There are a lot of great amps on the market, and finding the right one can be difficult. I was looking for an amp that was loud, sturdy, dependable, played well with pedals, and had the capacity for both a great clear tone and an overdriven-tube grit. The fact that there was a company run by kindred spirits that could make a simple, solid, awesome tube amp for the same list price as the mass-produced manufactured-overseas strip-mall amps really made the decision buy a Verellen amp a no-brainer. The only bummer is that I love my Meatsmoke so much that anytime we play overseas and i have to rent different gear, it never even comes close to replicating the full-bodied punch of my Verellen bass amp. – Brian Cook
Kyle Shutt and Bryan Richie
Kyle : “The Skyhammer has the thickest wall of gain I’ve ever seen in an amp, it’s a real beast. Be afraid, be very afraid.”
Bryan : “Over the last 20 years I’ve played just about every bass amp there is and I can say, without a shadow of a doubt, that the Verellen Meatsmoke is the BEST amplifier available. This amplifier has an incredible range that can go from squeeky clean to completely covered in filth in a flick of a switch. I would also like to state that Ben Verellen is one hell of a designer, engineer, public relations manager, and shredder.”
I’ve been looking for
something like this for a long time. It’s so nice to be able to plug
in your amp and know that it will be loud and clear, and that I don’t
have to struggle with an amp that is…struggling
Sick Of It All
with his MJOLNIR
The most pleasant and accessible crushing sound I have ever had the privilege of being apart of. The treble range sounds full but hard and big like a hammer but never brittle and annoying. The mids cut hard if I want them to or back off and mellow either by knob turning or from changing hand pressure. Very responsive expressive amp that does what I ask it to do. The lows are convincing and thumping but never muddy and still come through even the thickest of mixes. This thing breathes and is alive and organic. It’s like my own personal beast that responds to me in heavy metal language. Buy one or don’t but make sure you play one to see what the potential of the American tube amp can really be.
Working with Ben both met and exceeded my expectations, he helped me get everything I wanted from my amp, from tone to color. When I received the head I was blown away, it’s the most beautiful amp I’ve ever seen, and it sounds HUGE. The other guitarist in my band has to use two heads just to be heard when I’m playing. It’s awesome.
I LOVE my Meatsmoke. It is definitely my favorite bass amp I’ve ever played through, the sound is just crushing and it looks killer. Ben was super easy to deal with and was able to incorporate a few custom features in a relatively short turnaround time before I left for tour. I’ve had it for 2.5 years now and it’s been totally reliable and always sounds awesome. I have to play on random rented or borrowed backlines sometimes and whenever I do, I can’t wait to get home and play the Meatsmoke again, it has spoiled me.
This amp is a godly entity that produces an unbelievable, and ENORMOUSLY devastating tone none stop on the overdrive channel. I fucking love it. The clean channel is absolutely supreme; and the best part is both channels can be dialed in perfectly depending on ones playing style and timbre. Working with you was an awesome experience, and a pleasure. Your passion and sincerity is highly rare and admirable. Thank you very much for this piece of art.
Back in 2010, I decided to do my internship abroad. After a few phone calls with Ben, I ended up spending a few weeks interning in the shop in Seattle.
I had an amazing time learning about amps, pedals, cabs building and whatnot. I went to shows of my favorite bands, met great people and came back to France more motivated than ever to work with them again.
When I got the money, I got myself a Meatsmoke, and since then, every show had ended by ” duude what’s your amp over there ? “.
Thanks guys !
BISHOP and MÖRDWÖLF
A friend of mine moved from the East Coast to Seattle a few years back, and told me about Ben Verellen and the amps that he builds and designs. He knew that I was frustrated with my large rack setup, and suggested pulling the trigger and going MEATSMOKE. I finally did it, and will never look back. From the minute I received my Meatsmoke in the mail, I knew that this was very different than every other gear purchase I had made in my life. The woodwork is stunning; every knob and component on it is not “cheap” but built to last. And the sound (the most important part) is the sound that I had always heard in my head but could never quite achieve. I can get everything from that “Bogdan” grind that I grew up listening to and inspired by, to an all- out nuclear explosion on channel two (that is heavy and yet very musical). There’s an old saying, “They don’t make em’ like they used to.” Ben Verellen IS making them like they used to; only better. www.bishopmusic.com www.Facebook.com/bishopmusic www.mordwolf.com www.facebook.com/mordwolf
I love Verellen Amplifiers. I have my reasons.
Firstly, the Meatsmoke. This thing has so much depth. Clean tones with this amp are incredible, and I’ve never heard an overdrive channel with this much bite. It eats up distortion and fuzz boxes like you wouldn’t believe. You simply cannot get this sort of sound out of a mass-market amp. I use it for guitar and bass, and it’s amazing for both. If you want an amp that can sound like a Marshall, don’t get this amp. If you want an amp that can sound like a Marshall getting destroyed by a dinosaur with a chainsaw, get this amp.
Secondly, the Big Spider. It has this thick and intense distorted sound with an almost pixellated undertone to it and a springy response that doesn’t sound or play like anything else I’ve ever come across. If you’re looking for something brutal and unique, get this pedal.
Thirdly, everything they make is built like a goddamn tank. A gorgeous wooden tank that sounds like angels.
Lastly, Ben and crew are amazing. Ben is probably the nicest guy you will ever meet. And he knows his shit. Give him your money. You will get awesomeness in return.
After trying one of Ben’s Spaldo models in a local shop, I contacted him to see about his higher gain and wattage amplifiers. After spending some time with Ben, going over my needs and wants for a new amp, I felt like he was the right man for the job. I expressed my need for flexibility with modern high gain, but my love for vintage tone. Ben was more than happy to accommodate those needs and truly created an amplifier that was voiced perfectly for my playing style and choice in instrument. I am amazed at the level of power, tightness, and clarity this amp is capable of achieving. Never before have I played an amp that sounded so full, warm, and bright.
The level of service that Ben provided was great. Ben was more than helpful when it came to answering questions, and was able to complete the project in a timely fashion. The pricing was more than fair and quite affordable. Ben even took the amplifier to the next step by adding an addition crunch channel, making the amp more flexible and enjoyable. I am 100% pleased with the level of service I received and in quality of the finished product. Cheers to Ben.
My Verellen Model T clone and my Electric together make the sickest rig around!
Bassist for, Arm the Chicken Cannon
and Tastes like Chicken.
Discovered Ben and his gear through a friend. And very glad i did.
Not only do these cool Amps and cabinets have the roar of a freight train, they are immaculately hand built with the very best parts money can buy.
Bens customer service is impeccable. Every question answered in detail,
plus his ideas on how to build an even better version of your dream custom gear.
Living in Vietnam has many challenges, and there’s no access to high end gear here.
After nutting out what i was after, Ben and his team got stuck in,
photographed every step of the way, shipped it to VN, we plugged it in, cranked it up,
and watched the locals punters chins hit the floor.
Then we ordered more gear from Ben.
Yep, it’s that good.
Tim Van Der Lee
Like any musician, amps go in, amps go out. The Meatsmoke however will stay till the end. The search is over.
As for Verellen customer service, I could not be happier to have my questions answered as quickly as the folks at Verellen do!
As a huge fan of 70’s amps, like the Sunn Model T, I was looking for a versatile, warm and vintage sounding low/mid-gain guitar amp with set of planet sized cojones sized and truckloads of dynamic range. After some serious digging and searching through lots of different makers, boutiques and brands, oh boy did I find one that was just perfect. I talked with Ben about what I was looking for in an amp and after few modifications on Loucks circuit, this dirty lady in red, “Laine” was born. With outstanding custom sized 4×12 Verellen cab this truly bi-polar and versatile Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde comes alive with angelic cleans and demonic overdrives that can deliver such loads of dynamic range, clarity and balls bigger than East-Germany’s women’s shot put team. It’s absolutely insane. When there’s words like “no” and “not possible” lacking from Ben’s vocabulary, and with top notch point-to-point quality and superb customer service, one can’t help but feel privileged to be a Verellen customer.
