For much more information including
detailed specs and construction
features, pricing, photos and more
just click on the Pierson block to the
left.
14 OCT 05
Pierson Tweed Amps -  Vintage Hand Built "Fender" Tweed Reproductions, Blackface, and Individual Custom Designs.
Ludo is not only a great amp builder, and a
great guitar player, but a master chef.  A
typical meal at his place can be very complex
and quite exotic at times.  This is a photo he
sent me of what is a "simple" meal for him.  
His "steak tartare" with his classic curry
addition may be one of my top favorite meals
of all time.  Click on the photo above for a
larger image.
These Fender type champ amps are some
of the finest I have seen.

They are all hand built by a single individual
... no "farmed out" work.

I have checked these individually, and they
meet, and/or exceed, the original Fender
specs.

Remember .... "Layla", and many other rock
songs have been recorded on Fender
Champs.  They are loved by high quality
large diaphram studio mics, and record
huge.
Pierson Tweed Champ
For the owner's manual on
this amp just
CLICK HERE
for a download in PDF
format.
A top notch custom builder that works directly with the player.

Accurate and wonderful reproductions of the classic "Fender Tweed Champ", Tweed Deluxe, Low Power Tweed Twin, Tweed Bassman, Black Face Deluxe Reverb, and
custom designs.   I worked with Pierson a co-design effort of one of my own designs.  This is a 1x12 combo that was designed for my favorite music style; 60s rock and hard
electric blues.   I looked at many builders and he was the one that already used the components I preferred but also had the build construction I desired.  This amp is a 20 watt
6V6 cathode biased amp that is turret board wired that is custom order only at a cost of $2795.00.  This guy does it right.

The first amps of his that crossed my path were hand built, cloth covered wire, top notch caps and sockets, and vintage tubes.  The tube compliment on one amp I checked out
consisted of an RCA 6V6 and a Telefunken 12AX7 ... pretty high end stuff to say the least.
Standard Features on all Pierson Amplifiers

Cabinet
  • Finger jointed solid pine.  Strong, durable. Great natural resonance
  • Hand Varnished Airplane luggage stripped Linen ( the exact material used for the original tweeds) for a natural vintage looking and feel, durable,
    washable or high quality Tolex for custom amps.

Chassis  
  • High Grade Stainless steel, less magnetic interferences and rust proof

Resistors
  • High quality Carbon composition, important ones are usually NOS Allen Bradley
  • Each resistor individually measured before wiring to insure exacting tolerances
  • Low noise
  • High temperature tolerance
  • Extreme reliability
  • Warm sound -- unlike metal or carbon film resistors

Capacitors
  • Sprague Electrolytics -- formed slowly with a variac for stability and less noise
  • Sprague or  CDE (made in USA)
  • Solen Fast (made in France) (Custom Series Amps)
  • Jensen (Made in Denmark) coupling & decoupling caps (Custom Series Amps)
  • Highest quality and durability
  • Key ingredient to the vintage tone - modern polypropylene film caps sound too bright

Potentiometers
  • CTS pots (USA made) -- totally noiseless.  Smooth and linear taper for accurate dialing

Power Transformers (by Mercury Magnetics in California)
  • Hand wound, paper interleaved
  • Period correct voltages -- no cold, harsh, high plate voltages
  • Center tapped filament -- no heater hum

Output Transformers (by Mercury Magnetics in California)
  • Manufactured using the actual Triad engineering data
  • Hand wound, paper interleaved on paper bobbins
  • High efficiency
  • Rich harmonics - astounding tone
  • Built to last forever
  • Tremendous bottom end, shimmering highs, a lot of headroom

Speakers
  • Jensen reissue P8R, P12R, P12N AlNiCO Magnets
  • Smooth breakup
  • Warm, sweet tone
  • Barking, Beefy overdrive
  • Jensen ceramic series on request
  • Celestion, Emenance and other speakers available

Tubes
  • Vintage tubes, NOS tubes fully tested and selected according to the player's style (blues, rock, country etc.)
  • Most are USA made (RCA, GE, Tung-Sol, Sylvania)
  • Mullard (UK) and Telefunken (Germany) are the non-USA tubes offered
By the time the end of August 2004 had rolled around I had seen a lot of these amps.  

