Page 94

GEAR

Soul Tramp Wraith

S P E C I F I C AT I O N S

WRAITH

T ESTE D BY DAVE HU NT ER

CONTACT

soultrampamps.com

A LT H O U G H H E S P E N T M U C H O F H I S

Slop control (which shifts the frequency range

PRICE

$2,335 retail

career as a systems integrator of software and

of the entire tone stack), Master Volume and

CHANNELS

2

hardware solutions for manufacturers, Don Hills

Presence are all active in clean mode. Stomp

CONTROLS

Volume, Soul, Slope, Treble,

has been working with electronics since he was

on the Soul button, though, and the first gain

a kid in high school in the early ’70s. Several

stage shifts to the Soul knob and, although the

Presence. Switches for Hi/Lo

years ago he decided to make this his full-time

lead channels still uses the same EQ stage, the

input, Bright, Woof. Back panel:

gig, founding Soul Tramp amps in Gray, Maine,

Drive knob also becomes active as a post-tone-

OD Level, Reverb Depth, and

where he now crafts hand-built tube machines

stage master of sorts, to dial in gain levels before

on the idyllic shores of Little Sebago Lake, just

the final post-phase-inverter master. Step on

POWER

50 watts

northwest of Portland. Long a fan of Fender’s

the OD footswitch and a like-named knob on

TUBES

Five 12AX7s, two 12AT7s, two

classic blackface amps of the ’60s, those cir-

the amp’s back panel slathers on another stage

cuits lie at the foundations of many of his current

of cascading gain, while the footswitch’s third

models, although he turns to tweed and Brit-

button—Grind—adds a preset bump to subtly

On/Off switch, Serial/Parallel

ish templates for others—while all of the above

increase the lead channel’s edge and rawness.

switch, Level and Mix controls,

take the final product to places far beyond what

There’s also tube-driven spring reverb with back-

Dual speaker outs with 4/8/16ȍ

any of those roots imply. Such is the 50-watt

panel Depth control and bypass switch, and an

switch, 3-button footswitch for

Wraith on review here, which marries one tweed

extremely versatile buffered effects loop avail-

Bassman-inspired clean channel with Hills’s

able as serial or parallel with both Level and Mix

WEIGHT

42 lbs

scorching lead channel, dubbed the Soul chan-

control, or totally bypassable.

BUILT

USA

KUDOS

An extremely well-built amp at a

.

z

Middle, Bass, Drive, Master,

Reverb Bypass switch

6L6GCs EXTRAS

Tube-buffered FX loop with

channel, OD, and Grind

nel, plus a ton of functionality to create a versa-

Hills builds every Soul Tramp himself by

tile and powerful amp that’s quite a bit different

hand, using high-quality components such as

reasonable price. An original take

from anything else out there.

the Mallory and SBE signal caps, Sprague and

on some very playable “pushed-

The full control complement is found in

TAD filter caps, and Mercury Magnetics trans-

this review’s spec box, but it’s worth noting

formers on evidence here, all within a custom-

that these knobs work a little differently than

built, heavy-duty aluminum chassis. He even

mises between clean and lead

the traditional two-channel dichotomy. The

gives the first two preamp tubes DC heater fil-

voicings for some players.

first Volume control, the three tone knobs plus

aments for extremely low-noise performance.

94

G U I TA R P L A Y E R . C O M / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 7

Fender-style” lead tones. CONCERNS

Shared EQ might mean compro-

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