It was a long road of secondhand, and substandard amplifiers, and equipment that led me to realize I had to find something unique to fit me. After looking around quite a bit, I was intrigued to find a local shop focusing on some of my favorite designs from the past along with unrivaled build quality, and offering full customization as well, Verellen Amplifiers! Ben and the guys were great about walking me through how they do things, and letting me get some face time with a few of their different models, and I never got the vibe that it was a bother to them at all. I placed my order, and in spite of it being something they had never done before, my build was completed right on schedule! To date this is still my favorite amp I have ever laid ears or eyes on! Not a single issue since day one and I could not be more pleased. Big thanks to Ben and all the crew at Verellen, Don’t change a thing guys! The Elder Loucks Rules!
I contacted Ben about building something simple and powerful to run my Meatsmoke and Skyhammer preamp pedals through and we came up with the Monozygotic Twin amplifier. It’s essentially 2 separate 100 watt amps in one enclosure that can be used separately or as a single 200 watt amp. Now I lug this beast around instead of 2 heads and it’s equally as devastating with guitar or bass and can power up to 4 cabinets. I’ve never had so many people ask me about my gear as I have with this amp. Simplicity + Diversity = Verellen
H”My Verellen amplifier is, by far, the best piece of equipment I’ve purchased. Not only does the amp have incredible tone and texture when turned up, it also retains that same depth when turned down for home recording projects. This is not the case for alot of amps, in my experience. Most thin out at lower volumes which makes writing less fun when working at home. Also, not only does my own crappy guitar sound great through it (read; Danelectro-good crappy!) but my piano also sounds great as well and the natural overdrive gives it a more interesting character. I cannot recommend Verellen amplifiers enough and I get alot of compliments on the obvious craftmanship that goes into their work. Thank you so much Ben, everyone should be so lucky to have one!” http://www.myspace.com/heatherduby
meatsmoke is still awesome, skyhammer still ruins faces, i’m getting pms about the beard spider. life is good dude.
My custom Loucks with reverb is more than an amp. It’s a versatile shrine of sound that can either scream and belt out a roaring, growling fuzz or a gentle, crystal-clean tone. Playing live, this amp’s unique heavy voice crushes and punishes the audience, much like a bag full of hammers. In the recording studio, it cuts through the mix like a samurai sword crafted by an insane, angry god. This is the kind of sound my band, We Are All Savages, strive to construct.
Ben Verellen is an extremely easy guy to work and communicate with. It was easy to describe what kind of amp I was looking for and it turned out exactly what I was expecting. I was so pleased with the construction of the amp that I also ordered a road case to go with it. Mike Erdman not only did a tremendous job building a solid and reliable case, but he crafted a real work of art.
Do yourself a favor and get yourself a Verellen amp. No words can accurately describe how loud and thunderous this head really is; you’ll just have to hear one for yourself!
Thanks Ben – it sounds awesome!
“My Verellen amplifier is its own deity. It reminds me that I will die someday and be shit out by worms. When you turn that fucker on it’s like hot, scalding, half & half shooting through a fire hose. It will piss off everyone in your band that doesn’t have one. You will cut their tone into pieces and then they’ll spend an illogical amount of time fucking with their knobs trying to balance shit out, wondering why they sound crappy all of a sudden. Now I know how Ripley felt when she backhanded that alien bitch queen into space with a giant robot suit.”
It’s not just a clever name… the Skyhammer sounds like the hammer of Thor reaching out of the clouds and bashing in the skulls of every mere mortal on earth. Once I started playing the Verellen, all my other amps had no choice but to a back seat… it can run a full stack with no sweat and has a super dynamic range of tones. Top quality, beautifully finished and I can rest assured of the quality because Ben actually gives a f*** about every single thing that comes out of his shop. I’d say I’d buy another one, but I probably will never need another amp.
This amp came from Seattle all the way to the bottom of New Zealand to hang out with me and my cat. The search for tone brought me to the Verellen website 3 years ago, and the aesthetics and promise of huge guitar tone hooked me pretty quickly. Ben was the coolest guy ever, putting up with my constant nagging and vague emails. From my descriptions of what I wanted, Ben was able to build the 300 Watt monster that I plug into now. It does everything I ever wanted, and the bells and whistles that I asked for just make it that much more intuitive. I couldn’t be more happy with my MEAT HAMMER (the name is a great conversation starter).
My Goodness, Absolute Monarchs
I’d have to say that I love the Pre, and it is exactly what I was looking for. Sounds great, and the build quality, is second to none. The fact that it is a true two channel bass pre is just icing on the cake, and has motivated Me to ditch some of the overdrive pedals that I’ve had on My pedal board for some time.
The Skyhammer is a beautiful brute of an amp. Thickness, clarity and all sorts of sonic punch, it’s a monster capable of pushing out fat clean tones as well as enormous high gain. I use it bi-amped with a Marshall JCM800 and the two amps working in unison create a devastating wall of tone that moves the Earth. I live on the other side of the country and communication with Ben at Verellen HQ was always quick, informative, fair and helpful. Thank you guys for making such quality gear and offering such excellent service.
You can’t beat the customer service that Ben Verellen provides. Verellen made ordering the amp easy; and, he always responded quickly to any questions I had during the process. Solid tonecompany. I used the Skyhammer for the albums my crappy band recorded in 2011 & 2013. Thank ya!
When the first time i saw the Verellen Meat Smoke,
it was the most bad-ass looking amp ever.
and it sounded the part. never thought of my self buying a boutique amp since i love vintage amps so much.
the quest for my bass amp is over as i’ve found the heaviest amp in sound and weight, all in 1!
“Ben made exactly the amplifier I’ve allways wanted with a little more. The tone was better than i hoped for while the construction inside and out is beautiful. Working with Ben has been great and i would recommended to anyone looking for a high quality amplifier”
Often boutique amps (that are not uber metal high gain types) are just too dainty. Not my Verellen amps. My Spaldo and Coop each have tremendous tone, clarity and girth depending on what I need. While excessive volume is not
always necessary for studio work, these amps are LOUD and best of all, have headroom for days. His 4×12 handles more low end than any 4×12 I have owned. Which will be extremely helpful with some of the down tuned bands I work with.
These amps have been invaluable additions to my recording studio. I am sure I will own a Louckes and a Meatsmoke soon enough.”
Produced/Engineered: Pearl Jam, Mastodon, Minus the Bear, Isis, Russian Circles…
Gavin Tull Esterbrook
I truely believe that Verellen Amplifiers is estalishing a new iconic sound in the world of guitar amplification. Everytime I play through my Verellen custom 200 watt bass amp, I feel like its sonic quality is not just inspiring but partnering with the music I write. This and the sheer quality of its build make it quite simply the last amp I’ll need to buy. I love it. I’m also fortunate to own a dual channel Meatsmoke preamp and a 2X15 speaker cabinet I designed and had Verellen Ampliphiers build. Both are indespensible, especially the preamp. Whether I’m modeling and increasing the line level of my vintage p-bass into my amp, or recording right in to a mixing board, or using it to create huge fuzz tones, the Meatsmoke preamp is always in my chain. It is also fortunate that Ben Verellen is as solid and rich in character as his amps. Always one to be attentive, knowledgeable and excited (even so much that you think he may keep your project for himself), the process of working with Ben couldn’t have been more positive.
The Swan Thief
Ben was honest, enthusiastic and willing to take any suggestions I threw out. He can build anything you can think of. The result was a beautiful amp, aurally and aesthetically. I’m looking forward to my next purchase.