Ludovic Pierson had moved from the Los Angeles area to new location.  My amp was s/n -01- from his new shop.

In any case, I finally had to grab one of these for my own use.  After all, every amp/studio arsenal needs a tweed champ, doesn't it?

This one was the one I had to have as it is serial number 001 from the new "factory"

The amp plays great and there is nothing I can say about these that I have not said before.  This amp is just a sweetheart.

Click on each of the photos for a bigger image.
Directly above - August 28, 2005 batch of
Pierson Amps for California customers.  
Here are two Tweed Champs, one Tweed
Deluxe, one Low Power Tweed Twin and my
own design seen in the right rear.  
Greg Leisz playing Pierson Champ - more impressed than
when he played many of my other amps.
Some users, owners, and players comments below
This was posted on a few forums 4/5/05 by me (Myles S. Rose)

This is a post for some of the folks here that have the Pierson Tweed Champ.

I just posted my review on Harmony Central. The reviews take a few days to process but it should be up this week.

In any case, for those of you that have one of these you may want to post a review. Pierson is now building Tweed Deluxes that are also pretty spectacular. I have a Victoria
20112T that I love and have played it side by side with the Pierson. They are both amazing amps but the Pierson has a few twists such as a stainless steel non-magnetic
chassis and industrial Belton octal sockets (also in the Champ) that make the amp even more quiet or free from the occasional but typical output tube/socket rattle. The
Pierson is also a bit more expensive but there are some parts such as caps, sockets, transformers, and that stainless steel chassis that I like.  Either amp will be a keeper for
life.

I was so impressed with Pierson's work that I asked him custom build me a low power Tweed Twin. It will probably be done this summer with a bit of luck. The Champs and
Deluxes take priority I guess.

I had tested about a dozen of these amps (the Champ; one of my first hand written reports above on this page) before they were shipped to customers. This was just part of
the standard service from Pierson along with NOS tubes. Every amp I tested had a noise floor below 3mV and every one put out over 5 watts (many over 6 watts). Most
originals put out 3-4 at best. After going though a dozen or more of these I guess I had to have one of my own and that is how the Pierson amps started for me in my lineup.

So .... if you have one leave a review over on Harmony-Central so we can keep folks like Pierson interested in building amps for all of us.     
   Myles S. Rose
Ludo:

The amp is great.  Its better than I expected.  The tone is warm and smooth and the amp is very quiet.  I was surprised by the great bottom end which I wouldn't have expected
from an 8" speaker.  The overdrive distortion is a classic type of sound that's very recognizable and is really nice because the volume is within reasonable limits.  Frankly, I
don't know how you do it.  Its worth every penny. ........I appreciate you making it for me.  After I get some more time on it with my 72 Telecaster I'll write back with some
additional comments.

Gary S.
Delaware
Ludo:

Yes, the Champ arrived late yesterday afternoon and I unpacked it last night. Everything appears okay. I really like the varnished tweed finish, it's nice. I was never a big fan of
Tolex. Was only able to play for a few minutes last night, using a Stratocaster with a maple neck/fingerboard and Texas Special pickups. The amp has a nice smooth tone.
I'm not an advanced player or a  pro or anything like that. I haven't really played a lot of amps (I've only owned 2 before this one) so I can't really compare your Champ to other
amps. My first impression was it reminded me of Buddy Holly's "That'll Be the Day" or "Rave On"; or perhaps Marshall Crenshaw's "Rockin' Around in NYC" - which is great of
course.

Rob
Received the amp today. Fender doesn't make 'em like they used to; however, I am grateful that folks like yourself care enough to put out a righteous product.

Take Care,
Tom Burgar (Texas)
From: John Butcher
To: info@tubecellar.com
Sent: Wednesday, April 13, 2005 9:33 AM
Subject: Re: John Butchers Champ

Hello Ludo,

The Champ arrived last night in excellent condition. I plugged in the tubes and played for about an hour. I couldn't be happier. The sound was stunning. Very rich with great
harmonic detail. Thanks for the great set of NOS tubes, they really sing. The sound has a real 3D sound stage and the bottom end is big. I was surprised to get this much
sound out of a 8" speaker. Ludo everything I had heard about your work was true. Thanks for building a great amp! Here is my highest compliment, please send me the price
of a vintage style Deluxe including shipping. I Will send a check today. Please include your mailing address.

