Guitar World Soundcheck

Guitar World Soundcheck

The Suprema’s two switchable channels offers as wide a range of gain as anyone could ask for. Channel 1 specializes in overdrive, while channel 2 handles the clean work; both channels operate with their own straightforward and easy-to-use knobs and foot switches. The front panel includes each channel’s volume, treble, middle, bass and master volume, along with a global reverb and presence. Channel 2’s treble knob can be pulled to activate a high-end boost, and it’s middle knob likewise switches to become a midrange notch filter. Around back are an active effects loop with send and return level controls, a line output and two speaker jacks.

Additionally, each channel has a unique boost feature that’s accessible via a footswitch or by pulling the master volume knobs. Channel 1’s blast-off button is simply labeled “Boost,” while channel 2 is slyly titled “Ninja.” The resulting range of sounds makes the Suprema virtually a four-channel amp.

A bevy of guitars was rounded up to put the units through their paces and, at Paul Rivera’s insistence, several other amps were teamed up with the Los Lobottom to test it’s features independently. Starting off with channel 2, the Suprema’s overall sonic signature started with a clean, low-gain sound that was giddily clear and amazingly bright, yet full, much like a late-Sixties Fender just back from the shop. The midrange notch surgically removed the frequencies that tend to cloud up the sound of humbuckers, while the sneaky “Ninja” boost simultaneously pushed the gain right up to the edge of overdrive while upping the volume.

Channel 1’s darker voice started to get gravelly even at low settings, easily picking up channel 2’s ball and running into Fifties Fender-cum-Marshall territory. Kicking in the channel 1 boost saturated the preamp and increased the volume, resulting in an amazingly thick, liquid tone with gobs of sustain that magically retained the identity of whatever combination of notes thrown it’s way. Power chords sounded like walls of aggression, but adding a spicy 7th or 9th produced a thoroughly unflustered sonority.

Adding the Los Lobottom Sub 1 to the party was just another level of heaven. It’s a remarkably versatile unit capable of accepting an amp’s effects loop, line output or speaker output. An independent level control regulates the amount of girth the unit adds to your sound. Imagine turning a 50-watt combo into a 100-watt double stack, and you’ll begin to get the picture. With high-gain, overdriven settings, the Los Lobottom gives pick attack all the aggressiveness of a military campaign, while clean settings sound like you’ve dragged along a $1,000 tube compressor and a studio monitor system.

We plugged several 50-watt combos into the Los Lobottom, and the results ranged from pleasantly surprising (an old Music Man RD-50 seemed to be mainlining Viagra) to astonishing (an already bull-like Marshall JCM 800 became Godzilla). Players using drop tunings, baritone or seven-string guitars will swoon.

Bottom Line – The Suprema is a class amp that should be preview by any player who is serious enough to want the very best. As for the Los Lobottom Sub 1, it’s more addictive than drugs, and a lot healthier.

Reprinted by Permission of Guitar World Magazine

©2000, Harris Publications, Inc.