LATEST UPDATE: Every player needs his own SKANK to play with!
I don't know how to put this nicely. You got to be a fucking idiot not to buy a SKANK. You will have the best tone you ever had in your life. Even if don't own a Zachary guitar, your current crappy shitbox will sound 100% better and you will be able to actually brag about how good your guitar is, even though you will know its not your guitar but the amazing SKANK.
These amps are truly amazing. We now have it finalized and it even looks so cool with the silk screened graphics, Oak hardwood sides and in its own custom shoulder case. Production is happening right now and the SKANK is shipping worldwide. The first batch has been sent to waiting players. Most of who are Z players. The great news for most of you is that you don't need to qualify to buy a SKANK, as you do for a Zachary guitar. You can be the biggest schmuck in the world and still be able to buy a SKANK, no questions asked, I promise Any idiot can buy a SKANK and get their rocks off. Actually, if you are an idiot, you are too stupid to buy a SKANK anyway, so not too many idiots will ever own a SKANK. They will buy something they see massively advertised and hyped by the magazine goofs.
The new updated SKANK pages are going up now. The pics you have seen so far were those of the prototypes. The prototypes are all sold to some great players. One of whom is Mark Miller, who took the time to make some youtube vids and sound files, demonstrating and showing off his SKANK. You can also hear him on this site. So go check out these cool vids and sound files and put your order in for a Skank before it gets really known and then you will have to wait a long time for one. Remember these are all hand made, 3D point to point wired.
Still don't belive me. Well listen to this:
Mark Miller says:
Who in the Hell Needs Distortion Pedals??? When you have a SKANK? Check out this recording that took all of 10 minutes to do. I was listening to a tune and got a sudden inspiration. Tuned up the Z2, plugged into the SKANK and spent like 30 seconds dialing in this sound. It's EXACTLY the sound I had in my head. I recorded it to a midi drumstick hit and then dug up a drum loop and stuck it in there. Other than the reverb pedal on a very light setting THERE ARE NO EFFECTS AT ALL. Not even in Sonar. 2 ribbon mics with the room mic lightly added into the mix. The Z2 pickup selector switch is on the middle setting with both pups in full humbucker. The amazing thing is that the SKANK Gain is only at 2 o'clock and the volume is at 10 o'clock - not even pushing it. And I recorded this at exactly midnight.... Hahahahah
That is a massive tone. Biggest one you have recorded yet. Very natural and 70s sounding....sort of like some of the heavier sounds on Physical Graffiti. The room and/or ribbon mics are not hurting either. I will always have some need for a distortion pedal (or at least one particular distortion pedal) because of my effects set up....but this SKANK sounds awesome. If I had to sum up the tone it would be “rock”.
This does sound truly tasty. I could not improve on it.
This latest Mark Miller recording does sound very much like something Page came up with and is playing it but in a more updated modern sense. Its like what I would envision the New Zep sound to be. Its a really good phrase, which should be develop into a full composition. The drum track even sounds like Bonham. A modern 70s sound done today.
This SKANK recording must have been done in the Hi-Gain mode since the gain was actually so low. With most amps the Z-pedal is mandatory and very much a part of an amp setup. Its like the Z-pedal saves a traditional tube amp and basically gives it a whole new channel, which did not come with the amp. With most amps the Z-pedal is NOT optional but a must. But with the SKANK its really optional. You actually don't need any pedal with the SKANK and definitely not in the Hi-Gain mode. The Hi-Gain mode does not even like pedals. However, I also get a very good tone using the Z-pedal in the Low-Gain mode of the SKANK. So the option is there. A nice recording setup, just a foot click away is the Skank in Low-Gain mode by itself or with a distortion pedal, with and without the Z-pedal Or in the Hi-Gain mode without any pedals. The idea of using no pedals and instead having an amp which can give you all the distortion you need, is very convenient and easy for any player.
I think everyone should have a SKANK. To play a small master-volume amp is very convenient and smart in any playing situation.
Be sure to read the information on the upper right corner of the youtube pages.
http://tw.youtube.com/watch?v=aBkLYcob8Q4 Low Gain channel
http://tw.youtube.com/watch?v=7rSOl1fmD9M High Gain channel
http://tw.youtube.com/watch?v=PSQwwlUYW_0 SKANK with Z pedal in the low channel:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sK2h3RVcpIw&NR=1 straight Skank, without pedal
To create a small power amp, which will be the only amp you will ever need.
