In July 2008, guitarist Aaron Manka of Shadyside Allstars approached us about commissioning a custom amplifier. Aaron wanted to simplify his cluttered stage setup and get away from using a complex pedal board. He also expressed a need for less stage volume. "I'm sick of being told to turn down by my bandmates and sound guys," Aaron explained. With his old rig, Aaron could barely turn up his amplifiers, leaving him with no natural tube saturation and an anemic tone that couldn't be helped with pedals.
Aaron and Steve whipped up a design that would include dual Nace M1-7 chassis nestled in a 4x10 cabinet. Each chassis would get a pair of speakers, allowing Aaron to use one amp at a time, or both simultaneously. Adding to the fun, Aaron chose to use a 12 AT7 and a 6L6 in one chassis, and a 12 AX7 and a 6V6 in the other. This allowed Aaron to have a sparkling clean tone on the left and a thick raspy overdrive on the other. Using an ABY pedal, Aaron was ready to rock.
Much to the joy of his sound engineer and bandmates, Aaron's stage volume is now manageable and a comfortable level for his bandmates to hear every note. To Aaron's pleasure, he can now perform with the saturated tube tone he craved without resorting to pedals.
Check out Aaron as he uses the amp for the first time.
Trillium Amplifier Company
4357 W. 96th St.
Indianapolis, IN 46268