Thursday, June 25, 2009

Kendrick Texas Crude harp amp

In a long and rambling post on Harp-L a few days ago, Gary Onofrio -- who calls himself Sonny Jr. -- had this to say: "Kendrick ripped off tons of harp players with his Texas Crude."

Whoa! That is pretty strong stuff from a guy who gets so angry when his own products are critiqued.

I'm here to stand up for the Kendrick Texas Crude amp. I've played both early and recent examples and they are outstanding harp amps. Great tone and crunch. You can lean into them to get some hair on the notes. Wonderful warm, horn-like tones. Very feedback resistant. What is Onofrio talking about?

Harp-L members have praised the Texas Crude amp: Here and Here.

Paul Orta, a good Texas harp player who gets tremendous tone, helped Kendrick design the amp in the mid-90s. It is interesting to note that the original name for the amp was the Kendrick Texas Crude Sonny Boy, before Onofrio had ever sold a "Sonny Jr." amp.

I doubt Gerald Weber of Kendrick Amps "ripped off" anybody. He seems like an extremely straight shooter to me, and he's been in business a long time on the strength of his reputation. I'll ask him about this...

UPDATE: Response from Gerald Weber at Kendrick Amplifiers-

Dear Rick,

Thanks for your most kind and thoughtful email. The link to that libelous post had already been brought to my attention in emails received from Kendrick Amp users. I have seen this childish behavior from competitors quite a bit in my 39 years of running successful businesses. Our sales are obviously killing them. When you are successful, there will always be someone that feels threatened by it. The simple truth: I have been building the Texas Crude Harp Amp exactly the same way now since 1993, when it was initially introduced to the world as the first Harp Amp.

We have sold well over 1,000 units and sales are still strong. As I write this email, 2 Texas Crude Harp amps are on my shipping dock, awaiting shipment to their lucky owners and another order came in yesterday for one. Another truth: We haven't spent a dime in advertising these amps in over 15 years. The word-of-mouth advertising reached its critical mass as a self-fulfilling cycle. So our orders come from people that hear the Texas Crude Amp somewhere and want to own one for themselves, or they have a friend that owns one and recommends it.

Nuff Sed!

Kindest Personal Regards,
Gerald Weber
(512) 932 3130


Anonymous said...

Gary's first amp the sonny jr 1 was based onb the masco amps and had the 8" speakers. The upsate 4x10 is based on the bassman but moded to get that chicago tone. Certainly many who do own them I have heard locally in CT get an excellent chicago tone. Sugar Ray Norcia is one of them.
Peter Moore

SmoothHead said...

Wow, didn't know my baby was getting dissed out there in the world. I've had the fortune (and MISfortune, in some cases!) to honk on some pretty exotic stuff & have yet to play thru ANYTHING that sounded even CLOSE to as good as my "T-Crud." Nothing makes my tin sandwiches taste sweeter! Mine even has the ol' El Presidente's signature on the inside wall of the TRAPEZOID TANK...

Tonefully (sorry Gerald!),
SmoothHead Johnny

Warner DeFord said...

I had Gerald build a Texas Crude Harp Amp for me.. It took about three months for him to complete it due to his need to complete amps for people like Joe Walsh for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ceremony.. I felt like I would go nuts like a little kid waiting for Santa Claus to bring me a new "Red Rider" BB Gun and when it was sitting in a very well packaged box in the Fedex store in town I couldn't wait to tear it open.. The girl that worked there was excited for me and helped me unpack it.. I sat and stared admiringly at it for a few days before plugging a microphone into it after getting it home.. I don't need help moving it around like I have do with my Fender Bassman or struggle to get a tone I like without feedback.. I wish I'd gotten it 15 years ago..