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Friedman Amplification and Steve Stevens team up once more for a monster upgrade of his signature tube head

Friedman Steve Stevens SS100-V2
(Image credit: Friedman Amplification)

We’ve known for some time that Dave Friedman has been working on an update to Steve Stevens’ signature tube amp head, with the boutique amp builder showcasing a new look SS100 at NAMM 2020. 

But the day and the hour is here when the SS100-V2 is now officially out and launched – and for anyone looking for a high-end guitar amp that offers flexibility and 100-watts of super-modded Plexi-style muscle, it looks a very appealing prospect.

The SS100-V2 has a more muted aesthetic, with its Baltic birch housing covered in black vinyl, with black grille clothe and the Steve Stevens signature ray-gun logo moved to the control panel. 

But now fully expanded with revoiced dirty channels to add extra percussive punch, plus a Thump control to complement the Presence, there is nothing muted about the sound.

Building on the previous version, the SS100-V2 is expanded into a three-channel platform. The clean channel returns unchanged, and offers sky-high headroom and epic potential for pedalboard integration. 

The clean channel has its own tone stack, with a three-band EQ, volume, and a three-way bright switch. Stevens likes his cleans bright and sparkly. The two dirty channels share EQ and volume, and are serviced by a rear-mounted Fat toggle switch that beefs up the low end and offers a chance to sculpt a more scooped tone via the EQ.

The addition of a System Volume control is another practical addition. Of course, some players might want to make their own custom mods to the amp to make it even more practical, like Stevens himself, who has swapped out the black chickenhead dials for a multi-coloured set so he can view them more easily under stage lighting.

As Stevens reveals in the demo video, Dave Friedman is not a fan of “the goofy knobs” but then he is sure to let it slide. Stevens and Friedman go way back, with Stevens Friedman’s first signature artist.  

The SS-100V2 is constructed using custom US-built transformers, and houses a quartet of EL34s in the power amp, with a fistful of 12AX7s in the preamp. It was hand-wired in the USA. 

Around the rear of the guitar amp, where you’ll find Steve Steven’s signature, is a switchable impedance knob and an “ultra transparent” series effects loop. A two-button footswitch is included. No prices have been revealed just yet. For more details, head over to Friedman Amplification.

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.