So, a couple of weeks ago I went to my local dealer to get a capo and Michael B went home with an Archon.
This weekend I went in for an Archon and came home with another capo… and an Archon. It’s such an amazing machine. It has tremendous power and articulation, the voicing demanding that all air molecules around it obey. Then there are the presence and depth knobs which give it so much more range. Fascinating.
I played the dirty channel for over an hour trying to find something that I didn’t like but I could not. The dirty channel is truly amazing, inciting a riot among the guitars hanging on the wall, all clamoring for a chance to be heard through the Archon.
I tried not to like it. As I am a professional fault-finder and nitpicker, I tried to find things about the amp that didn’t work for me because I needed to rationally justify yet another amp, especially as the only place for a new amp would be as a replacement for my primary gigging amp: the “C”.
At first I thought it was the lack of channel indicator on the head but the one on the pedal is better trade-off. Hmm.
Then I convinced myself that I couldn’t get a great classic rock sound and it seemed too modern, too metal, but it didn’t take me long to dial that in. When A/B’d to the “C”, there really wasn’t that much of a difference. Huh.
Next I kept hearing this annoying heartbeat thumping sound. Aha! Bad amp, this can go back! Yay! Oh, wait, if I take my old-school wireless out of the picture the pumping goes away and the amp is a quiet as the time right before dawn, right before the birds wake? Sigh.
Next I was sure I needed reverb, then counted the number of times I use it; so much for that.
Then I was convinced I couldn’t get a great clean sound out of it and was immediately proven wrong. Yeah, I can never get satisfactory clean sounds out of a 6L6 amp that don’t break up - I bet that will be the kicker. Well, not only did I find a setting that doesn’t break up, but it’s lush and warm, jazzy even. And that reason that I didn’t think my 513 single coil settings sounded as good as they do through the “C”? Well it’s because I had the treble down too far and look at, all the single coil I could ask for.
I thought about going paisley because I have paisley a Dallas and Sewell and they’re really cool, but the Archon just doesn't say "hey, I'm a piece of furniture", it says "dude, seriously, I defy you to find a better amp for there is none more black”. So black it is.
All in all, this amp makes me a better player, which sounds like hyperbole, but I find that I have much more control of the airspace and can react more quickly to my surroundings. This amp is a home run.