Many Thanks

John Butcher
James Kettner February 23, 2004 10:10 AM

Awesome!

I got the amp today and it sounds just great! Thanks for all your help. It works perfectly at 220v. This little guys is a tone monster. I'm surprised it's as loud as it is- and with
lots of headroom. The 8" speaker really cranks out some bass response and I found that on 8-9 (out of 12) it really rocks. I'll play around more tomorrow when I have time
and try recording some. I'm impressed so far to say the least.

February 23, 2004 11:21 PM

The amp is very quiet. I played it for about an hour and a half yesterday and loved the feel. Picking dynamics and guitar volume/tone really interact nicely with this amp,
probably even better than my THD Univalve. Maybe that's because I can crank it up with no hotplate. It almost seems like there is a reverb in this little baby, and I was playing
in my padded wall studio.

Compliments to you work. Today if I have time I'm going to record some clips and post a review on the
www.musicplayer.com forum.


Thanks again Ludo!

Ciao,
James
From: "Jim Malcolm"
To: "Tube Cellar" <info@tubecellar.com>
Sent: Saturday, April 23, 2005 3:49 PM

Ludo: I could'nt be happier with the sound and quality of your champ. I'm sure you've had many compliments on it but I need to add my two cents. It is the warmest,most
defined,full,sparkly and rich sounding amp I've heard in years. (Since I sold my 64 super reverb 10 years ago) My 335 and strat sound beautiful.  It is an essential tool for any
studio and it looks so good my wife is letting me keep it in the living room.

Thanks again and I'm almost certain I'll be checking out your deluxe.

Take care,

Jim
Ludo:

Wow!  Excellent reproduction.  I evaluated the amplifier with a Telecaster, Stratocaster, and a Gibson L6-S last night and it came through with flying colors.  Definitely a
keeper.  I've always liked the sound of the 5f1 about half-way up, especially with Telecasters.  The one you made is a _very_ happy sounding amp.  I play out a lot in one of
those "grown men coming at you" kind of scenes.  Two guys playing the blues.  My partner is maybe the greatest living interpreter of Robert Johnson.  He plays a National
with some amplification--just enough to be heard.  I play rhythm on an original ES-150 "Charlie Christian" of his.  The 5f1 is going to be the amp of choice, I can tell, for this
scene.  Thanks.

Ken
More pictures below - Please excuse my poor photographic skills
The classic layout of the
1955 Narrow Panel Tweed
Deluxe was chosen (on a
stainless steel chassis)
as the phase inverter is
used to alter the gain as in
the classic Tweed amps
such as the Deluxe, Super,
and Low Power Twin.
In this amp I specfied
Jensen caps in the tone
circuit.  Other capacitors
may be specified such as
Sprague or Solen fast
caps.
Belton sockets.  Note the
stainless steel aircraft
screws (used throughout)
with locking aircraft nuts.  
No vibration here!
A Jensen P12N AlNiCO 5
speaker here (50 watt
continuous) but other
speakers available.
The wine tolex amp in photo above is an amp of my design.  It is class A 6V6 duet based amp but runs them a bit hotter with different power and output transformers.  There
are other twists such as Jensen caps in selected places and Solen caps in others.   I contracted Pierson to construct this amp for me based on his past work.

Unlike a Tweed Deluxe (one of my favorite two amps on the planet) this amp is quite a bit louder in general.  It also has quite a bit more gain than people are used hearing
from the typical Fender Tweed, Black Face, Silver face, or Marshall Plexi era amps.  

This amp was what I designed for rock and blues for small to medium club use and studio use.  In the studio it will capture the most aggressive huge tones when using a
large diaphram mic and be much bigger sounding and more articulate than the biggest Marshall stacks or Mesa Rectos etc.  In a large arena venue this amp is just magic
and fits in with the current practice of smaller amps on stage that do not bleed into the vocal mics and can be run in their performance curve without causing sound quality
problems everywhere.

