My pedal board is an essential part of my tone. Most of my tours are fly tours. Meaning, promoters, and venues supply all back-line including amps and cabinets. Until my endorsement from Komet Amplifiers, I only traveled with my guitar and effects. Now, in addition to my effects and guitars, I travel with a Komet 19 head, the perfect guitar amp for my tone. The Komet 19 has only three knobs, volume, saturation, and tone. It also has a bright switch which I engage on occasion.
Touring with the Komet 19 means I travel with a much smaller pedal board. My main pedal is the TS808 Tube Screamer which provides midrange boost and sustain. When the amp is set to low volume (club setting) this combo works great. However, the TS808 Tube screamer is not necessary for larger venues where the amp is louder because the amp has a purity when driven hard that a pedal can’t match. In larger venues, the volume knob on my Stratocaster act as my boost. The Komet 19 cleans up well when I turn my guitar volume down. And as for that clean chime Strat tone, well, that’s where the Komet 19’s bright switch shines. My Komet amp has its own sound, but it can be set to overdrive similar to a Marshall or an Orange. It can also give me the clean chime of a Fender but only better because it’s warm not piercing like recent Fender Amps.
Prior to switching to the Komet 19 head, I flew around with a large pedal board. I needed several layers of overdrive and sustain because Fender Twin amps are not built to overdrive its tubes until its volume is on 8 or 10. A Fender Twin with its volume cranked to 10 would be unbearable in a club or small theater setting. Therefore, to get my blues driven tone at low volumes, 3 to 4, I relied on pedals such as my trusty TS808 Tube Screamer. For heavier solo’s I would use a Fuzz Face. For a simple clean boost, it was the EP Booster. Currently, the only drive pedal on my board is the TS808 Tube Screamer. I still place the EP Booster before the TS808 Tube Screamer, but I rarely use it.
Today’s Fender and Marshall amps are not the same as those of the 1960s and ‘70s. I think the Komet 19 is the best amp for blues tone I’ve played through in the 21st century. All its tone and boost was designed to be operated from my guitars’ tone and volume knobs, as it was in the ‘60s and 70s. The Komet 19 is not cheap, it’s an investment.
I am endorsed by Komet but that’s not why I praise their handmade amps. My quest for tone led me to try Komet amps. After I tried them I was sold. Their amps are intuitive. They operate the way I think my guitar amp should. But to each his own. My suggestion would be to invest in the perfect amp head for your style when you can. It will pay-off by making you a better player in the long run.