Tall order, I know but its been accomplished with a Zachary.
Ask yourself and write a lost down on a piece of paper.
What exactly do you want from an amp? Do you know what you want from your dream amp?
Come on, write it down, make a list.
Here is my list.
Digital, solid state or anything in between makes me go "postal", so don't even mention it or you will hear about me in the news and it won't be innocent people who will suffer this time.
It must be a tube amp.
It must be very organic and natural sounding. I want to hear what my guitar sounds like and what I sound like, not what the amp sounds like. This amp must bring out the best from my guitar and the best from me. I have no time to sound bad, life is too short for that. I want to play your guitar and not the amp.
I want the amp to be touch sensitive (dynamic). Meaning that if you have any piano experience you know that its all in the touch of the fingers. This is how you transfer emotion from your soul to the instrument. However if you don't hear it from the speaker you are screwed and may as well be playing a digital atrocity. The louds must sound different from the softs. The amp must fully articulate the nuances of your touch.
The amp must overdrive nicely. It must go from clean to high gain, all from one amp. Tall order I know and its never been done successfully from a small amp. Well the Skank can do it for you.
There is no achievement in turning an amp up to ear bleeding volumes just to get power tube distortion, which is not pleasant anyway. The achievement is to get great natural preamp distortion and at low volumes if you have to. After all you will be mostly playing at low volumes, unless you are playing large halls or are simply retarded and self abusive. The distortion I want is preamp distortion, which is a much more creamy and musical type of smooth distortion, as compared to the harsh power amp distortion.
Most of us do not play stadiums. We play mostly at home. I need an amp that I can crank fully to get all its tonal tonal offerings. I need an amp which I can turn up to max and hurt my ears only over an extend period of time but not one which is immediately unbearable and will do damage to body and house.
I need a great recording amp, which will give me a huge sound at lower volumes, just the same sound at low volumes as when I turn it up to max.
I need an amp which... yes... has a master volume. It sure makes things a lot easier and convenient.
I need an amp that if I have to, I can gig with it with a drummer at reasonable volume levels.
I need this amp to be simple at the same time. I don' t like knobs. I want to plug in and have it give me great tone instantly, without having to dial it in. I don't want to spend time messing with knobs or reading manuals. I want to plug in and instantly hear my guitar as it sounds with great organic tone.
I need this amp to be very light and very portable. I want to be able to put it in its custom handbag and put it around my shoulder. Take it on the buss, subway or put it in the trunk. I don't want to pull my back by moving it or damage my car trying to get it in. That would just make me not want to play out at all. What a hassle.
I need an amp that I can hook up to any speaker cabinet. I want to connect it to an 8" speaker or a 12" or even a 4x12 stack or anything in between. When I do so, I want it to sound like a big amp, not a dinky toy.
I want to have tall rubber feet on it, so I can place it on top of any amp or speaker cab and over any cabinet handle.
I want an amp which also has a lower power setting. I want this lower setting to be cleaner and with less volume, being more like a vintage style amp in gain. I want the high power setting to go from warm and clean all the way to ferocious. I want all this from one small amp which weighs just a few pounds.
I want an amp, which will not need any distortion pedal. I may want to use a pedal in the low gain setting but I don't want a pedal to be necessary at all in the high gain mode. I want the amp to give me all the distortion I need, without having to carry a pedal around to get distortion.
I want the tubes to last a long time.
I want only one light amp, which will do all of this for me and forget the rest. No need for for anything else. I want this to be my only amp.
I want it to be an affordable boutique amp, not like what you normally need to pay for a boutique amp.
I want it to blow away other amps costing triple the amount. I want to laugh at the sales goofs in music stores, which I do every chance I get. I want to make the music store owner feel like the idiot that he is when he is trying to hype up some heavily advertised BS product plastered in all the guitar mags with lying endorsers. Now I am really digressing, but you get the idea what motivates me. I hate them all.
Anyway, these are some things that came to my mind when considering what I want from a dream amp.