The amp is very dynamic and touch sensitive.  Pierson did a amazing job building the amp for me, right down to industrial Belton sockets, USA pots, and stainless steel
chassis (yes, the amp is darn quiet even at the highest settings).

For folks in So Cal - you are more than welcome to contact me if you want to play with the amp.  If I have advance notice this amp can also be borrowed for recording projects.

Pierson is going to be selling these but only by advance order.  They are not cheap ....  I think he said the price will be just about $2795.   It is a 1x12 combo by the way.   I
guess looking at a amp like a Dumble at $10K-$15K and more does not make sense to some folks but when you have bought and sold 5,10, 30 or more amps over a chunk
of a lifetime a Dumble is darn cheap if that  is what you finally decide is your tone heaven.  The price on amps .... they are what they are.  Production amps are built to a specific
price target.  This amp is not.  If you like it and want one then I suppose they sell for what they sell for - end of story there.  Pierson does have an artist endorsement program
but I do not know if this amp will fall into that policy.  He is the builder and seller so that is his call.  
From the "amps" area of this website on the Pierson-Rose amp

Pierson-Rose - In late June of 2005 I contracted Pierson Amp to build an amp of my own design.  This is a 20 watt cathode biased amplifier about the size and of similar
layout of the 1955 Tweed Deluxe.  The amps wattage allows the use of large diaphram microphones without overloading the mic or console.  The gain structure is in the area
of the great rock amps when cranked of the 1960s and early 1970s.  This is the sound of hard blues and rock from my own personal viewpoint and this was the target of this
amps design.  This class A amp have very high levels for it's wattage and it's use in medium clubs unmic'd is no problem.  I picked Pierson to build this amp based on the
construction methods used on his other hand wired amps.  As all Pierson amps, this amp uses USA CTS pots rather than Mexican Alpha pots.  The used of industrial Belton
tube sockets which do not rattle and take take thousands of tube insertion and removal cycles was another plus.  Pierson uses stainless steel for his chassis.  If you listen to
his Tweed amps such as his Champ, Deluxe, and Tweed Twin you will notice how quiet the amp is compared to a magnetic steel chassis amplifier.  Custom Mercury
Magnetics transformers were specified.  In the tone circuit high end Jensen oil/paper/foil silver lead capacitors were specified.  The desired smooth character was obtained in
part with these capacitors.  Fresh hand selected carbon comp resistors were used.  The amplifier utilizes a Jensen P12N AlNiCo 5 speaker rated at 50 watts.   The tube
compliment was hand picked and traced.  V1 is a Telefunken 12AX7.  V2 is a GE 12AX7.  Output tubes are trace matched Sylvania 6V6GT tubes.  Pierson will be selling these
amps on special order as each is tuned to the player.  The price of the amp is $2795.   I use this amp either alone or in a two amp rig (a Fender Tweed Bassman for the clean
tones and this amp for the crunch and hard rock tones).  I will have more photos in the near future but for now you can see this amp in the rear row of the photo in the Pierson
page on this site by clicking above at Pierson-Rose.  It is the only non tweed amp in the photo.   The gain structure of this amp can be quickly custom tailored to a player's
desires and to pickups in their guitars.  For people in the Los Angeles area - this amp will be available for audition and recording projects.
Additional Pierson Custom Series Amps:

  • 45 watt Tweed or Tolex Jazz amp with a 1x15 speaker
  • Two Pedal Steel amps
  • 50 watt 6L6 Class A/B amp 1x15 combo (other speaker configurations available)
  • 80 watt 6L6 Class A/B amp 2x15 combo (other speaker configurations available)
  • 30 watt Class A 6L6 duet amp in a 1x15 combo (the killer deal for harp players)
  • 25 watt hand wired Backface Deluxe Reverb inspired amp
  • 50 watt 6L6 class A/B duet based amp available in two configurations - tweed era gain or plexi era gain.  This amp can also be specified with
    EL34 output tubes

These amps are on a custom order basis - All amps available in head or combo configurations - Just about any speaker can be requested and any
speaker configuration may be requested (including uncommon configurations such as 6x10, 6x12, etc., on custom order).  Custom speaker cabinets in
most any configuration in Tolex, Tweed, hardwood and exotic hardwoods.  Adaptors to allow speaker size swapping in a cabinet available.