Hand Built Valve Amplifiers
Our goal as a company is to provide the most robust, well-engineered, versatile and best sounding guitar amplifiers in the world. Our amplifiers are made for tone enthusiasts.
“Can you buy an amp built like they were back in the 50s, but with modern tone and response? Certainly, but they’re few and far between, with most emanating from the USA. Now, however, there’s a British option that could change all that: welcome the Healey Sapphire.”
Nick Guppy, Guitarist Magazine. Read Nick’s full 4 star review here.
The Healey Sapphire is our flagship product. Born out of a lifelong frustration with what was out there, and a belief that it must be possible to make something better. And here she is. A 12 watt hand wired amp, built on a completely new design, based on a parallel single-ended output stage, to deliver unrivalled dynamic response. Mind blowing tone in the studio, as well as enough power to play live. . She’s lightweight, portable and not much bigger than a shoebox. And we believe that she’ll change your life.
Power Into 8/16 Ohm
x2 JJ ECC83
x2 JJ EL84
12 Watts RMS
8 & 16 OHM
406 x 182 x 203
Hear the Sapphire in action.
Running the amp through its paces at The Cove Studios in Brighton with Rabea Massaad, Dave Hollingworth and Rory McLean.
Guitarist Magazine demo the Peerless Retromatic P3 electric guitar with the Healey Sapphire from the ‘Gear of the Year’ issue 2013.
This Jeff Beck/ Van Halen inspired demo was recorded using a Gibson Les Paul into the Sapphire, with all the controls on full!
Tonal variation for the guitars is achieved entirely by adjusting the tone and volume controls on the guitar, maintaining the same settings on the Sapphire. This shows how its touch response and tonal characteristics can be dramatically transformed using just the guitar controls.
This modern alt rock inspired demo was recorded using a custom built ‘superstrat’ into the Sapphire, with the Gain at 2 o’clock, Treble at 12 o’clock, Mid at 8 o’clock and the Bass at 12 o’clock. There is also a clean boost and a wah pedal in front of the amp for the lead sections.
Settings on the Sapphire are the same for all the tones in this recording. This shows how its touch response and tonal characteristics can be dramatically transformed by adjusting the controls on the guitar and pedals in front of the amp.
I have been building, modifying and tinkering with guitar amplifiers for as long as I can remember. The original desire to do so came from dissatisfaction with what was currently available on the market.
There simply wasn’t the tone of those great recordings I grew up listening to available to the working musician at a sensible price. The distinctive roar of those vintage amps cranked up on the timeless classic rock albums of the 60s, 70s and 80s eluded me for years!
I eventually invested in a 100w amplifier from 1969 with a plexiglass front panel and that famous white logo scripted across the front! I’ve always had a deep respect for the past in terms of engineering and quality of tone, those old great British heads of the 60s and right up the mid 70s were wonderful pieces of engineering with tone to die for! Although running an amplifier that is over 40 years old can also have its issues, as even replacing components to make it function properly inevitably devalues it.
The soaring prices of collectable vintage amplifiers alongside modern live sound reinforcement techniques meant that cranking a ’69 plexi onstage was no longer a viable solution to get that brilliant tone we all know and love.
So I started Healey Amplification and set about designing a 12W amplifier that is surprisingly loud, loud enough to gig with in fact, brilliant with a microphone in front of it in the studio, lightweight, portable and very sturdy.
Unfortunately it’s not as simple as taking those classic circuits and attaching them to a smaller power section. This simply doesn’t yield the right tone for various reasons beyond the scope of this article.
This is where the concept of the Healey Sapphire came from, it was a long process that took many hours of objective listening in a studio situation and a live situation, a solid understanding of how to extract the correct feeling from the power supply to the musicians’ fingers and give an unparalleled level of dynamic control.
As the Sapphire was voiced in the studio, it has been designed to sound great when mic’d with the most common microphone used to record electric guitar. For any of you who have found achieving the ‘tone of the amp in the room’ a frustrating process with other amplifiers, you will love how the Sapphire sounds through a microphone.
I believe I have achieved all those classic tones from the late 60s through to the modified high gain heads of the 80s packaged into an amplifier not much bigger than a shoe box.
This isn’t to say this is a clone, this is a completely new circuit of my own design it has its own tonal quirks it’s got a midrange complexity that allows it to slice straight through any mix. A focused and tight bottom end response and the ability to go from crystal clear clean tones to some of the most focused and responsive high gain sounds I believe you can experience.
So what’s next for Healey? Well, watch this space. We’re already developing our next product, which will complement the Sapphire, most likely available in late 2014 / early 2015. But things don’t happen quickly here – they happen properly. So you best buy a Sapphire now and help us protect the future of incredible tone!
Please feel free to contact us with any questions or comments you may have, using the form below. Our direct email is firstname.lastname@example.org or please call James Healey on +44 (0) 7946 203823 .
Healey Amplifcation recommends Chord Company Cream Instrumental Cable.
We’ve tried them all and nothing else compares. These are the finest cables we’ve ever come across. There is absolutely no loss of signal or tone. It’s hard to describe what these can do for your tone other than present it perfectly. Skeptical? Doesn’t take long to go try one out! We wouldn’t recommend it unless we thought it was brilliant.
Turbo>Tone Speaker Cable.We can retro fit this to our speaker cabs, this amazingly high quality speaker cable preserves tone like no other cable we here at Healey Amplfiication have ever come across. This speaker cable is available exclusively through The Den.