2 years ago

4.52am Issue: 006 30th October 2016

4.52am Your Free Weekly Guitar and Music Magazine


MOTION CUSTOM WORKS 3G8B1 I love Andrew Pih’s approach to his Motion Custom Works’ amps, there is just no compromise whatsoever on any level. He is humble and modest about the ridiculous quality of his amps, but it is easy to see that there is a steel inside that means that nothing will get in the way of him producing you the best amp you could possibly want. I asked about how he goes about designing an amp, “I always start with a record; I have many great guitar sounds stored in my head that excite me...I try and build to that. I mean, all guitarists / musicians are fans of music, some of them hear the whole thing, the song, chords, harmonic interplay and production value...some of them dissect music into individual sounds and separate the rhythm guitar from the lead from the bass from the vocals and so on. Well this is where I start. It often ruins my appreciation of the art and means I will dismiss some great songs because the guitars sound wrong (to me). I start with the output section, mating the right valves to the right spec output transformer and speaker is key to a great sounding and feeling amp. Then I'll move onto the tone stack, this is where a bulk of my testing time is lost, it can take weeks of tweaking and revising it before an amp hits the sweet spot but it has, on one occasion, worked straight out of the box, the just happened and it sounded exactly how I imagined it would.” But how does he maintain the quality of his amps, when there are so many aspects to their manufacture? “I try to be in control of as much as I can. The cabinets were designed by me and built by my father in law, a 75-year-old master carpenter. Call it fortune, call it destiny...he has a fully functioning wood workshop at the bottom of his garden. He is from a generation before power tools, before jigs and ready-made, easy fit, one size fits all manufacturing. He's incredibly patient with me, he makes, remakes and re-remakes newly designed cabinets until I'm happy with the build methods and most importantly the sound, he brings knowledge and experience that being 75 years old can only bring. I do all the metal chassis design myself too and use a local family owned fabrication company to do all the folding, punching, plating etc. I do all the cabinet covering myself, I wire and assemble the turret boards too. I'm a bit of a control freak, I don't think I could relax enough to trust anyone with any other part of the build.