The Trinity Tramp…building my brother’s first guitar amplifier


A couple weeks ago my sister-in-law, Becky, contacted me regarding my younger brother’s, Ed’s, upcoming 50th birthday. She commissioned a guitar to be built by long time friend and former childhood neighbor, Matt “Cavey” Blake, owner of Cavey’s Clubs. Matt is a bass player and does custom woodwork. He started making basses several years ago and added custom guitars to his shop after receiving many requests from musicians who admired his work.

Becky knew that to I had built some amps in the past and wanted to know if I’d be interested in creating something for Ed to complete the package. I quickly agreed and began the process of figuring out which amp would compliment Ed’s new guitar, and his experience the best.

Ed began playing guitar about five years ago. This will be his first guitar and amp. The guitar is a chambered ┬ádual humbuckers model. I requested Cavey to split the coils to give Ed the maximum range of tones since he’s had little experience with the electric guitar. I wanted the amp to also give Ed many tonal options using single coils or┬áhumbuckers.

I’ve built several amps; some from scratch, some from kits. One of my favourite amps was made from a kit purchased from Trinity Amps out of Toronto (Trinity Amps is currently in Brighton, ON). It was based on a Fender 5E3 Tweed Deluxe circuit. I seriously considered this for Ed, but at 18 watts, I thought it too much amp for beginner home use. I also considered building him a Fender 5F1 Tweed Champ or 5F2-A Tweed Princeton circuit from scratch. Both of these amps would be good starter amps. However, Stephen Cohr’s at Trinity Amps has developed an amp called the Tramp that has “Tweed” and “Tude” switchable tone in one amp. From what I’ve read, the “Tude” mode gives more of a classic British sound where the “Tweed” mode gives classic American sound. It even allows you to substitute different power tubes via a dual bias resistor switch. I felt this amp would be a great starter for Ed, giving him many tonal possibilities with his new guitar. Having dealt with Trinity before, I know they offer great service, a solid product and are affordable.

I discussed this with Becky and she’s since ordered a Tramp combo kit from Trinity. I opted for a 6l6 power tube and will give Ed one of my 6v6 tubes to experiment with.

I’m looking forward to this build.


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