I really appreciate this stage in Steve Fryette’s career: the point at which he’s apparently just giving the middle finger to traditional design, stepping on its neck, and kicking it off a cliff. Do you want a revered high gain amplifier like the Pitbull, Sig:X, or Deliverance? Sure, you can still get them (although the newly redesigned website’s format, shuttering them into a “Limited Production Amplifiers” section with little info on pricing, has left one if not both of my eyebrows raised). But, since leaving the VHT name behind, every new Fryette design seems to have been dreamed up with the mentality of “how can I solve an existing problem, or approach an old idea from a new angle?”
That’s how you wind up with, for example, a combo amp that has an external power section, or a 1-watt home/recording amplifier with built-in cabinet simulation. Now the next product from Fryette is perhaps the one I’m most interested in (well, it may be a tie because that Valvulator GP/DI 1-watt amp looks pretty great): a 50-watt 6L6 power amp paired with a load box for your current head or combo’s power section. This unit is named, simply enough, the Power Station.
You’re probably familiar with attenuators, right? The THD Hot Plate is a popular choice but there are plenty, like the Rivera RockCrusher and the Marshall Power Brake. When situated in-line between amp and cab they soak up some of the wattage so you can “crank” your amp at a lower volume and bring out that power tube saturation that you need to make your tone come alive. But you’re not exactly getting the same sound as if you were to truly dime the volume control. Often an attenuated amp at low volume is preferable, assuming you’re not in a spot that can allow the noise of an unchecked master volume, but it’s a divisive choice. Regardless of whether you think the resulting sound is preferable to simply letting your loud amp output limply without one, your tone is undeniably colored by the attenuator.
Well the Power Station certainly won’t be the pure sound of your head’s power section either, but the end result could be more appealing. Instead of just clamping down on your head’s output, it absorbs the load and then boosts it again with a new power section. And the Power Station has just two 6L6 power tubes rated at 50 watts, so they’ll saturate at a lower volume than a 100 or 150 watt head: and without the need for attenuation.
Sound cool? It gets better. The power station has its own effects loop, which allows you to add post-preamp effects to loop-less amplifiers. Conversely, you could use the Power Station to power additional cabs in your double-full-stack stoner rock band, or to route parallel effected signals in a wet/dry or wet/dry/wet rig. And hey, there’s going to be a rackmount hit so you could pair a Power Station with an Axe-FX or Kemper Profiling Amp (or maybe Fryette’s own aforementioned Valvulator GP/DI…) to get some stage volume without adding bulk to your gear (well, besides the cab itself I guess).
In short, this thing looks kind of badass, and unlike the current Fryette power amps the Power Station is selling at a price point that mere mortals can afford: $599. If you want to reserve one for yourself you can put down $100 at the Power Station product page on Fryette’s website.
- Dimensions: 14(35)W x 2.75 (7)H x 9(23)D. Weight: 15 Lbs (7kg).
- 2 X 6L6
- 1 X 12AX7
- Power Output: 50WRMS
- Power Input (Max Continuous):
– 200W @ 4 Ohms.
– 150W @ 8Ohms
– 200W @16 Ohms.
- Output Impedance: 4/8/16 Ohms, Selectable.
- Load Amp Impedance: 4/8/16 Ohms, Selectable.