Offering nearly the same specifications as the ultra-thin ADA6 – albeit crafted from traditional vintage electric guitar tone woods instead of clear acrylic – the new AMG100 is available in three versions: AMG100 BLD (£559 list), featuring a lightweight swamp ash body with vintage blonde finish and single-ply black pick guard; AMG100 CH (£389 list), with its lightweight mahogany body sporting a vintage cherry finish and laminated black pick guard; and AMG100 BK (£339 list), featuring an alder body with black finish and tortoise-shell pick guard.
Boasting both the symmetrical, double-cutaway body and removable pickup system that set the Dan Armstrong design apart from other electric guitars, each of the three AMG100 models features a 24.75-inch-scale bolt-on maple neck, 24-fret rosewood fingerboard, and unique neck joint permitting easy access to two full octaves of riffage on every string. Above the nut, the headstock incorporates nickel Grover die cast tuners, which are positioned for nearly direct string pull while being close-coupled for minimum string tension differences. The result is a guitar that stays in tune even under the duress of overzealous windmills
Swappable pickups supplied with the guitar include the single-coil “Rock Treble” and dual-coil “Sustain Treble” controllable via retro-styled rotary pots for volume and tone, as well as a three-way tone switch offering multiple “presets” from a single pickup. The center switch position allows the tone circuit to be bypassed, while the other two positions enable the single tone control to affect different frequencies as the tone knob is adjusted.
A near-exact replica of the original Ampeg Dan Armstrong “Plexi” bass, the new ADA4 (£1279 list) features the same eye-catching clear acrylic body and unique sound that made its predecessor an immediate hit among iconic bassists of the era.
The ADA4’s maple neck features 24 frets inlaid into an Indian rosewood fingerboard, which when combined with the unique diamond-cut acrylic double cutaway body allows a full two-octave access clear of the bass’ ultra-thin body. The re-issue benefits from an improved bolt-on neck joint, as well as a solid rosewood bridge with compensated brass saddles. This bridge couples directly to the bridge plate enhancing tone and sustain, while the bridge plate, which is also the string holder (tail piece), allows the most efficient string-to-body contact available.
Custom removable pickups by Kent Armstrong, who designed the original guitar and bass pickups for his father in the ’60s and ’70s, employ a unique stacked design where the tone control mixes the treble and bass coils for a depth of tone that belies the instrument’s 30-inch scale. Two pickups are included with the bass: “Bright Bass” and “Deep Bass.”
Additional instrument features include nickel Grover tuners, vintage rotary volume and tone pots with a two-way switch, and an authentic Formica pick guard with aluminum backing for electronic shielding and maximum durability.
“Dan Armstrong’s designs for Ampeg were so far ahead of their time back in the late ’60s that, even today, these guitars are still completely fresh and innovative,” says Paul Meisenzahl, Ampeg director of product marketing. “With the re-issue of the classic ‘see-through’ bass and introduction of the affordable new wood-body AMG100 guitars, musicians now have even more options to enjoy the radically cool styling and spectacular tones that were Dan’s genius and legacy.”
The Ampeg AMG100 and Reissue Bass, will be shipping into the UK early summer 2008.