Project image
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$2,547
pledged of $11,000pledged of $11,000 goal
8
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sun, June 23 2019 8:00 PM UTC +00:00
$2,547
pledged of $11,000pledged of $11,000 goal
8
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sun, June 23 2019 8:00 PM UTC +00:00

About

Story

Hi, I’m Jim Hagerman and can’t play guitar for beans. But that’s ok! I’m not a musician pretending to be an electronics guru, I am an electronics guru, and I’ve designed a new studio amp for anyone seeking warm, thick, lush, weighty, solid, and responsive tone. This is not your father’s amp. I do not copy, clone, or tweak other designs. I create all my circuits from scratch. They are not based on Fender, Marshall, or anyone else.  

Today I introduce the SE2, a boutique two watt practice / studio / small gig amplifier. What makes it different? Well, besides being hand-built here in the USA, it’s a single-ended zero-feedback triode-strapped low output impedance circuit with an inductively rectified power supply tuned to match. That’s a bunch of wacky technical jargon, which basically translates into warm musicality with superb touch, control and an organic growl. The SE2 also has super low noise, with no hum or buzz, critical for studio work. It was not easy and I have been working on this for years. Did I mention it also has a headphone jack? 

The SE2 is a fully built and tested amplifier, designed to perfectly fit into the very popular Tweed Deluxe cabinet clone, available from many sources. It’s a simple proposition: buy my amp, a cabinet & speaker of your choice, and you can bolt together a very fine custom rig, all without having to assemble one of those crazy kit amps, which require seriously good DIY skills. I’m even throwing in this speaker cable, so you don’t have to do any soldering. Just fasten the pieces together and you’re done.  

I’ve also collaborated with Tim from TRM Guitar Cabs for a custom 1x10 design, which is only 16x16x8 and weighs in at a mere 18 pounds, fully loaded. This combination provides huge tone and portability, perfect for small gigs. And it is beautiful to look at too. No, this one is not for sale. I’m keeping it.  

I’ve been designing electronics for the past 36 years. Back in the early 90’s I got interested in vacuum tubes. After years of research, pouring through tons of books and schematics, I started Hagerman Technology to produce the VacuTrace, a vacuum tube curve tracer. It worked beautifully, and I still use one today for testing and matching tubes. But I didn’t sell very many. So I pivoted the company into high-end audio, creating some of the world’s best audiophile phono preamplifiers, achieving critical acclaim and earning a number of Stereophile recommended component class “A” ratings. My most recent product is an EL84-based  headphone amplifier (please buy one). It’s been a lot of fun, but to be honest, I’ve always had an ear for electric guitar, and I want to play on that side of the sandbox too. So here we are.  

The SE2 is just the first of many products I have planned. I’m also working on a line of vacuum tube pedals, having operational prototypes for Overload, Boost (using an EF86 pentode), Tremolo, and an optical Compressor. With a successful Kickstarter, we will get Hagerman Amplification launched into the marketplace. I’m not asking much, just enough funding to pay for parts. I thank you in advance.   

If all you care about is low pricing and high power, this amplifier is not for you. However, if you desire world-class tone, touch, and timbre, you've come to the right place.  

Specifications

  • Output: 2W clean, 3W dirty
  • Size: 14" x 4" x 4.5"
  • Tubes: 1 x 12AX7 and 1 x EL84
  • Input: 20W @ 120VAC
  • Warranty: 10 years (90 days tubes)

Sound Samples

Recorded using an SE3 mounted in Tweed Deluxe cabinet (shown) with Jensen P12R Alnico speaker into SM57 microphone. No pedals, no effects. Two players, five guitars, one amp. Sorry, I overloaded ADC into clipping on some of the rock clips, which makes peaks sound harsher than they actually were.  

Links

Questions

Why triode? Triode connection provides much better linearity and lower output impedance (compared to pentode) resulting in better speaker control and damping. Bass isn't mushy; it remains tight and tuneful. Pentode mode offers more power. So take your pick, volume or tone. With the SE2 you end up hearing more guitar and less amp. 

Why single-ended? Operating single-ended delivers consonant even-order harmonics, generating a lusher and fuller sound, like playing a major chord. By comparison, push-pull is all odd-order harmonics, which are dissonant, leading to a shrill, harsh bite. 

Why only 2W? It's actually not bad, about half as loud as your typical 15W amp. Perfect for practicing without aggravating your neighbor. When recording or practicing you don't need your ears to bleed! Two volume controls individually adjust preamp and output stage gains. Get dirty overdrive at low volume. 

How much will my custom rig cost? A rough estimate is $440 amplifier + $245 cabinet + $125 speaker = $810 + shipping.  

 Example Rigs

1x10 cabinet from TRM
1x10 cabinet from TRM
2x6 cabinet ($640 pledge)
2x6 cabinet ($640 pledge)

Risks and challenges

I've done this before. With two successful Kickstarter projects under my belt, and decades of experience running my own company building and selling tube electronics, I got this down.

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Support

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    Guitar Pick

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    Handy Screwdriver

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    Pledge $440 or more About $440

    SE2 Boutique Guitar Amplifier

    (completely assembled & tested )

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    SE2 Mounted in 2x6 Cabinet

    (jensen alnico speakers)

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Funding period

- (30 days)