“The Skyhammer I bought from Verellen is probably my favorite thing I own. Fully satisfied. When I was considering buying one I was lucky enough to see Helms Alee in Buffalo NY. I was almost equally as excited to hear the Verellen amps first hand as I was to see Helms Alee play. Band was great and their sound and tone was awesome. I needed a Verellen amp. I trusted his description of the amp, and didn’t need anything else done to it. “…Excels at palm-muting, searing leads, and endless controllable feedback”, hell yes. The thing is SOLID, sounds so full and tough and deep, and has incredibly pretty cleans. It’s also the nicest looking thing I own. Dealing with him is great too. It’s nice to be able to call them up and talk to who is actually building your amp. My only concern was not with them at all, but with UPS or FedEx or whoever was delivering the thing since I live in New York state. When I got the amp, I was literally impressed with how Ben packaged it. So for anyone worried about shipping an amp, you can relax and have piece of mind while it’s in transit. It’ll get to you just the way it left. They really care about what they make over there. I’m glad to have supported them, and lucky to have this amp. Buy one.”
I couldn’t be happier with my Verellen stack!
sounds freaking awesome, thanks for the good work!
shits badass as fuck!!!!
I love this thing. Cuts through any mix and has the most pleasant meaty breakup on bass and adds a warm rounded bite to my Moog Taurus III bass pedals. Handles any kind of fucked up signal I throw at it and has the most usable EQ section out of any amp I’ve owned. Similar to a pultec style EQ, no matter how much you give or take with it, it always sounds great. Very musical. Ben goes through hell and back to make sure you’re absolutely satisfied with your sound. Thanks Ben!
After getting an insanely impressive first taste of Verellen Amplifiers at a live show, I immediately contacted Ben simply knowing I had to have a Skyhammer. Ben happily answered all my questions and promptly supplied me with the most beautiful piece of equipment I currently own. This amp was a total game changer for me and my band. The Skyhammer has a thick and full tone, but is more than sharp enough to cut through the mud. I couldn’t be happier with tone I am getting out of the Skyhammer. From ordering my amp, to working on a shirt design with Ben, all my dealings with Verellen have been top notch.
I’m truly in love with the amp. It gives me great pleasure playing with it!I don’t remember being more pleased with any other purchase I’ve ever made. Your product is phenomenal and customer service is the best I’ve ever witnessed in my entire life. You’re an inspiration.
my big pink spider. it gets love.
Loather, Studio Aphasia
big sound. bigger personality.
Being a resident of The Great State of Texas (make sure that stays in caps, Ben) I was a little nervous to purchase an amp sight unseen, sound unheard, and have it shipped half way across the more inferior states. When it arrived it looked stunning, but unfortunately there was a small problem of some sort with the electronics. Ben, being the good person and businessman he is, immediately shipped me another amp and paid to have the first one returned to his shop. The second amp arrived promptly, sounded amazing, and has been a treasured possession ever since.
When you get a Verellen Amp you are getting a piece of beauty that is made by craftsmen who love what they do. Mike’s carpentry is gorgeous, Ben’s electronics are versatile and dynamic, and the end result is a piece of art embedded with all the magic and intent you would expect of something handcrafted with love. It also has the power to whisper lovingly or rip all your doors off their hinges.
Ben will actually take the time to have a lengthy phone conversation in order to design and build just the right amp for your needs and wants. He is there for any question you may have. If there is a problem he will take care of it immediately. I’m damned happy with my Verellen amp and my experience with everyone at Verelln Amps, so much so that I’m planning to buy another.
I Love my Verellen.
Shit Ben! This amp is awesome! Sounds fantastic, and looks great. Didn’t take me long to dial in the tone I’ve been looking for. Well worth the wait. Thanks so much for a great amp, tell Mike thanks too for the hard work on the enclosure’s.
Being a musician in the underground music scene you deal with a lot of shady people. It runs the gamut from promoters to your fellow musicians. So it was a surprising when I got a phone call one day at work from Ben Verellen. I had discussed purchasing an amp via email and worked out the price of my custom amp. Before I made a payment Ben called me to make sure he knew exactly what I wanted before putting down any money. What was this? Business owners don’t call customers! This guy does, because he cares. On to the amp. My 200 watt Loucks has the ability to go from rich, full cleans with twang and punch or a deep Bluesy thump to an overdrive channel that excels at thick, dense fuzz distortion. The kind that has me answering questions from gear heads at most shows we play. The kind that warms my soul. It is an amp that sounds incredible as is, without the use of a single pedal making it great to build your sound. It’s also beautifully crafted and solid as a goddamn battering ram. Overall the amp and the people who make them are heads above the rest. I’m a Verellen lifer.
I’ve had endless amounts of fun spec’ing out gear with Ben Verellen. The first time it was a 30W twin 12″ EL84 subtle powerhouse with reverb and tremolo that Ben made by basically combining some of the best, most direct circuits in history, with enough custom charm added to make it totally unique. The reverb alone makes it worth the price of submission, and when the amp isn’t being played, it’s my favorite piece of furniture in the house. I enjoyed the experience of buying that amp so much I wanted to see what Ben could do cloning/improving an extinct Gibson stereo amp design, and he came up with a monster. Nobody who’s heard this thing doesn’t think it’s the best amplifier they’ve ever been in a room with. The Verellen team made it with a wedge-shaped baffle to make the stereo aspects more distinct, and Ben revolutionized the original design by dedicating the tremolo and reverb to separate channels. It’s basically two amps in one, and with multiple ins you can even play it with two guitars at once. It’s a looper’s delight, and so unique I’m shocked it exists. A few years after that I had a bass cabinet made just because nothing off the market matches the quality and style of my Verellens. Give it some time and I’m sure I’ll be back for something else.
“Ben made the most bitchen amp for me. It is a tonal monster. The gain is strictly ridiculous. Very loud. It has a Sky Hammer preamp and a Meat Smoke power amp with a Wah curcit built in. The cabinet has two twelves and one eighteen. I am still in awe of the sound it makes. It has opened up a new realm of what kind of noise an electric bass or guitar can actually make. This amp takes a huge dump on all the others I have ever played through. Interstellar sonic generator. Thanks Ben.”
Cold Snap (http://coldsnap.bandcamp.com)
My 100 watt Coop is the best sounding amp i’ve owned. Loud, clean tone that sounds absolutely massive through my 2×15 cabinet. I’ve used this amp for guitar, and bass both live and recorded and its never let me down. Ben’s customer service has been great from first contact to a recent minor repair.
OXBLOOD uses two MEAT SMOKEs because they are the most brutal amps you can get. Seriously, they sound buttery smooth when you want them to on both guitar and bass, and will lay waste to your audience when you need them to. They respond perfectly to how you play ’em. We’d never want to play through anything else. Also, they will make you strong and better looking.
Hurry Up Shotgun
I first started looking for an amp that would limit the amount of equipment that i had to lug around and sounded better than my vintage gear. A friend told me about their new amp called a BROAD GUAGE that was originally designed for those Rickenbacher basses that are in stereo with one 50 watt amp for one pick up and a 200 watt amp for the other pick up. I immediately saw the the potential of this very special amp to replace my dual amp set up. One amazing head that did the work of TWO! Ooooh la la! Problem solved! I called the shop and Ben helped me pick the specifications that worked best for my needs. All of this was shipped to my front door in ready to tour shape! So, from my Gibsons to the huge signal splitting effects array into the Verellen BROAD GUAGE where channel (A) is 50 watts of sweet tone like a blackface bassman creamdream punched through a Green 212 cab. The other channel (B) is 200 watts with a tube distortion. This channel to my ear is like a Marshall major mixed with a Sunn stadium. I like to push that with a marshall 2/15 cab. Yeah I said that. Fucking wow! I may buy another amp but honestly…. I will never need another amp. Ever.
