NY/NJ Amp Show Finds! Part 2

June 9, 2011 | By | 1 Reply More
George Metropoulos rocking out LOUD on his amps at the show.

George Metropoulos rocking out LOUD on his amps at the show.

In this part of the 2011 NY/NJ Amp Show “review” I take a look at the other two builders and amps that really stood out for me. Part 3 will take a look at some other amps/builders – still killer – as well as a few pedals I liked (and I don’t like pedals!).

Metropoulos Plexi Replicas

George Metropoulos’ website name is PlexiReplicas.com. That’s what he builds, and no one builds Marshall replicas that sound better.

Not slagging any other builders at all. I’ve heard other Marshall-type “boutique”-built amps that are stellar and have their own thing going on. But for pure “this is the best Marshall you’ve ever heard” tone, I don’t think George’s replicas can be beat.

I played a couple of ’68-era Super Lead replicas (100w in a hotel room, baby!) and a Bluesbreaker-type combo, and they were crazy, crazy good.

Other than saying they have incredible Marshall tone, I guess I can try to describe them this way: You know when you’re right on the edge of working hard and playing fluidly, and fighting to get your tone and having the inspirational goods right there? That’s where George’s amps get you – right when you plug in and start playing.

Not only that, as with all good amps, the better player you are, the better you sound. If you’re not the greatest, his amps will inspire you to get better.


> I heard a couple other players, including George, through the amps, and everyone sounded different.

> I played the ’68s through Metropoulos 4×12 cabs, one with G12H30s and one with Greenbacks. The Greenbacks sounded better IMO.

3Monkeys Amps

Greg (left) and Ossie, two of the 3Monkeys.

Greg (left) and Ossie, two of the 3Monkeys.

3Monkeys Amps has gotten a good amount of buzz over the past couple years because of their unique, great-sounding amps and because one of the monkeys is Brad Whitford – yep, the same Aerosmith band member who’s known in the biz to have golden ears for tone, like his compadre Joe Perry.

Brad happened to be in the 3Monkeys room when I walked in. I plugged in and we jammed to “Walk This Way.” He’s like, “You should be in our band, man! What’s your number?” And I was like, Holy cow! And…

…okay, that didn’t happen. Where was I…oh yeah.

Got a text from a buddy of mine on day 1 of the Amp Show. I couldn’t go that day, and his text said, “If I could walk out with one amp today it would be the 3Monkeys Virgil.”

Virgil? I knew about the Orangutan and the Grease Monkey, no clue what a Virgil was.

Come to find out it’s a new offering. Like the Orangutan, it’s a 4x6v6 amp (30-35w), but the Virgil is completely different amp (I’m no tech, just IMO). The Virgil is based on an amp made for Whitford in 2005, which right there is a plus. Turns out my buddy was just one of several folks who fell in love with that amp.

For me, though, while the Virgil sounded good, the Grease Monkey (4xEL84) was it. The amp’s “decidedly British voice,” says the 3Monkeys, sounded absolutely great to my rock-head ears.

I finally stopped playing that one long enough to plug into the Orangutan – but honestly didn’t have high hopes for that amp after playing the Grease Monkey. Here’s what I found:

The Orangutan is a non-Master Vol amp that sounds amazing the more you turn it up. Not as nasty as the Grease Monkey, but definitely woody.

The 3Monkeys website says the Orangutan “is rooted in the classic tones of ’70s rock,” and it fo’ sho’ is. Honestly, as much as I loved the Grease Monkey I’m not sure which one of these amps I’d rather have…and wouldn’t turn down the Virgil either!

The bottom line on 3Monkeys amps is this:

1. They sound killer.

2. They do things that other amps don’t do.

3. They sound killer.


And I didn’t buy an amp at the show. Actually left my wallet in the car. Very disappointed, but I’m down with that whole “a happy wife is a happy life” thing.

So no pick of the litter story for ya.

More Amp Show tonalicious tidbits coming in part 3.

– End of part 2 of 3 –

Category: 3Monkeys Amps, Amp Show, Brad Whitford, Metropoulos (Metro) amps

Comments (1)

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  1. Guitar5986 says:

    I just burst out laughing in the middle of my office reading the part about you jamming with Brad Whitford. Looking forward to part 3!

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