Tym FAMP (Foam Amp)

The amazing evolution of the Tym ‘Electro Harmonix Freedom Amp’ project… this will blow you away.

A while ago I posted a guitarnerd article on the amazing 1960’s Electro Harmonix Freedom amp that I played at Tym’s guitars. (Check it out here.) This little monster had tone for days and enough grunt to keep up with the big boys. Tim then proceeded to build his own version of this fantastic amp, using my gutted Goldentone combo as the prototype. (Check it out.) This hand made beauty sounded amazing, and Tim was so impressed with the results that he got thinking on the next phase of the project.

Tim noticed that the actual amp section he built was tiny… so he combined this with another idea he had floating around. A range of guitar cabinets that were ultra light that would be perfect for people (like me) who wanted the power of real amps but hated lugging around 80kg’s of gear. So here it the result…

This, ladies and gents… is the Tym FAMP. This is a 50 watt amp (based on Tim’s Freedom amp) that is completely MADE OF HIGH DENSITY FOAM! That’s correct… this combo amp is made from foam. Here’s Tim’s words on his his amazing creation:

The cab had to be light and “damage proof” because we didn’t want to use tolex or hard cases to save on weight, so, after talking to my good friend Naut from Naut cases who works in foam and has a CNC machine, the cabinet was born. The foam is then coated in a thick, waterproof “skin” as used on PA and some speaker cabinets to protect it and stop it tearing. Metal corners aren’t needed because if you drop it, it just bounces. There are no exposed handles and the grill cloth has security mesh between it and the speaker so you can’t damage the speaker. You can stand on it and it’s fine. You could kick it down the street (Tym guitars does not endorse or recommend kicking an amp down the street), and it will still work.

The attention to detail Tim has put into this this thing is fantastic. I went to pick it up, bracing myself for the weight and nearly threw it over my head. My Les Paul is heavier than this amp. Actually, my pedal case weighs more than this amp. (maybe Tim should make some foam pedals…)

The side has some molded handles which give you something to grip on, and as they’re not metal bolt-on handles like most amps they save on weight.

The genius bit is the back. To make this amp totally tour (and idiot) proof, Tim hid the actual amp inside the back of the amp using a flip panel to access it.

The latches are very high quality and very easy to use. You just press the buttons and the latches pops out. Then you pull open the back to plug in and tweak your settings.

As I’ve said, this amp is hell light but the production version is going to be even lighter. Tim is fitting Celestion Neo speakers to save even more kilos. One thing Tim won’t do to save weight is use that crappy Class D power amp/car stereo technology that is all the rage at the moment. I totally agree with Tim, as I bought a Genz Benz 600 Shuttle bass amp and had nothing but grief with it from day one.

‘It could have been lighter but I refuse to use switch mode power supplies in my amps. They just don’t have the bottom end and sound any good so this has a “proper” toroidal transformer with plenty of headroom which adds to the weight, but delivers better tone.’

Those of you who are a bit skeptical if this amp is going to be truly tough enough to tour with due to it being made of foam… Tim as asked me to stand on this amp to show me how solid it is. I stepped onto it and this thing is rock solid. Anyone who knows Naut’s work will know that he doesn’t build anything that won’t last 1,000 years.

Final conclusion: Loud + awesome sounding + light + indestructible = frikken’ amazing.

Tim hasn’t stopped there. He’s just released a range of foam speaker cabs (FAB’s)… He’s currently building a bass FAB 4×10 that my back will cry in joy for. (Check them out here)