by Romano De Carlo
Artesound Amps is rooted in my two main passions: music and electronics.
When I was a young kid, I was obsessed by the quest of the perfect playback system, thus focused on the design of HiFi speaker systes and amps. Fairly soon, my (somehow still rough) skills in electronics became popular among my friends, and they started coming to me for repairing their guitar and bass amps and stompboxes.
I started my builing venture by cloning some classic amplifiers, mostly pushed by friends, but it did not seem the right path for me. I did not feel any reward out of those builds, so after some years, I started developing my own circuits and founded Artesound.
All Artesound amps are based on original designs, reflecting my approach that pays homage to the classic "American" and "British" tones of the golden era of rock'n'roll.
I try to keep the circuits as simple as possible, without being ordinary. My main goal is to provide to the player the most natural response to touch, dynamics, allowing his expressivity to flow and shine.
In my view, the overall tone and harmonic complexity of an amp come from the sum of all parts. Therefore I focus on the research and individual selection of each component for its inner construction quality and reliability, but most of all for its tonal qualities, starting from the transformers that are custom wound on my specifications by a historical UK builder.
The quest for the perfect tone is a never ending one… and this is the reason why I decided to build my amps on eyelet boards, allowing me to have a very constant output quality, but also to be very open to mods and upgrades, should my customer (or myself!) be looking for something more different.
The cabinets are all hand cut, finger-joint assembled and covered with tolex. The standard wood is Pine, but I often hand-select some slabs from the beautiful timbers that are typical of my surroundings, like Ash, Cherry or Larch, buffed and finished with oil and wax. Tolexing these cabinets would almost be sacrilegious!
My relation with Jensen Speakers dates quite some years back. I used many of their Vintage Series speakers for my most "American" voiced amps. But lately, the new Jet Series discloses itself to a wider tonal range, more modern, delivering great sounds also in higher gain conditions. The new 12" Raptor is really interesting and I have installed many since it has been introduced. Also the Tornado speakers with neodymium magnets are great as well. I especially dig the Tornado Classic 100 and the Tornado Stealth 65.
The music scene in Italy is mainly made of small clubs, and stage volumes are lower and lower lately. The players increasingly search for great sounding amps, with the smallest and lightest form factor possible. This situation pushed me to develop the GV, "Good Vibrations", a tiny combo amp, 14W, 2x6V6, weighting only 9Kg (about 19 lbs). The GV is inspired by the classic tweed era tones of the mid '50s, with only 2 controls, Volume and Tone, plus Speed and Depth controls for the Tremolo. The speaker of choice is the 10” Jensen Falcon – C10/40FA. The Falcon is a fast, responsive speaker, with a vintage flavor and a sweet, smooth top end. I particularly like the slight musical compression feel that it delivers when pushed hard. The GV combo is available with a hand-brushed and waxed Larch cabinet and front panel, hence the nickname "Woodface".
ArteSound Amps' approach can be quickly summed up in one simple sentence: Vintage Tone for the Modern Player!