Feature of the Week: Sonic Retro

Magazine

Feature of the Week: Sonic Retro

Icelandic start-up company Redwing designs hand-wired vintage amplifiers.

Published in Issues and Images of Iceland, Vol. 7 1-2011. Published for Promote Iceland by Heimur Publishing Ltd.

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Photo by Sigurður Jón Júlíusson.

“We at Redwing Amps view the tube guitar amplifier as an instrument. Dave Hunter, the author of The Guitar Amplifier Handbook, hit the nail square on the head when he said: ‘Tube amps are not rocket science, they are much more complicated than that.’ Playing them involves personal taste, feelings, emotions and other factors […]. A good amp reacts to a musician’s playing dynamics and preserves the signature sound of the guitar,” the makers of the Redwing amplifiers proudly state on their website. They are currently developing hand-wired guitar amplifiers, which were inspired by the blackface and brownface American circuits from the 1960s. The amplifiers have been tested by a number of musicians, including blues guitarist Vasti Jackson during the Reykjavík Blues Festival in April 2011, Nels Cline of Wilco who played with the Plastic Ono Band in Iceland in October 2010, and established Icelandic guitarist Gudmundur Pétursson.

“Gudmundur Pétursson hardly uses anything else,” says Thröstur Vídisson, who founded Redwing with Sigurdur Karl Ágústsson and Júlíus Valsson. “Dikta used Redwing amps during the Iceland Airwaves festival and Börkur Hrafn Birgisson uses them with his brother Dadi during recordings in Stúdíó Sýrland—he was the first to compliment us.”

Issues and Images of Iceland, Vol. 7 1-2011 is available for free download. Click here to read the remainder of this article.