Name: Raging Snail Amplification
Year Established: 2014
Location: Oregon, IL
How did Raging Snail Amplification get started and what got you interested in building amplifiers?
A few years back I bought my first tube amp. It sounded great and it was a higher end brand, but within three months the power transformer blew twice. I was really dissapointed since I had paid good money for it and never had abused it. I finally decided to learn how to fix and build amps myself. I took a weekend amp seminar at the Chicago School of Guitarmaking and since then I’ve been addicted to anything tube. I continued to study, modify, and design amps at home unitl Raging Snail was born.
What makes Raging Snail different from other boutique amps? Anything in particular that sets your company apart?
A lot of boutique companies take old designs that sounded great and just copy or modify them, but never ask what made it sound so good. I deviate a lot from traditional topology to maximize those characteristics while correcting the problems that those amps have. I run the preamp at much higher currents and use pentodes later in the preamp. This allows me too get the the thick power tube like distortion in the preamp and still have full volume control. Our solid wood cabinets are really eye-catching, too. Wood is so beautiful, it just doesn’t feel right covering it up with paper, cloth, or paint.
What type of user controls does your amp provide for the user?
Gain and volume for both channels, a shared three band Eq, and foot-switchable channel switching.
Are there any particular tonal characteristics that you work toward when building an amp?
I’m very picky about how my distortion sounds. It needs to be super clear at max gain, and not fuzzy. I want each note to sound like it is dripping. It also needs to have the biggest, punchiest bass imaginable.
What was your first impression of Eminence?
I was given an old custom 2×12 that had unmarked Eminence speakers in them. They were the best speakers I had ever heard.
Why did you choose Eminence for your amps?
They sounded great, very affordable, and you give great customer service.
Which speakers did you go with and why?
I went with the Tonkers. Their scooped midrange, extended highs, and low resonant frequency made a perfect compliment to my amps.
How do you evaluate the speakers you choose?
I just plug them in and listen to see if they are a good match.
Where can people find out more about Raging Snail online?
Where can your amps be purchased?
You can go to Randee’s Music Center in Rockford, IL or you can order direct from us.