Alexander ScheglovCant get enough of this beast! Ben is a true wizard of amps
When I came to Ben and asked him for a high power amp designed to bring the black metal, he did not disappoint. My 200 watt Skyhammer appropriately named ‘Despair’ is everything I wanted and more. I can get any combination of tones that I could possibly want to achieve, from an old-school shred sound, to new school atmospheric stuff, and even things I wasn’t expecting to achieve; like a classic orange tone(it seriously can replicate it if I dial it in right), or even crushing sound that is too heavy to properly to describe, this amp does it all. I am so happy with my amp, and the way Ben approaches customer service (he is seriously the nicest dude), that I plan on going to Verellen for all of my amplifier needs! I recommend these to everyone I know. Thank you Verellen for the best piece of equipment I own.
I dropped in on Ben more or less unannounced on my North American backpacking adventure and within about 10 minutes I was absolutely sold on the Meat Smoke amplifier. Ben was great to talk to; he walked me through the process of building the amplifier explaining how his differ from the run-of-the-mill mass production market. It was however the power and the clarity of the Meat Smoke that grabbed me. It’s by far the simplest head to dial in any tone you’re looking for whether it’s woolly and bass heavy overdrive or a punchy clean tone with enough warmth to get you through a blizzard. Back at home, communicating with Ben through an email was a breeze, the build time was quick and when my amp rocked up in the mail I had a smile so big I needed a second set of teeth to fill it. My Meat Smoke is a great piece of technology built by someone who could only be described as a super swell guy.
Marmot vs. Mammoth, The Wasted Years Podcast
I played a vintage Vox AC30 for years, and loved the tone. I really like to violently scrape people’s inner ear with treble. But what a temperamental bastard that amp was! It was always in the shop, and taking it out on the road only worsened the problem. I went to Ben to discuss building an amp based on the AC30, but with a little more balls, and without the built-in tremolo. What I got is my perfect amp. With the 3-band EQ, I can dial in the classic AC30 sound, no problem. But I can also add more bass if called for. The spring reverb unit Ben added is deep. Deep like a bottomless pit. And this thing is LOUD. It’s 30 watt Class A and easily can overpower everyone else in my bands. It’s got a smaller-size head, and a 2×12 upright cabinet, making it far easier to cart around than a combo. Best of all, it’s not temperamental. I can get all the tone I want without having the thing in the shop every few months. Did I mention it’s beautiful? Working with Verellen was a great experience all around. Highly recommended. (links: mvsm – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Marmot-vs-Mammoth/147999541962618; Wasted Years – http://www.wastedyearspodcast.com/)
was initially a little anxious dealing with Ben from the other side of the world (Brisbane, Australia), but there’s something very calming and reassuring about the way how Ben does business. He was more than happy to answer all my stupid questions, even a couple of years on I still get cheerful responses. My only issue with Ben is that he lives all the way over in Seattle and it’d cost me $2000 to thank him in person. Everything else is amazing; the wiring, the wooden enclosure, even the shipping packaging was great. For interests sake, I play in an atmospheric black metal band called Hope Drone (www.hopedrone.bandcamp.com) and a mathcore band called Plainview (www.plainview.bandcamp.com). I would recommend a nice, heavy bass with heavy gauge strings and you can never have too many speakers!
Mike and Adam
La Fin du Monde
Proud owners of Big Spider. http://www.myspace.com/lafindumondeband
“The Meatsmoke OD is everything I wished for in a bass amp and more. Elegant and sturdy design with lots and lots of tone that’s out of this world. The clean channel is awesome by itself, but it’s the OD channel where this amp truly shines. Ben’s not kidding about the “crushes all” bit!” http://www.myspace.com/horselatitudesmetal
Deadman, At All Times
“In both bands I am a part of, I felt a nagging desire to set us up with formidable tube amps. There is something …ethereal about tube tone. It has a presence that you really cannot replicate with a solid state head. Tube tone is, to an extent, felt more than heard. I needed to achieve this. After years of research, I decided to contact Ben. After a couple of quick messages back and forth via the web, he begun building my amp, and within a month’s time, I was dangerously and clumsily carrying the enormous thing into my house to open excitedly, as though it were Christmas day. I must congratulate Ben for putting together the Meat Smoke’s circuit. He has taken some of the most renowned tube bass amp circuits, and bred a true beast of an amp. Fans of Matamp bass heads, or Ampeg SVTs would be impressed. This thing is the most versatile bass head I’ve ever played through. There’s plenty of gain, and just as much clean tone. I think the thing that has hit me the hardest about it is that when you have it turned up all the way it actually makes you feel tired after maybe ten minutes of playing it (don’t ever do that without earplugs. It hurts to play it at 12 oclock without earplugs in). There aren’t any bad sounding settings on this amp, and it’s worth every penny, especially considering the amps that can compete with it cost almost twice as much, and are far more difficult to get a hold of. MEAT SMOKE!!!”
Book of Black Earth
“This head is the loudest thing I’ve ever heard in my life. The sound of this higher watt is unstoppable, I can literally play it all day long.” http://www.myspace.com/bookofblackearth
with Verellen Cab “My open-backed Verellen cabinet is perfect. It sounds KILLER, it’s light enough to carry easily and, like all the Verellen amps I’ve seen so far, it’s absolutely eye-catching –both for its minimalist aesthetic and for the obviously high standard of craftsmanship that went into it.”
Blame it on the girl
“This amp is the most natural sounding guitar amp I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing. Ben and Desmond are good peoples.” http://www.myspace.com/blameitonthegirl
Ghost Towns of the West, Brüder
“I had been looking for an amp for about a year, I had heard of Verellen through a friend, nothing had the girth nor great look like a Verellen. My friend loved his custom amp, so I got a hold of Ben and he gladly helped me get a real beast on my hands. This amp delivers tidal waves of steady blood, laced with wind amongst a thousand sands!! Truly satisfied”. http://www.myspace.com/ghosttownsofthewest
( France ) “I bought the Loucks without testing it, but now, i do not regret it at all! Thus, it is the first time that I do not have the impression to face an amp filled with electronics. Indeed, the overdrive is very natural and characteristic. I used to play guitar with a violin bow and Loucks is perfect for this! To conclude, every notes are discernible even with a hight overdrive. I’m very satisfied!” http://www.myspace.com/joesson
“When Ben first told me that he was going to begin building amps, I wanted to be the first in line to get my hands on one. As I suspected, the custom 2×10 combo that Ben built for me was and still is the greatest investment in music I have ever made. The tone (and volume!) on this beast is unmatched. This amp eats other amps for breakfast.” http://www.myspace.com/theyuzh
Some girls, Narrows, Unbroken
“Meat Smoke has the punch and tones I need to to melt faces. 300w of blistering low end that I can soak with overdrive with a twist of a knob. Clear and crisp tones when I need it too. I’ve used SVT, Orange and Mesa in the past…after this, I will never use anything else again. Viva Verellen!” www.myspace.com/narrows
Black Sleep of Kali
“The Loucks Smoke has allowed me to cut through for once, in what is usually a muddy situation. The tone, clarity and control of this amp is everything I have ever wanted. I feel now I can crank up the amp without feeling like I’m shredding people’s ears apart. There is much devastation to be made with this beast of a head.” http://www.myspace.com/blacksleepofkali
With the Meatsmoke “The Meatsmoke coupled with a Verellen 4×12 delivers the perfect amount of punch/cut on the clean tone with some of the heaviest dirt on the OD channel I have ever heard. Perfect tone on all ends! Ben was also extremely helpful / just an all around great dude in regards to customer service!”
