FIRST LOOK: Ampeg AMG100

Hear the wood-bodied version of the Dan Armstrong Plexi in action

It seems like a lifetime ago that we brought you the news that Winter NAMM 2008 would see Ampeg launch a series of wooden-bodied versions of its iconic Dan Armstrong ADA6 Plexiglass guitar.

Any guitar that is cool enough for Keith Richards is fine by us. However, original 1969-1971 see-through Plexi models are scarce, expensive, and not without certain idiosyncrasies that make for an opinion-polarising playing experience.

The new AMG100s are available in three different finish/body material configurations with sensible upgrades such as a more stable, adjustable bridge. However, there's plenty of vibe intact.

The model we have in our clutches is the vintage cherry version which boasts a lightweight mahogany body. Removing the guitar from its velvet-lined gigbag we notice that it really is light too – a far cry from the spine-crushing poundage of the Plexiglass models.

We've always thought that the interchangeable pickup system was one of the coolest features of these guitars and although the only pickup supplied with our review sample was the Sustain Treble humbucker, should you want to throw in a Rock Treble single coil, the procedure is quite straightforward.

Simply unscrew the small thumbscrew around the back like so:

Then slide the pickup away from the pair of banana plugs that connect it to the guitar's circuitry:

Audio demo

Check out the Ampeg website for the full specifications, but it's probably about time you sat back, kicked off your shoes and listened to the thing in action.

This demo was recorded in Cubase Studio 4, with Native Instruments Guitar Rig 3 and Battery 3 supplying the guitar and drum sounds. We used the Ampeg AMG100 for all of the guitar parts, including the bass line.

With UK street prices for all three AMG100 models currently around or under the £400 mark, we'd recommend you check them out. MusicRadar will feature a full review in the near future.


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