Tym ‘JailBreak’ Amp prototype

It’s here! Tym’s answer to the 70’s Electro Harmonix ‘Freedom’ Amp…

A few months ago I posted an article on the rare and ridiculously awesome Electro Harmonix Freedom amp which Tym Guitars had in their shop. This tiny, cheap looking amp just happened to sound great and subsequently Tim took it home and it’s now under lock and key in his collection. When he took it home, Tim did a little research on the amp and said he could make me a pretty close clone.

Obviously it wouldn’t sound exactly the same as most of the components used were obsolete… which is the reason why original early 70’s EH gear costs so much now. You just can’t get those tiny bits and pieces that make those deliciously horrible noises anymore. But Tim said they could find the next closest things and experiment until they got it right.

As luck would have it, I had bought a 60’s Australian transistor Goldentone 2×12 combo for $60 that was totally fried. I’d bought it as a fixer upper, but Tim pulled it open and said it needed a total rebuild. So instead of spending who knows who how much to fix it and have it still sounding like a solid state Goldentone, I asked Tim to gut it and make it a Freedom amp.

4 weeks later, I got this message from Tim… Hey Tony, It’s all ready to go. The only Goldentone part left is the cabinet. The pre amp is handmade on veraboard and the power stage is PCB. 50Watts into 8 Ohm.

I had to wait a whole week to pick it up as I was working in Melbourne, but finally I got it home and cranked it. I was stoked with the results. It’s not 100% the same as the Freedom, which Tim puts down to the speakers. The EH has a weird 70’s speaker in it with a silver middle. It’s a very brittle sounding speaker. The speakers in my Goldentone are the original 60’s Australian made Plessy’s, which are much warmer sounding. Tim said they were a little ‘flappy’, so he lightly painted them with varnish to tighten them up a little. I love them though…. with everything on 10, this amp is clear but very punchy. It doesn’t break up as much as the EH, but the amount of dirt is exactly what I like. It sort of sounds more like an awesome vintage Rat pedal than a Big Muff.

Tim also added speaker outs on the back, so I can experiment with different cabs & speakers to get different sounds.

The controls are the same as the EH Freedom. Volume, Tone (bass) & Bite (treble). The tone control is great, you can really get some different sounds with it. It’s both bass & treble in the one control, like the old 18w Marshall’s. I have the Bite on 10 as I love hearing note definition. Actually, I have everything on 10. With the volume on 10, this has the perfect amount of bottom end and dirt. Unfortunately this is too loud to play in my house. Bah!

To get the bottom end back at a lower volume, I’ve been using a tube overdrive pedal that my friend Dan made for me. It only adds a little colour on top… the main sound is still the amp. I’ve also got a Hardwire Reverb pedal which is great. All together, this is a pretty awesome setup.

With a humbucker guitar like a Les Paul, this is a fat, clear sounding amp. It’s certainly loud enough to gig with if you mike it up. At the moment my main guitar is my new G&L SC1, which is a super high output single coil.

So thanks very much Tim. The amp turned out fantastic and I’m very proud to own a Tym prototype. I will be using this amp for many years to come. Tim is still deciding whether to make this amp as a small combo to order if he gets enough interest, so contact Tym’s if you’re interested.