NAMM 2015: Diamond and Soldano team up for co-designed amp

The Diamond-Soldano 327SD
The Diamond-Soldano 327SD

NAMM 2015: In what is being described as a marriage between Ferrari and Lamborghini, Diamond Amplification (headed by Jeff Diamant) and Soldano Custom Amplification (headed by headed by Mike Soldano) have teamed up to create a co-designed amplifier, the 327SD, which will make its debut at Winter NAMM.

From press release: The 327SD is a truly collaborative product, starting with the name. Soldano (a notorious hot-rod lover and builder) penned the 327 portion of the name in honor of his favorite hot-rod engine. "SD" is a simple moniker for Soldano-Diamond. The amp itself is no less collaborative. The 327SD starts with Diamond's tried-and-true, and very road-tested platform, along with their heralded clean channel.

The output section of the amp switches from Diamond's usual EL34 platform to Soldano's traditional 5881 platform. Channel 2 (the gain channel) was a completely mutually developed channel. According to Jeff Diamant, "We wanted to do something in between Mike's voicing and ours, which are both similar in ways, but both have very different, yet complimentary, tonal properties." Diamant continued, "It needed to be related to the legendary SLO100, but with a modern thing happening too." The circuit design of channel 2 was developed jointly by Diamant and Soldano.

"I was really intrigued about the idea of collaborating with Diamond on something. After nearly 3 decades of designing and building amps, I thought it would be great to have some fresh input and a fresh approach," said Soldano. "If I was going to do something collaborative, I would only do it at this point with someone that does high-end, USA-Made product and does it well. Jeff came highly recommended and Diamond has a great reputation for modern and high gain voicings, so it seemed like a great fit, a great idea, and it was a lot of fun," Soldano stated.

According to Jeff Diamant, "I was thrilled to work with Mike on this. A lot of what we do is inspired by him to begin with so the opportunity for me to work with him was a bit like a musician getting to record with his personal guitar hero." Diamant continued, "Mike's SLO100 is genuinely iconic. What we wanted to do was to preserve its overall feel and what's great about it, but modernize it a bit. The result is harmonically rich, full, and a flavor I haven't experienced before. It responds." And according to both Diamant and Soldano, both are "very happy with the result." And the build is nothing short of top-quality.

The 327SD has 2 independent channels (clean and crunch), each with their own tone controls. Master Volume and dialable "Deep" knob allow for even more tone alteration. Channel 2's A/B control gives two voicing options, traditional to the Diamond line, and has a tube buffered effects loop. Black tolex covering and wrapped faceplate with US muscle car inspired silver racing stripes, metallic silver chassis, chrome accents and even a tachometer-inspired control set create distinctive hot-rod look. Powered by 4 x 5881's and 6 x 12AX7's, the 327SD boasts at least 100 watts of pure vacuum tube power. The 327SD will be a limited production run, with even a more limited version with silver tolex with black tolex racing stripes.

For more information, visit Diamond Amplification and Soldano Custom Amplification.

Joe Bosso

Joe is a freelance journalist who has, over the past few decades, interviewed hundreds of guitarists for Guitar WorldGuitar PlayerMusicRadar and Classic Rock. He is also a former editor of Guitar World, contributing writer for Guitar Aficionado and VP of A&R for Island Records. He’s an enthusiastic guitarist, but he’s nowhere near the likes of the people he interviews. Surprisingly, his skills are more suited to the drums. If you need a drummer for your Beatles tribute band, look him up.