From just eight knobs and one channel, a joyous world of sound, so many textures… Again I found myself kneeling to photograph the control panel on the front of my amp, to capture the position of the dials for an incredible-sounding setting that had held me in rapture for hours, noodling and kerranging into an old Maricella Juarez ’bucker that was doing everything right. Again I recalled how I’d done this same thing several times in the past; how the resultant grubby JPEGs were sprinkled sparsely across unpredictable directories inside two or three computers; how, in fact, I only ever remembered they existed when next I took up my camera to make another.
Don’t Look Now
I adore the tone of my Splawn amp, and it’s still throwing out addictive new sounds after almost four years of obsession. The controls are madly interactive with one another, and often don’t do what you’d think they would, what you’d conventionally expect. “Set it with your ears, not your eyes,” Splawn sage Shred(d)er75 often impels newcomers, and this is why.
Even for us old hands the effect of the controls can be counter-intuitive, especially as how they work changes, depending on how the others are set. Couple that with the Splawns’ modded track car styling, which means no numbers around the knobs, and getting a certain sound back isn’t as simple as it is with a regular production amp.
(Splawn owners talk to each other in a dialog of clock face settings — “I set my gain at three o’clock and my mids around noon…” — in an attempt to communicate dial positions to one another. You could perhaps record them the same way, but small fractions can make all the difference, and for this clock face isn’t so suited. Am I really going to note down that I like my treble up around twelve minutes past two?)
Download the Templates
Enough is enough, I decided, and off I went to design an amp settings sheet, a nice neat chart that can be printed out and have dial positions recorded on it with a pen. After I’d made one for my Competition, I realized it’d be a small matter to adapt the design for other Splawn amps, the Quick Rod and Nitro, and so here they all are. These are high-res PDFs made for printing on standard 8.5″x11″ paper.