “Sultans of Swing”. By further increasing the “Gain” controller level, a good perfusion crunch can be achieved. It will sound good when played singles. The channel equalizer deserves special attention. Its distinctive feature is a delicate way of adjusting the tone. When you play the Custom Audio Amplifiers Suhr OD 100 SE +, you get the feeling that the frequency range is so wide that you can achieve any sound. The “Boost” controller for the harmonious fullness of the sound. The guitar sound becomes much more spacious. When you activate the “Boost” controller, you will notice a brighter sound, but the guitar sounds unobtrusive. No dynamic distortion occurs. The first channel is equipped with a “Bright” button, which adds high frequencies to the sound.
The second channel in combination with the “Boost” controller makes the sound even meaner. Thoroughbred and powerful, the sound is both intelligent and graceful. Equalizer settings during the operation of the second channel do not distort the sound, but give it freshness. But back to the sound. First, it turns out to be very dense. Leaves the feeling of something very strong and solid. Secondly, the readability of the notes is at a high level. Indistinct roar, similar to the signature style of Joe Satriani or Paul Gilbert, is difficult to achieve with the Custom Audio Amplifiers Suhr OD 100 SE +. But every false nome, every false chord will be heard clearly. Thirdly, Custom Audio Amplifiers Suhr OD 100 SE + is perfect for recording music in a studio. This is facilitated by excellent responsiveness, moderate compression, focused sound and clear, punchy dynamics. When the “Boost” controller is turned off, the amount of overdrive will decrease and the sound will disappear around 4 kHz. By turning off “Boost” you can achieve a high-quality crunch sound. The “Bright” button is also present in the settings of the second channel. It works on the same principle.
Separately, it is necessary to talk about the “Feedback” and “Whomp II” controllers . The manufacturer’s website says that the “Feedback” controller is responsible for the feedback between the amplifier and the speakers. In simple terms, the “Feedback” controller controls the “pressure” of the sound. As the “Feedback” effect increases, it feels like the cabinet gets bigger and more powerful while keeping the volume at the same level. The “Whomp II” controller is designed as a toggle switch that operates in three positions: “full”, “half”, “off”. “Whomp II” is responsible for boosting the low frequencies.
The placement of the controllers is questionable – they are located on the rear panel of the amplifier. At the same time, there is enough space on the front side to accommodate all the controllers. In addition, the “Presence” controller is located between the “Equalizer” and “Volume” control of the second channel, but “Presence” can work with both channels, which is illogical and can confuse the owner. The disadvantages in terms of sound include a pronounced inflection towards low frequencies. This feature of the Custom Audio Amplifiers Suhr OD 100 SE + can be explained by the focus on “Suhr” guitars. For those who are devoted to complete control over the sound, a footswitch may be disappointing. It has only two switches. One of them is responsible for channel selection. The second is to enable the “Boost” mode. A series effects loop can be connected to the amplifier. That being said, it is buffered by the lamp and works great with effects like “Delay” and “Reverb”. But the connection inputs are also located on the back of the amplifier. The “Power” and “Standby” controllers are also located there. It seems that the engineers are promoting a healthy lifestyle and in this way make guitarists run a lot around the amplifier.