ToneQuest: Review – Fargen Jim Weider Signature Amp

We asked Benjamin Fargen and Mike Piera to comment separately on the development of the Weider Signature amp. Our review follows their interviews…

TQR: Briefly describe the process that was involved dialing in the tone of the amp—how you achieved the higher threshold of clean headroom and power in Channel One, and the Distortion Channel.

Fargen: I built the original JW-40 prototype amp for Jim in late 2004 and it was tweaked over the course of two years as Jim played shows to support his album Percolator. I flew back to New York three times during the process for lone three day weekends of tone tweaking, listening and catching Jim at some live performances. Our job was to outperform Jim’s favorite, modified blackface Deluxe Reverb, which had been his main amp for many years—not an easy task since the amp has some very special qualities that were essential to capture while retaining Jim’s signature sound. We also matched it up to many other vintage Fenders and other high end amps that were in the same league, and when we finally surpassed all of them in tone and clean sustain, we knew we had a good design.

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