Vintage Guitar - July 2018 - open - 129
Henriksen Amplifiers' The Blu
ne old cliché among gigging musicians is, "They pay me for the aggravation, the music is free." A good deal of
that aggravation comes from lugging gear.
If you play acoustic guitar, Henriksen's
new The Blu can reduce that stress plenty.
Measuring just 9" x 9"x 9" and weighing
a mere 12 pounds, it's nonetheless loaded
with 120 watts of RMS power. Packed into
that tiny space are five bands of EQ, reverb,
an effects loop, 48 volts of phantom power
on the balanced input, balanced and singleended inputs, a balanced line output, extension speaker output, headphone output,
and a two-way speaker system with a 6.5"
Eminence mid/woof and a fluid-cooled,
high-output neodymium tweeter. The
tweeter even has an on/off switch.
Any guitarist who relies on string attack
for dynamic contrasts will love The Blu's
sensitivity. It responds to every nuance
and retains so much of the guitar's actual
"acoustic" sound and sustain. Unlike amps that color the sound and
make everything sound similar,
The Blu delivers what-you-hear-iswhat-you-get transparency. From
a Les Paul Special to a John Pearse
triple-pickup system in a "lawsuit"
Takamine (and several instruments in
between), The Blu retained each guitar's
unique tone and natural acoustic sustain.
Does The Blu have any shortcomings?
Well, its 6.5" speaker can be "basschallenged" and occasionally bottom out
on power chords. But if you send its linelevel output to a PA or add a larger speaker
cabinet, you'll find plenty of low-end. The
other potential problem is that The Blu is
designed for one input - if you need two
channels with separate gain controls, you'll
need two Blus.
Those are minor functional quibbles, well
separated by The Blu's fantastic audio per-
Jam Pedals' LucyDreamer Supreme
ike so many boutique gear companies,
Jam Pedals has established a distinct
sonic stamp. Its effects have an uncompromising retro personality known for warmth
One of their latest, the LucyDreamer
Supreme, is a two-in-one OD; the
left side engages a clean boost
while the right serves up a range
The control complement includes a level knob
labeled "B" (Boost circuit
level) and a toggle switch
that changes the boost
between pre- and postoverdrive. Its internal trim
can be used to change minimum boost level.
On the overdrive side are knobs for Level,
Tone, Gain, and Mix (labeled L, T, G, and
M, respectively). Mix al-
formance and portability. For those tired of
generic sound and soul-killing weight, The
Blu just might brighten - and lighten - the
day. - Steven Stone
lows the user to create subtle variations by
tweaking the dirty-to-clean ratio. It's like
having multiple overdrive settings in a single
pedal. An additional toggle clicks between
high and low gain - an excellent touch.
From a smidgen of amp breakup to roaring
overdrive, the LucyDreamer Supreme has a
rugged old-school grittiness that plays very
well with both single-coils and humbuckers.
Played through a tweed combo, it really
shines. It'll also push a docile silverface to
greatness, yielding hard-rock authority
or blues-approved splendor. Stomp on
the Boost switch and your dulcet
dirt jumps in volume with just
enough edge to cut through
any cacophonous stage
mix. The pedal takes a
9-volt adapter and has
Need a little compression? You'll find
none here. The LucyDreamer Supreme has
an unfettered, wide-open,
earthy countenance. What you
will get are rich harmonics, all-day
sustain, and smile-inducing overtones. -