Inside, the Sonny Boy amp is hand wired, point-to-point, with good quality components. The tubes are JJ Tesla, the speaker is an 8-inch Jensen. The circuit is a clone of a tweed Champ, creating about 5 watts of barky tone into a 4 ohm load.
The exterior is excellent quality. In these pictures I’ve placed my Fender Mississippi Saxophone case next to the Sonny Boy for reference. They appear to be exactly the same, perhaps built by the same manufacturer. The amp case is sturdy and very cool. The tweed on the case is not lacquered, a look I actually prefer.
How does it sound? In a word, Great! It’s a Champ clone, baby… If you like the sound of blues harp through a Champ (as I do) you’re gonna love the Sonny Boy. Click here for a brief sound clip.
In the sound clip I’m playing the amp in Chris’ store, Gravity Music Gear, just as you see it in these pictures. I recorded it with a Zoom H4, playing a stock Hohner Special 20 harp through my bullet mic with a Shure CM element.
The speaker in the amp I played was a Jensen Mod, which sounded surprisingly good but just a tad bright. I suggested to Chris that harp players might prefer the smooth-coned Weber Signature ceramic 8, and he agreed to offer that option. The amp had a JJ Tesla ECC81 preamp tube, a 12AT7 variant, and it sounded good. I don’t generally care for the AT7 as a preamp tube, but it was a good match in the Sonny Boy. It was not peaky or shrill or overly prone to feedback.
While playing I did not hear any noise or buzzing from the hardware on the amp, such as the handle or clasps.
This amp is cool. In looks and tone it is pure vintage. You can wow ‘em with the look and style of this amp without sacrificing tone. And get this… The price point for the Sonny Boy amp is less than $600.00.
Here is the website for Blues Luggage, the maker of the Sonny Boy Amp.