“The head and cabinet that Ben built for me based upon the ’59 Bassman is awesome for two reasons. Firstly, it’s a beautiful, point-to-point wired, high-quality amp of top-notch components built by a guy and his associates who truly love amps, plainly put. From the little touches like dovetailed joinery, spring reverb, the classy handles, to sheer simplicity of function, this is an amp built by a crew that knows and loves what they’re doing. Secondly, there is the pure tone of it. Sound is faithful to the original but with a different character of its own altogether, the tubes break earlier and with serious power. And when I wasn’t 100% satisfied with the way it sounded at first, sheerly a matter of indecisiveness on my part, Ben was eager and willing to make any changes at no cost whatsoever. That’s why Verellen is a company to pay attention to. It’s like the thought pattern and circuits designed to be improved upon behind the Fullerton-era amps revisited. These folks understand not only how to build amplifiers that are themselves instruments, but also how to run a small business with respect to both the product and the customer. People talk about the genius of certain amplification greats who needn’t be named for their circuitry and innovation, and Ben understands those things as well as the best of them. He is taking circuits that are tested by time and adding the extra touches that only someone who knows amps this well can do, but in addition to that, you can tell that he is doing this cause he loves it and wants to improve and build upon the classics to make something unique and, well, totally awesome. Needless to say, highly recommended.”
I’m totally overjoyed at how amazing this sounds, and everything I play through pales in comparison. There’s a pretty well outfitted sound room where I work (Dunlop), with lots of new and vintage gear and, frankly, none of it stacks up to the Verellen / Monolith.
With the Meatsmoke “Repeat customer here. Yes, it is THAT damn good.””
Throne of Bone
Rocking out “The Louks is a monster! Within the first few minutes of playing it I found the guitar tone I’ve been looking for for years, and the level of service that Ben provides with it is unmatched… I doubt many people have had a Marshall tech show up at their practice space an hour before a show to help troubleshoot! I highly recommend this to any guitarist looking for loud balls, a unique guitar sound and a product fully backed by its maker.”
Sounds siiiiick! Johnathan Swafford, Spencer O’nan & Rob Hampton of Sun Ladders Bronzin next to the Verellen Meat Smoke preamp pedal during recording sessions in NYC.
Fresh off the production line and pushed hard through a full afternoon in the studio and then powering the backline for a 7 band label showcase in the same night, this thing can handle a beating. It gives me the meaty tone I’m looking for and I couldn’t be happier with its performance. Beat your meat!
J. Michael Jochum
“The Spaldo combo comes with all the bells and whistles: a Volume knob and a Tone knob. A super warm clean tone and overdriven, it sounds like the best parts of a Vox, Marshall, Hiwatt and Orange. It handles fuzz, overdrive and delay pedals beautifully. Unbelievable recording amp and at 15 watts of Class A deliciousness, great for small to medium sized venues. I fucking love this amp!!!” http://www.myspace.com/eldermason
Jimmy Van Galder
PLAZA & Model Snake
When I first got my amp and 2/12 cab I was floored how rad it was! I got the tone I desired along with the craftsmanship. Ben is great to bounce ideas off for custom amps, good times…The lifetime limited warranty blew my mind again. https://www.facebook.com/plazatheband/
“the tone this monster packs has brought my sound to an all new Xtreme. with pops as clear as any of the best bootsy licks and the solid low of our messiah the great les claypool (the second frog brigade album not the lame, lame primus shit). this amp completes me.” http://www.myspace.com/elphabaland
With the Meatsmoke “I’m blown away by the meat smoke!!!! ….this bass head is the best sounding bass head i’ve ever played through. Unlike many of the other top of the line heads that i’ve owned and played through, the meat smoke is transparent and powerful. It’s got tons of headroom and punch not to mention versatility…everthing from latin, jazz, reggae, metal and what ever else is out there this head can more than hang! Ben, thank you, i’m looking forward to the cool new sounds you’ll be developing in the future..Peace!”
I speak in calculus
“Being the lone guitarist in a band challenges me to fill the void of the non-existent second guitar. I did some research trying to find the right guitar cabinet to expand my live rig from a single cabinet to a pair of 4×12’s, and thats when I found Verellen. From the second this cabinet arrived, I knew it was gonna be incredible. I could tell it was well built, and the birch looks amazing on it. This cab puts out an awesome low end that is just right, and it has the best midrange punch I’ve heard from a 4×12 cab yet. On top of that, my clean’s shine through crystal clear. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Ben, you are the man!” http://www.myspace.com/ispeakincalculus
The Verellen Loucks the pinnacle of guitar amplification. Other high end amps always have a weak spot that bottlenecks creativity. This is where the Loucks shines, it is a beautiful amp that boundlessly expresses creativity and musical innovation. This amp breathes! It has unbelievable power, and volume. Its timbre is dynamic, musical, versatile and very responsive. I am in awe of the clarity of this amp. It has that truly unique Verellen character that is very warm, and almost woody in the way only a real point to point tube amp can be. This is real high fidelity, factors like strings, pickup design, phase switching, guitar woods and hardware can take on a new importance. The Loucks handles guitar effects very well with enhanced clarity and power. The EQ controls of the amp are truly a paradox of tonal architecture; simple yet seemingly limitless. The gain channel is out of this world. Its spectrum of tones go from warm vintage overdrive, to rip your fucking face off jet engine harmonic hell. Its pretty amazing how well you can dial in your favorite classic rock tones with the warmth, clarity, and character. The reverb can go from an icy hockey rink to a damp, dark, mountain cave. It can be subtle, bouncy, glassy, and quite deep. I have the Loucks with added reverb and the matching 4×12 cab and I have had so much fun with it, I’m so glad I got it. These amps are the best combination of golden age electronic craftsmanship, great ideas, and a ‘no bullshit’ attitude. Get one, you won’t regret it! Thanks Ben, you kick ass!
Before I got my Verellen Meatsmoke Pre-amp, tonal life for me was boring and always a fight. I run a solid-state bass rig that boasted all the “modern” conveniences: built in compression, tube “emulation”, tuner, variable eq frequencies and programmable memory settings. All of these perks would lead one to believe they could dial in their favorite tones with smart-bomb like precision. Not true. After months, I was still tweaking the sound all the time yet unable to get the warm bottom end indicative of something with a pulse. Enter the Meatsmoke pre-amp. This thing was the answer to my prayers for warm, rich tone. These days I hardly interact with my power amp, everything I need is right at my feet. I can dial in tones from warm to aggressive quickly and predictably. The built in overdrive will cook a large steak in a matter of seconds and is the best distortion I’ve heard for bass. Easily the best piece of gear I own.
“I contacted Ben and asked if team Verellen could make a 200 Watt Hiwatt CP 103 clone, with a little more of a kick on the Overdrive. This was to be my first Tube driven amplifier, and I was stoked to hear it. The moment it got to Chicago I was in awe in how beatiful the amp was visually, from the green power jewel, to the chicken beak volume knobs. I rushed to my bands practice space and we went at it! Hands down the loudest Amp I’ve ever played out of. I played a show that same night with it, and it just sounded like evertything I wanted it to.This amp is reall thick, disgustingly rich, and the notal clarity is very audible, even as the amps overdrive is pushed to the limits. After a week on the Road, the amp held up the riggors of that crammed van environemt, and the sound maintained show after show. Very satisfied.” Point to point wiring is where its at these days if you want to get an amp made with love. These guys definitely love what they do, and thus they enable me to do what i love. Thanks gentlemen. Team Verellen are the Popes of Tone Town. ” http://www.myspace.com/bosqueband
Having a sit down “I gotta say man, the cab rocks. I’ve brought it out a few times now and it kicks my ass every time. It sounds as great as it looks. And is every bit as awesome as my Matamp but at less than half the cost it’s a clear winner.”
