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Danish dynamite... Skrydstrup OD50 review
By Anders Begdahl UGG.
In search for THE ULTIMATE GUITAR AMP, also known as the Holy Grail, on often looks towards the big country in the west, where Leo and the other pioneers first went into the unknown wild land of electric guitar tone. It then came as a surprise that high class Mystique amps where actually made right here at home in Sweden.
I then came as an even bigger surprise that an amp built to have smooth overdrive and clear clean sounds is made in close by Denmark. Even if I thought that my amp quest was over I had lust for an amp with a clean sustaining sound that could easily morph into singing biting overdrive, at all volumes.
So when my day job forced my to fly down to Denmark to an airport only half an hour from the home of Skrydstrup R&D, Vejen, and I had a afternoon extra due to a canceled meeting I steered my rented car down to Vejen with just an address to go on. Naturally I couldn't find the address even after 20 minutes of driving around the rather small down.
I did find a music store in the center of down and of course the very nice storekeeper knew that Skrydstrup made amps and help me phone him up.
He even tore out a page from the map to make sure I would find Skrydstrup R&D. After a short drive I found the workshop of Steen Skrydstrup and met the man himself.
I said that I had heard of his amps and where very keen on trying one. Steen's workshop was right next to some offices so high volume playing where not possible, but I got to play the amp and where amazed that it sounded so good at almost "bedroom volume".
I stayed and chatted with Steen for at least one hour and he told why he made the amp, Skrydstrup OD50. He had always liked Robben Fords tone on, and being a pro both on guitar and soldering iron he decided to try to built an amp that could capture that tone and more.
After several years of trail and error the OD50 was born. After that experience the sound of the OD50 was stuck in my head and I shortly after ordered one.
After a few months of waiting my amp arrived Anders 001. Steen told me that the amp would need 50 hours of playing to really break in, but to my ears the amp sounded great right away.
The amp is a real players amp, it is basically a single channel amp with an OD circuit that are in series with the rest of the amp, not parallel as most channel switching amps. The controls are Volume, three way bright switch, deep switch, treble mid and bass controls, OD Gain and Volume, master volume and presence.
On the footswitch there is boost, mid boost and OD on/off.
The clean channel is made to be able to overdrive in it self, it is only really totally clean with volume below nine a clock, after that a wonderful, almost Voxy, sparkle blends into the sound. The amp with the "clean" setting is very touch sensitive, with volume around 11 to 12 o'clock you can go from clean to crunch with the guitars volume, step on boost and you have a nice distorted sound and add mid boost and the sound is fat and singing. The OD takes all this a few steps further, this amp can go from nice singing smooth Robben and Santana sound to extreme gain.
The sound is ballsy and strong, there is a nice bite in the tone and it sounds mostly Fender like with some Vox overtones clean or semi clean.
With my MM Albert Lee guitar I get an amazing clean ringing country sound. The OD sounds are along the lines of that found in many Dumble inspired amps but it can sound a bit like Marshall as well.
Basically it's a rather smooth overdrive with clarity and bite. There is a lot of gain on tap, Eric Johnson styled tones are no problem. Naturally you can get Ford and Carlton type of tones as well. The tone controls can shape the sound to fit all guitars and most playing styles.
This is a very versatile amp that should be considered by all players looking for a true pro amp.
It is also a bit more forgiving than some other amps of this style, without loosing that great touch response and presence.
I also find it more versatile than other amps I have tried that are supposed to be close to a Dumble, so it should appeal to many different players, not just the Robben Ford wannabes.
From clean with sustaining to super gain fusion sounds this amp delivers. It can even do hard rock; maybe not modern metal but Van Halen like sounds are possible as are AC/DC and Deep Purple styled tones.
Ok I will never find the Holy Grail of amps, but this is close, as close as I need to get.
For now my search is over. But a nice Plexi would be nice…
I like this amp a lot. It has some rawness, not overly smooth and compressed. It is flexible but the amp has a sound of it's own which inspires me to play better It is not perfect for someone that wants a raw Plexi sound or a stressed Champ sound.
It might not appeal to the player that likes Mesa Rectifier sounds, but everyone that seeks an amp with many great tones that cover styles from country to rock and fusion should consider the Skrydstrup OD50 - It is Danish Dynamite.
Check out Skydstrup R&D here: www.skrydstrup.com
Listen to my sound clips here: www.soundclick.com/bands/5/abergdahlmusic.htm
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