The question is, what do YOU want from an amp?
If you want the same thing from an amp that I want, then the SKANK is YOUR amp.
Price = $700 - including custom case (shoulder bag)
Shipping domestic - Lower USA and Canada = flat rate $30
Shipping International - actual shipping cost
Available for either 110V or 220V power and shipped anywhere in the world.
In short, this is the perfect house and recording amp. Its really all the amp most people will ever need. Its touch sensitive, very musical and warm sounding with lots of bottom end. One Z player who has played it, says that one can easily gig with this amp as well.
The SKANK is 8 Watts and runs on one 6L6 power tube and one either 12AU7 or 12AT7 and one 12AX7 pre-amp tubes. It has large and high rubber feet to clear any amp or speaker cab handle. The SKANK is small, light weight and very portable. You can take it anywhere in its heavy-duty shoulder bag.
FRONT Panel - from left to right
Mode Switch - This results in two different amps in one amp.
Up - all 4 gain stages are on. Here you get a high-gain amp, yet it is controllable with the Gain and Master knobs. Does not clean up totally but you get a great distortion tone at very low volumes if you like, by using the Master volume. Very effective. No distortion pedal needed here.
Down - Two of the gain stages are removed. With only 2 gain stages the amp acts like a vintage style amp, it is quieter in volume with a lot less gain. Sounds sweet with a distortion pedal in front of it, or just gives a cleaner sound, which starts at perfectly clean with the Gain knob low and progressively gets dirtier with the Gain knob up, with the overall volume dictated by the Master.
Gain - The is the level of the pre-amp and the way to control the amount of Overdrive from the tubes. Its ultimate power depends on which position the Mode switch is in, Hi or Low.
Tone - This is an effective tone control
Master - controls the overall volume of the amp, regardless of where the Gain knob is set. So you can get high amount of distortion at a low volume.
Back Panel - from left to right
Power Jack - I made sure to have a detachable chord. Very handy.
Power Switch - Nothing fancy here, just a nice large switch, that's easy to find.
Mood Switch - This is an interesting feature, which works regarding which Mode you are in. One way it gives a bite to you tone. This is an more aggressive crispier sound. Flick the switch the other way and you get a smoother, more singing tone. Mellower with less bite.
Foot Switch - you can hook up a cheap and simple foot switch and cut the overall volume of the amp by about 1/3. This is good if you want to use the amp with the lower volume setting and then step on the foot switch for the solo parts.
Line Out - This is a line out from the pre-amp, bypassing the power-amp. Do with this feature whatever you wish. One thing you can do is use it for a sort of effects loop by taking the line out into a modulation or delay pedal and taking it to another amp, so that all your effects will them be routed to the other amp leaving the sound of the SKANK dry. This way certain effects will not be compromised under the high gain settings of the SKANK.
Speaker Jacks - 16 ohm, 8 ohm and 4 ohm speaker outputs. Hook it up to a 1x12, 2x12, 2x10, 4x10 or a 1x12 stack.
All it takes is just a few wires hooked up in the right places and you get the best tone you ever had.
These were done with NO distortion pedal. All distortion is from the SKANK amp.
The only pedals used were a delay pedal and a reverb pedal. The sound is from 1 Celestian 12" speaker cab at 8 ohms.
Sound quality is still not the best since the SKANK and speaker cab were to the one side and slightly behind the video camera. Consequently the acoustic sound of the guitar is also picked up by the built in microphone.
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Here the video camera is hooked up to an external microphone. The level may not be right because some distortion and crackling is audible.
Again through the SKANK and no distortion pedal is used.
Mark Miller plays his Zachary Z2 though the Skank on
SKANK prototype Little Boy was the first to check it out
How is this for an idea? There is no need for a heavy wood cabinet. Just a chassis with tubes and transformers exposed. Then I went through all the trouble of designing a perfectly fitting case for it. A case with such good padding for protection that when you ship it anywhere you don't even need any additional packing in the cardboard box. Pure genius you say. Well it gets better because the case is zippered and it has a shoulder strap that you can just walk around with it all day like its a camera bag or something. Rememver, as with all Zachary gear, its not designed for retail or commercial purposes. Its designed for ME alone. So you know its going to be good. After all, its for ME.