“I am continually impressed with the range of tones the Loucks can spit out. The clean sounds can cut through diamonds, especially at high volume, while the overdrive channel dials up everything from white-hot crunch to subtle, fresh-from-the-oven gains – while never sacrificing clarity or articulation. The Loucks harkens back to a simpler era of amplifiers, and in a sea of lifeless, cookie-cutter guitar sounds, I’m happy to have Verellen Amplifiers behind me.”
Ladder Devils/Ghost Away
“This amp looks and sounds amazing. It’s a Coop with a modified overdrive, which is sick. 50 watts and louder than I’ll ever need it to be. And we don’t play quietly. I was considering getting an Orange or Mesa, but decided to go with this. I couldn’t be happier. It’s got great tube distortion, sweet spring reverb, and overall, it’s very versatile.”
When I first contacted Ben to build a stereo amplifier that I could use as a pedal platform, I was not quite sure what features might be ideal for my desired goals,after talking on the phone and throwing some ideas at him, he helped me figure out what would work best, without ever once telling me that any given feature could not be made to work. The result was a monster of an amp that has exceeded all of my expectations both live and in the studio, I cannot say enough good things for the sound, craftsmanship, design and customer service that is Verellen Amps. If you like hanging out in Awesometown, Verellen has the keys to the city.
Mico de Noche, Migas, Tacos, and Swayze
Love love love the amp. Sounds/looks/IS great. http://hellotower.com
“Playing in a band without a bass player, I am constantly searching for low-end power and this amp has more bass than anything I have ever heard, without sacrificing any highs or mid-range crunch. It puts out so much low end I can feel it rattle my pants on stage. It is the balliest amp in the world. Thanks, Ben!” http://www.myspace.com/qui
Divinity of Truth, Castles in the Sky, Point no Point
“I now wield the power of THE GRIZZ!!” http://www.myspace.com/pointnopoint
I think I’ve found the last amp I’ll ever need. This amp is really heavy but it’s worth every pound of it’s weight in tone. The meat smoke can get as clean or nasty as I need it to without too much fuss and the overdrive channel is absolutely massive sounding . Working with Ben was one of the best customer service experiences I’ve ever had, he’s just a great dude. Verellen is a company that I’d gladly recommend to anyone looking for a high end amp.
With the Meatsmoke “I am totally satisfied with my meat smoke. So much so, that I’m not sure I’ll ever need another amp again. The sounds that come from my Verellen amp are like nothing else. Compared to my old solid state amp, I feel like the tone and volume knobs on my meat smoke head actually do something, and I can really sculpt the noise. Getting this amp opens me up to all kinds of new droning metal because I can now appreciate just ringing frequency, which I just couldnt do before.”
“This is hands down the most user-friendly amp I’ve ever owned. Simple and loud. I’ve spent hours dialing it in and I’m consistently blown away with how clear and bright the tone is, with some menacing overdrive mixed in. It breaks up perfectly when I want it to, and it holds a clean, clear tone when need it to mellow out. The range of tones I’ve been able to get is amazing, but the simplicity of the amp is it’s key. The craftsmanship and attention to detail are obvious just by looking at Loucks, but they become even more apparent when you plug it in. Those over-engineered, processed, mass-produced amps have nothing to offer me or our band. Most people are confused as to what a “heavy” guitar sound really is. For us, it’s lots of volume with excellent depth and size. True heavy guitar tones were perfected 40 years ago and they haven’t been much improved upon since. EL34 tubes, proven circuitry, and good construction. Verellen took classic guitar amplification and polished it and made it his own with Loucks. And the customer service is second to none.”
Arise and Ruin, Torch Black Sky
“Ben, Dude! The big spider is awesome, it showed up in the mail yesterday and I took it to practice last night, I can’t believe the subtleties and huge impact it had on my tone, I love it man, exactly what I was looking for, you do amazing work!” http://www.myspace.com/torchblacksky http://www.myspace.com/ariseandruin
In the studio with the Verellen http://www.myspace.com/twenty27seven
Amp in Lap
“Besides being aesthetically pleasing, this amp sounds spectacular! The amp’s design is very simple, yet effective. The sound it produces is very rich in tone and everything I play sounds crystal clear, even when cranked!”
The Funeral Pyre
“Hands down the best amp i’ve ever played through. Great clean tone and crushing distortion.”
Scott James LaShay
We needed an amp that could really cover a lot of tonal territory, and Ben nailed it. From bright sparkly cleans to an apocalyptically heavy drive, this amp delivers. We really asked for a lot from this amp, and Ben was able to squeeze all our ideas into one box. I can confidently say that there isn’t another amp on the planet that can do what my Verellen does-and it looks great while doing it!
I’ve been a tone junky since I first started playing. Always trying new things, rushing to get my hands on the latest and greatest piece of gear, obsessively searching for the tone in my head. With my Verellen heads, I’ve finally found that tone that I’ve been looking for. The highs are crisp and sharp, with thick, warm undertones, and the lows are massive without getting muddy, even at insanely loud volumes, with dropped tunings. I’ve never heard an amp that grabs onto effects quite like it. It even makes harsh sounding digital effects sound smooth and organic. The clean channels are pristine, and the distortion is super chunky, while maintaining a level of clarity that other heads just don’t have.
When I first approached Ben about my new rig, he took the time to sit down and have a chat about what I was looking for (something larger companies would never do). We talked about what kind of tone I was looking for, who had tones that I like, and what I needed in a head. That conversation resulted in the amps of my dreams. I couldn’t be happier with them.
My Verellen BROAD GAUGE is the last amp I will ever need. A few days ago, I had a weird dream, in which I stupidly left the amp sitting on a park bench for some reason. A few nights later, I had another dream where I returned to the same park. It had snowed in dreamland, and the amp had suffered. The wood had sustained a lot of water damage, the tubes were all broken, and someone had busted the knobs off. The surreal image of my beloved Verellen amp in such a sorry state of decay was so upsetting that I snapped awake in a cold, sweaty panic.
Working with Verellen amps has made me a better guitar player. Simple. Cliche? Maybe. But, it’s true. The honesty of these amps is exactly what I needed to get the sound I was looking for. My Loucks has more balls than my hometown calf fry! But, when I need it to calm down for my clean stuff, she knows what to do. I run my “rig” in stereo (being two heads) but my Loucks is always my staple. The other amp moves in an out depending on what I need for the songs. BREA wouldn’t get the response we do without the help of Verellen. We always get asked “What are those, bro!?” We proudly say Verellen. Call Verellen Amps… You talk to Ben. Hell, when I get bored, I bug Ben. When he’s not too busy, the guy likes to talk shop, music, bands, whatever with ya. Over the years I like to consider him the closest things to a friend I’ve not met in person. Stand up gear. Stand up people. Even better sound.
Everyone loves my meat!
My Verellen Amps paint pictures in tone, sweet meadow streams, fierce mountain passages, cold winter fields. They always work. I count on them in the studio and on stage. The tone is rich, dark and complex. These amps are very personal things because they were built by Ben, for me. They are my dream amps. Thanks Ben!
My experience with Verellen Amps was nothing but positive. Being a fan of Ben’s sound, I contacted him with interest of purchasing the almighty Meat Smoke. Despite living across the Atlantic, Ben was as helpful as one could hope. The amp arrived safely and quickly, and the sound is as can be expected. Ranging from clean and clear to a bone-crunching menace, I use the amp at home with a bedroom volume at which the neighbors can’t complain, as well as at live performances at clubs. The Verellen Meat Smoke is definitely the crown-jewel of any musical equipment a bass-player may covet.
