Design Philosophy & Sonic Character



The great vintage amplifiers, American or British, that have retained their popularity, have earned it by virtue of their sound, and also sometimes because of (and sometimes in spite of) their reliability. The guitar players at Dynamic set out to engineer an amplifier that captures many of the sonic characteristics of some American and British amps in one amp, while offering features that expand the sonic palette without unnecessarily increasing complexity.
The KISS principle (keep it simple, stupid) was applied wherever possible without compromising flexibility, a difficult task at best. Although nothing is new in the world of strictly tube amplifiers, what is unique in the field of handmade, boutique amps, is the vast array of choices the designer makes in the variables of any given design. The choices affecting the tone stack, rectifier, amp class, vacuum tube choice, phase inverter type, transformer architecture, to name a few,
do significantly affect the sound characteristics of any given amplifier, not to mention speaker type and cabinet design. While tweed and blackface era American amps (class AB) have a warm, smooth sound when overdriven, British Class A (cathode bias) are popular for a more complex sound, with a chimey distortion that retains clarity in the individual notes of a chord. Further, the smaller so-called tweed & blackface amps tend to have a soft low-end, and
compression becomes significant at higher volumes, losing some pick dynamics sensitivity. The Dynamic 2040 was intentionally designed to capture the desirable elements of both general sonic types, while improving on their respective weaknesses, both sonic and mechanical, so the product will be rugged, easy to dial-in, and sound great, whether the guitar is a single-coil or “humbucker” pickup type.

The Tone of the Dynamic 2040

Having worked on countless classic American and British amplifiers, and fully enjoying qualities in both, we developed an amplifier that produces many of the qualities of each, while having a distinct character, a voice of its own. Play the guitar gently will yield clear, chimey, bell tones, that played with a good guitar will ring much longer than expected. The sound difference between a new set of strings and an old set becomes more like changing guitars. There is a clarity to the tones both in the low-end as well as the top, that is very unusual in the world of guitar amps. Even chunky chords cannot mask the individual notes that make the chord.


Dig into the guitar with enthusiasm and the player is rewarded with much the same clarity, only louder and “hairy”, with smooth, vibrant distortion. Back off the guitar volume or the attack, and the sound cleans up nicely. Typical gain-sapping tone stack designs were avoided. We opted instead for a simple tone control coupled to a defeatable midrange contour selector switch that gives control over tone, while keeping tone quality and gain structure largely intact. Carefully choosing the ratio of gain to master to suit the room, will allow even single coil guitars to have the bloom of natural output stage compression, coupled with distortion, to create full and vibrant chords that ring and chime. You will play more.
Speakers, 50% of your sound.