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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Ala Carte Boutique Amplifiers by Booya Amplifier Services,... (Review)

Reviewed By: Jac Harrison
Purchased from: Manufacturer
Street Price: $1,500 and up USD + tax & shipping

Booya Amplifier Services is an American manufacturer of boutique handcrafted, specialty guitar and bass guitar amplifiers that specializes in amplifier modification, customization, design and repair based out of Lake Hopatcong, NJ.  

This review is not on a single amplifier but on the Booya Amplifier Services company as a whole. 

Reliability & Durability:
I played five different amp models at the NY Amp Show, and they all worked 100% of time without fail. I'm confident that these amps would hold up in any studio and/or at a venue without fail.

Booya Amplifier Services is just one of those companies that can put a smile on your face. A small family owned business that started from the pure passion and determination to make a quality product. Jamie Simpson (founder and CEO of Booya Amplifier Services) started his company as a hot rod shop for friends that had amplifiers with less than desirable tone qualities -- while working a full time job. The first time I met Jamie was at the 2012 NY Amp Show in Secaucus NJ. I remember speaking with him vividly about his new company at the time, and how I was in disbelief for two reasons. One -- here was guy with a great job and he was willing to put it all on-the-line to follow his passion, and two -- that he was one hell of an amp builder.

Jamie Simpson (founder and CEO of Booya Amplifier Services)
Fast forward one year to the 2013 NY Amp Show in Piscataway NJ -- Jamie let me leave a few of my guitars in his room at the show. I thought I was helping him out by leaving the guitars to entice people to come in and play his amps -- turns out he was so busy not only could I not get in the room every time I came by to switch guitars -- but he was now helping me out by letting his customers play my guitars. 

Being the new guys in an industry that does not like change takes big stones, and to make a quality product is difficult -- but to only offer a specialized services such as ala carte boutique amplifiers -- you have to be nuts and I respect that.  

So to the review -- When shopping for a boutique amp you normally have a style or a sound in mind and shop a particular builders inventory based on their "signature sound". For example -- if you play a Les Paul you would not buy a Strat and vice verse -- same concept just with amps. This is where the specialized services that Booya offers comes into play. Booya's signature sound is quality builds of any sound. Jamie is a mad scientist when it comes to replicating tone qualities. Like when a good chef samples a competitors food then with a refined pallet can pull the meal apart knowing the ingredients just from taste -- then making it his own. Jamie can do the same with sound. It is actually quite remarkable how dead on accurate and translucent his presence is in a build. I was playing one of his amps that sounded like a vintage Fender that had some new tubes and a kick -- it sounded like Leo built it, then Jamie hot rodded it  -- even though Jamie did the full build himself from new parts. 

So to sum it up -- If you want any sound, from any area or if you want to build your own tone -- contact Booya Amplifier Services before you buy your next amp. They also offer refinishing. My Bogner is there now getting some teal tolex "swag" by Jamie's better half Natalie. 

What I would change:
Not a damn thing -- 

My advice:
If you have a love for a particular sound that is either difficult to duplicate or is way out of your budget -- contact Jamie Simpson from Booya Amplifier Services.   

Booya Amplifier Services 
6 E Shore Rd,
Lake Hopatcong, NJ 07849
(P) 518 882-3267

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Posted 6/2013
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