Verellen Amplifiers is the end of the road for amplifier purchases for me. I’ve dated a ton amps ranging from Mesa Boogie to Sunn but I’m married to my Meatsmoke now. From the beginning ,Ben always answered my questions in a reasonable amount of time and I had a bunch of them. He always kept me in the loop. When my Meatsmoke arrived, the first thing I noticed is that it was a tank. UPS could of run over it and nothing wouldn’t of happened to the amp. The next thing thing I notiched was how beautiful it was…mail order brides have never looked so pretty. The best part was obviously the consummation, it sounded so good. It was everything I thought it would be. Twingiant plays super loud and sludgy but I needed this amp to sound as good on a clean channel as the dirty. The Meatsmoke delivered. In addition, the raw distortion I get from the dirty channel is just plain nasty crunch. I don’t have enough fingers to count how many times I’ve been complimented on my tone after a show. Oh, did I mention it’s dependable? Twingiant gigs a lot and I’ve had no issues after almost a year of being married to it. I love my Meatsmoke!!!
The Verellen Skyhammer has been the most natural organic sounding amp I have ever played and has the best build quality i’ve seen. Channel one can go from natural clean to a slightly dirty channel thats brilliant for older rock. Hit the push switch and things start to get real nice. The channel turns into the best distortion, It’s ballsy enough without losing the clarity when strumming full chords or chugging away in a lower tuning. Then, there is channel two. It has the wildest harmonic over tones and endless feedback that no other amp can do. It also handles all of my pedals amazingly well. The tube driven FX loop gives the pedals warmth and adds some character too them. Could not be more satisfied with the amp and great customer service from Ben. Hats off too you sir!
for any of you on the fence about buying the meatsmoke…do it and don’t look back! I got mine back in early 2010 and its been absolutely rock solid. Its been dropped, kicked, scratched, dinged and had more beer spilled on it than most can drink in a day. Through all the abuse it’s never had one issue and continues to blow peoples mind at how rich and HUGE the sound is. I can’t think of any tube bass amp on the market today that even comes close. Great job Ben!
Undertow, Shift, Dust Moth
I am so excited! Sounds fucking awesome!
Shit what can I say that hasn’t already been said. Working with you was a piece of cake and the amp is awesome. Perfect live, perfect in the studio, clean, dirty, guitar, bass, everything really. I guess that about sums it up The band link is Facebook.com/thornsmelbourne
I am having tons of fun with the Meatsmoke
This amp is built like a tank. I’ve been abusing peoples ear drums with this thing for just a little over 2 years now and it has never let me down or failed me once. It absolutely slays. The quality is top notch in looks and in sound. And as far as dealing with Ben, he was nothing short of professional.
The Meat Smoke is like no other amp I have ever played on. Its definitely loud but never looses its focus and clarity in the mix. It has lows for days and its mids and highs are smooth like butter. Oh and that distortion channel is godlike! Its built like a tank and its looks always get people talking at gigs. All the other guys in the bands we gig with have decent rigs but always ask if they can play though my Smoke. That’s cred enough right there. Ben is awesome and really there for his customers so order one now and get your slay on! You will not be disappointed.
Fathom Tree Stufdios
Here at The Fathom Tree we have had the pleasure of continual access to David Hinojosa’s (Legendary Skies) Verellen Meat Smoke for tracking bass. Every bass player that has plugged into it has had a “first love, first hear” experience. The harmonic saturation is unbelievable! Its like a tape deck is hidden inside! A couple of Skyhammers and Loucks have been used here as well and lets just say that the tones you get out of these amps are unparalleled.
I can’t put it down. Dude. I love it.
Its Olympian thunder trapped in a beautiful wooden box.
I came to Verellen with a relatively specific idea of what I was looking for: crystal clear Twin-like cleans with miles of headroom and a second channel that could offer more of a classic brit crunch. After a friendly sit-down and a little back and forth, Verellen met and exceeded my expectations beyond my wildest custom-amplifier-wrapped-in-paisely-tolex dreams! I’m in love…you will be too.
If my home were to catch on fire, the only thing I own that I would venture into the blaze to rescue is my Verellen Meatsmoke. The amp and I have formed a pseudo-spiritual bond that people often describe when talking about their pets.
The Verellen’s unholy oomph has allowed me to channel the wrath of the Cascadian wilderness in ways that no other amp has even come close to. When I switch to the Verellen’s dirty channel, I am able to sonically conjure up righteous rage of the Northwest’s dark forests, punching audiences in the gut with the heft of an Ent. This is largely in part to Ben Verellen’s ridiculous craftsmanship, responsible not only for the insanely powerful crunch of the amp, but also it’s structural values.
Indeed, my favorite part of my Verellen is how sturdy it is. Constructed out of heavy pieces of beautifully inlaid wood, I am able to confidently stand on top of my Verellen during performances. This allows me to engage in aerial acrobatics at shows, something that wouldn’t be possible with mass produced, flimsy amps. I also occasionally play Ocarina atop the Verellen, whose wooden structure always reliably evokes the tree stump in the Skull Kid level in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time for Nintendo 64. In that way, the Verellen has not only drastically improved my tone and musicianship, but also my quest to become a woodland adventurer in the vein of Link.
-Spirit Treader of Cascadian band Kithkin
I decided to reinvent my entire rig using the most powerful, hand built in the US, non-corporate builders. When I contacted Ben I knew I had found the best business to meet my requirements. He custom built to my specifications the Meatsmoke that worked for my rig. Everything from the enclosure branding to the line-out was added without any problems. This thing is a monster and I couldn’t be happier.
Making Ghosts – Chicago, IL – USA – Earth
Belle the harmless Doberman
Devil Wears Prada
I love to swap around between heads and continually try to find a new sound, but it seems I’m always back to my Skyhammer and Meatsmoke. There’s a certain consistency and uniqueness that I’ve received with these guys, to where I’d love to add even more Verellen to my collection.
A god or an Other
“By far, the best amp I have ever owned. The tone ranges from Fender clean, to completely saturated distorton. Ben listens to any ideas you have and makes them possible. I asked for my Skyhammer to be built with KT88s instead of El34s and spring reverb. The amp has a completely unique sound and look, unlike any other that I have played.”
Aside from my first Costco guitar, my Verellen Skyhammer guitar amp is probably the smartest investment ever made in my life as a musician. Upon its UFO-like appearance in my world, the Skyhammer’s power marked an immediate change in the output of my band and my confidence as a player. It has not only upped the ante sonically on stage–emitting the kind of authoritative tone that finally quenched my once-insatiable hunger for volume and power– but, more importantly, it has simply inspired me. My Skyhammer has helped me open up to a more fearless sense of what is possible. That trust alone has changed my playing, writing and performing in ways I once thought unattainable. The thing is no joke.
Hey Ben, I just wanted to let you know how satisfied I am with using the big spider. I finally have my perfect set-up: an old Sound City 120 where I just had have a little mod done that gives me a little more headroom and even more low end, plus a new set of 6 matched EL34 tubes from the famous German Tube Amp Doctor. Also, my lovely old Acoustic 2×15″ got 2 new Sammi Sound speakers 2 weeks ago. With the spider I got from you between my Fender Basses and my amp, the first tone I play every rehershal brings a smile to my face… Haha! 🙂 I guess those old Sound Citys, or old Hiwatts just seem to fit perfect for the spider.
“About two years ago, I was working in a guitar shop when Ben came in and said, “I’m starting an amp company.” I was pretty skeptical. A year later, he started bringing his amps into the shop. Frankly, I was amazed that he was turning out such great sounding, great looking, well-made stuff.
A lot of my friends — musicians I admire — started buying his amps. Everyone was buying ’em. Jon, the bass player in Akimbo got a great sounding “Higher Watt” to play guitar on. I decided it was time to get one.
