So, how do I write a 'testimonial' for my Ken Fox amp ?
Hmmmmmm, guess I should just start right at the start ...

My love of the 5D6C started after a 4 hour drive around the ever congested UK road system, a 3 hour 'check in' and then a 10 hour flight to DFW and then on to the steel guitar Jamboree in Dallas in March 2011 with David Hartley.
We arrived at the hotel pretty much tired and worn out with the intention of having an hour or two of sleep time in our rooms but one of the first folks we bumped into was Ken, he showed us the two of his amps we could use and already I was thinking "Hey, that thing looks 'killer' no way will it sound as good as it looks" ---- boy was I ever wrong !
Ken left them in the 'Rains' steel guitar room and Friday morning Dave and I set them up and I got the shock of a lifetime !, .......... I plugged in the AC, plugged in the (gorgeous) outboard reverb tank, plugged in the Tele and --- it was love at first pick !!, I hardly touched a knob over the whole weekend, it just had 'that' sound right out of the box, Dave plugged in the 5F8B and we were in 'tone heaven' for the whole weekend.
Trying to describe a sound in words is hard enough but the sound of the 5D6C sound is just 'IT' I use all three positions on the Tele switch and this thing just sounds wonderful on all three, thats a rare enough trick but this thing is so even across the whole range, from 'E' string to 'E' string and on up to them 'little bitty' frets right up there at the top.
Its a long time curse of Tele pickers that when the low strings sound good the top turns to an 'ice pick' tone and if the top is right the low end turns to 'mush' --- no, not this thing, it's just warm, even and so responsive all over the neck and across both pick ups.
I almost got in an argument in Dallas with a guy who would NOT believe I only use 9 - 42's, the low end sounds like a grand piano, so much deep, deeeep twaaangg, oh boy, I want to go and play it some more right NOW !
The other knock out feature for me is it's ability to make the sound not only 'louder' but seemingly 'bigger' too, that volume knob just makes the sound swell and it's a real 'room filler' I have used it on stage several times already and still haven't had the need to mic' her up yet and have had nothing but compliments from other band members on how great the sound is, it's there but never overpowering (until you need it to be of course).
I have NEVER gigged an amp before without taking a day or two fiddling and twisting knobs and satisfying myself it would work but the Fox just went straight in the trunk of the car and straight to work and it's like I have been using it for years.
Did I mention the build quality ?, well, it's simply 'first class' throughout, I'm no electrician but I think it's always neat to sneak a peek inside a really well made amp chassis, you can't help but be impressed by the 'fit and finish' of all the leads and components in this thing, it shows that folk making it really do CARE about the end product.
Since I got mine I have also tried it with my Strat, 335 and Les Paul and they ALL sound equally as impressive, each different guitar seems to sound how it is supposed to sound, there's no getting around it, it's just a plain, simple, good lookingtone filled, wonderful guitar amplifier.
After a day or two I had to eMail Ken and tell him that I had a major problem with the knobs on it ! ... I still do !!!, wherever I plant those little chicken headed suckers .... IT JUST SOUNDS GREAT !!
David used Ken's 5F8B with the 15" speaker at Dallas and oh boy !!, we grin like a pair of idiots most of the time when we pick together but we both had extra wide grins that weekend, that 'Rains' steel just sounded gorgeous plugged in to that amp, the 5F HAS to be the best sounding steel amp I have heard in a looong time,
I have suffered beside so many steel players with shocking idea's of what sounds 'good' but i'll tell you, sitting in front of those two amps that weekend was the best seat in the house.
The 'Icing on the cake' for me is the fact that Ken and Ruth have both been so great to deal with, I knew about Ken's usual 'not outside the US' shipping policy and I was a little nervous about asking if it was even possible to send one to me in the UK but .... no problem, between Ken and Ruth and FedEx they managed to get it here safe and sound, no scratches, dents or knocks.
If I had my way Ken and Ruth would be shipping them to the UK regularly !!!
We kept in touch via eMail and I knew the whereabouts and progress of the shipment all the way, thats rare these days, real personal commitment from a manufacturer and it's so cool when you get that personal service.
Yeah, yeah, I have heard all the 'boutique' quotes when talking about a hand made amp but really, compared to what's on the market these days (especially in the UK) nothing comes anywhere near close to this thing for price, tone, build quality or anything else for that matter.
And hey, let it be said, .. Ken is also no mean player of a Tele himself, at Dallas I stood amongst a big crowd of folk listening to him playing some blindingly good fingerstyle on his Tele through one of his amps and thought 'uh oh, this guy knows what he is doing' Ken is 'tech' enough to know the nuts and bolts of how to build a great sounding amp but he's also musician enough to know the results of what all that Ďtechí stuff does for a players sound too.
I just canít recommend these amps enough, playing through a great amp really enhances the experience of playing your guitar, now I can do just that, I just reach over and flip those switches, twist those knobs around and iím good for the night !!, I havenít watched TV for days now !

So, how do I write a 'testimonial' for my Ken Fox amp ? ......... looks like I just did !
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Thanks to John for taking a "leap of faith" to play our amp at the Dallas Show this year. If you get a moment please our videopage for more of Johns great playing along side David Hartley, the "Steelmeister" of the UK!Also see John at his homepage, click the button below to go there!!
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