January 7, 2013 by tonetribune
Just when you think you have tasted every valve flavor and settled on what you like and know, a new lunchbox full of tone turns up on the menu and surpasses all expectations.
I must admit when I was working on Denmark Street and these were on display in the shop next door, I was ignorant to the brand and at the time courting the idea of a Blackstar Artisan 30 (also an excellant Brit-engineered EL84 amp). Little did I know that the Mofo 30 was built here in the UK and engineered by tube amp guru Dave Green of Matamp fame. Boutique build and tone right under my nose and all I had to do was take a whiff!!
Well, here we are in Yorkshire a year later and one turns up in the local Scarborough Cash Convertors. Out go some pedals and in comes the Mofo. Having owned and gigged with most of the other low-watt/lunchbox heads including :Tiny Terror, Nighttrain, JCA20, HT20, Haze, Bumbox, Reeves Custom 12, etc, I was expecting a similar class of tone and scope of features.
After throwing in a quad set of military-spec, NOS, El-84s and Tung-Soling the preamp section, I plug in my trusty Mosrite Ventures Model and hit a big A chord. I am rewarded with a thick velvety chime simply blooming with harmonic overtones. It is immediately apparent that this little black box is different. So begins the exploration. Within the deceptively simple control layout I am dialing in Leave Home era Johnny Ramone, Tres Hombres Gibbons, Tons of Sobs Kossoff, and early Judas Priest Sinner. Backing the gain down off the British side and cranking the presence, you can get the classic chime more commonly associated with a class A British amplifier. From Byrds to Big Star. Plug in to the US side and you notice more bottom end than a P-Funk party!! Edging up the Mofo dial starts multiplying the four stages of gain for a thunderous grind that would do Josh Homme or Buzz Osborne proud. Absolutely hippo-tits heavy.
There is no genre, player or situation that the Mofo can’t handle and it sounds full and rich from whisper quiet on stealth mode, to chest kicking gig levels, all without diluting the tonal tributary with unnecessary switches and gadgetry. This is the amp you always wish the big four would make and stands toe to toe with vintage, contemporary and boutique offerings of all wattages across the board.
Next time someone asks me which amp is mine. I will be cool like Fonzy and retaliate “It’s the one that says Hayden Motherfucker”
For full spec visit Hayden’s website http://www.haydenamps.com/products/#mofo-series