I have some great “loud” amps for Akimbo, and I’m really happy with them. But I’d been wanting something pretty. I played an old blackface Deluxe a long time ago and I never forgot the way it sounded. I asked Ben to build me an amp like that. We talked a lot and he steered me toward a head and 2×12″ setup, rather than a 2×10″ combo — it wound up being a good call. It’s a 50-watter, with two 6L6’s. He was stoked to give me exactly what I wanted, building in tube-driven tremolo and reverb and a tube rectifier. And I made a few special cosmetic demands too. The natural birch boxes with oxblood grille cloth look so good. I grin every time I walk into the practice room.
It’s the most beautiful sounding amp I’ve ever owned — maybe even ever played. It FEELS good to play. It records really well, nomatter what tone I dial-in — and there’s a fuckin’ boatload of tones in there. I’ve compared it to a couple old Fenders. It doesn’t sound exactly like one… It gets a bit dirtier when you crank it, and the reverb and tremolo can get more intense than an old Fender. The tone knobs seem to do more too. And it’s got top quality caps, resistors, and jacks and junk so it’s not gonna break anytime soon. I think I love it more than I’d love one of those.
If you can afford it, you should have Ben make you an amp. It’s gonna be YOUR amp, and it’s gonna sound different, ’cause Ben built you exactly what you wanted.”
“My Verellen amp gave me the tone I’d been searching for and can take
all the punishment I dish out to my gear.”
“Even animals love Verellens.
When I asked Ben to make me an amp resembling a Vox AC30, I had no idea how much further the sound could be taken. Raw, beefy tone with lows for days and piercing highs, and the addition of spring reverb, this quarter stack is beyond my wildest amp dreams. 30 watts of class A power never sounded so clean, so mean, or so pristene.”
“I’ve never loved a guitar amplifier as much as my Verellen Custom Head. From quiet to roaring loud this beautiful piece of work holds rock solid no matter what you play through it. I am proud to have one of the first few in production and cannot wait to get my hands on my next Verellen “Coop” 50watt. Ben has put some serious thought and love into the product and stands by every piece created all the way, taking care of you until you’re happy. Trust me, you’ll only come back for more. I’ve also demoed the Meat Smoke and i would choose that head over any Sunn Model T, SVT Classic, or Marshall Superbass any day. That amplifier will destroy anything in it’s path and crush minds with guitar or bass. Verellen Amplifiers and Cabs were created to last and only satisfy your every need. I don’t care to play anything else.”
Integrity, Gray Ghost
“I called Ben and told him I wanted an amp with vintage tube tone with a little more modern overdrive, I wanted it to be extremely loud and to have tons of low end, and I got exactly what I wanted. The loudest amp I’ve ever owned, with the most natural overdrive without the typical thin, high gain. This amp is thick, rich, and full, and even pushing the overdrive, every note is audible. Very satisfied.”http://www.myspace.com/grayghostatl
OXBLOOD uses two MEAT SMOKEs because they are the most brutal amps you can get. Seriously, they sound buttery smooth when you want them to on both guitar and bass, and will lay waste to your audience when you need them to. They respond perfectly to how you play ’em. We’d never want to play through anything else. Also, they will make you strong and better looking.
The first time I heard the Verellen Meat Smoke, I was blown away. It’s got a good medium grit, balls-thick clean tone, and the gnarliest dirty tone I’ve been able to get from any head. From it’s exceptional build quality to it’s generally badass amplification abilities, the Verellen Meat Smoke is a game changing, panty-dropping sex box. Thanks Ben! Cheers! https://www.facebook.com/ExemptBand
This is the most versatile amplifier I’ve ever worked with. Clean or Driven, Bass or Guitar, my Meatsmoke cuts through with it’s own character and delivers every time. http://carvedup.bandcamp.com
Last Lion Recording StudioLastLionRS.com
“Everytime I think I have the Loucks figured out, I find out a new sound I didn’t know it was capable of. Extremely versatile in the studio, and it cranks loud as all holy hell on stage. Oh and its pretty too. What else can one ask for. ”
Ben Verellen builds incredible amplifiers. He is also quite a pleasure to work with.
The Skyhammer has exceeded my expectations in many ways. The clean channel is articulate, beautifully voiced, and has a lot of headroom. It sounds amazing and has been more useful to me than I would have ever imagined. The overdrive has a level of touch sensitivity that blows the mind, ranging from chiming and subtle with a gentle right hand approach to a deep throaty organic growl when pushed. The distortion channel is a crushing weapon. Period.
The Big Spider is a very, very powerful fuzz. Aggressive. It’s two-tone voicing offers a pair of very distinct flavors that complement each other nicely. This pedal sits very well in front of clean and dirty channels, providing a unique blend of germanium fuzz tone, distortion, and sub octave frequencies that make it a force to be reckoned with. Very good for baritone guitars and low tunings. It can also be used in more subtle and creative ways to add color to guitar or bass parts in ways one may not expect.
Ben has been the epitome of good customer service at every turn. Whether answering questions, discussing amplifier design ideas, handling logistics as they arise, or showing genuine enthusiasm for the musicians using his creations to make their art, my experience with him has been second to none. Thank you, Ben. Keep up the good work.
The Redwood Plan
I love my custom Verellen amplifier! Ben is approachable and super easy to talk with, when discussing the amp design I felt like he understood the sound I was looking for. The amp turned out better than I imagined it would!
On the grueling Seattle>Tacoma>Portland indie metal tour circuit, I need three things: 40lbs of extra belly fat, facial hair, and the ability to move a 747 engine’s worth of air. Genetics blessed me with the first two, and the Verellen Meatsmoke does the rest. Tone? Yes. It has them. All of them. I have a Meat Smoke OD and I use it for both bass and guitar through custom-built Verellen cabinets. Uncompromisingly versatile is the best description. It can be as transparent or as filthy as you want, and all the tones between are natural and usable. And of course, fucking loud. If you can’t find your way through the mix with this, then there is no amp that can help you. I don’t even know how loud it will get because I never turn it up past “noon” on the main volume, and I still have sound guys saying that we’re one of the loudest bands they’ve ever heard. Caution: Do not bring this amp to a gig at the local Tolkien themed coffee shop. I tried this. They will ask you to leave in all the tongues of Middle Earth. Bottom line: This is your last amp upgrade. Let’s talk about the construction. Actually, let’s not, because I don’t know anything about carpentry. What I know is that everything they make, from the lowly footswitch to the mightiest cab, is like a log cabin that’s been reinforced by B.A. Baracus. I’m not gonna say you can drop it down the stairs. That would be stupid. But I will say that my Meat Smoke has taken more abuse from gross negligence and bad van stacking than any amp should have to suffer and it fires up every time. I get the impression that it’s overdesigned wherever possible, from the chassis to the guts. I would put Verellen’s dedication to the craft against a mass produced “pro” brand any day. I’ve heard these amps variously described as ugly or beautiful, but here’s my experience: Every time you load in, you’re the belle of the cotillion. This isn’t a boast, it’s a warning. You will spend at least 60% of your off-stage time talking to people about your amp. It’s a pain in the ass. It should come with a black polo shirt and a NAMM presenter lanyard, because you’re gonna be selling amps at every gig. Thanks Ben. It’s always “oh my god your tone” this and “what the fuhhhhhh are you playing through” that. Pro tip: Use this conversational opening as a chance to say “Hey thanks! Would you mind giving me a hand with…?” because it also weighs as much as Dom Delouise’s coffin. You can lift it by yourself, but don’t. Use the buddy system. One last thing. I’m not a VIP. I’m just a guy in a band, but that’s who these guys are in business for. On several occasions, Ben or Mike have showed up at a gig with an upgraded cabinet, or a retubed amp…and have even bolted on new parts in the parking lot. I don’t know if Verellen has a private jet yet, so I can’t promise this will happen to you, but it shows the level of dedication they have to their customers. (I have yet to see either Mr. Gallien or Mr. Krueger stop by to fix my blown 2001RB, but the invitation is open.)