Photo: kumi noro
As an artist, as an amplifier engineer who is very reliable, Mr. Akima, who is taking care of our shop on a daily basis. He is active in the legendary band "MARCHOSIAS VAMP", "AKIMA & NEOS", and now "RAMA AMOEBA". At the same time, amplifier engineers are also working on maintenance, modern, and original amplifiers. A reliable amplifier master who adjusts the amplifier from a professional engineer viewpoint and an artist's perspective.
Photo: kumi noro
I myself, who usually helps the requests of various customers, also listened to the story and studied again. I would like to thank you for taking this opportunity. I hope this project will help everyone who pursues the "ideal sound". Let's study together!
"At that time, I was doing something like joint development with Paul Libera."
―I look thank you today !!
Akima: Thank you for your cooperation.
-Currently, Mr. Akuma, who is producing his own original amplifier, was the reason for being interested in the inside of the amplifier (circuit) in the first place?
Akima: I think it's regardless of the amplifier, but when I first bought an electric guitar in the first place ... I was a junior high school student, but I guess the electric guitar is written as Volume or a tone. So isn't the electric guitar a jack? I thought that if I put a headphone there (laughs), I bought an electric guitar, and even if I put the headphone, there was no sound at all ... (Laughs) That's pretty shocking. I realized that I was ignorant. From there. Originally, when I was in junior high school, I liked audio. Because it was an audio mania. I feel like I started to be interested because of that.
-What is since that time that you can actually open the inside of the amplifier?
Akima: At first, the shield was cut off and fixed, or if you look at the contents of the effector ... I wonder if the guitar was remodeled first than the amplifier? So when I was in high school, music magazines such as "Rockin F" were just launched. I'm 76 years old, so when I was in my first year of high school? So you actually made an effector. I guess that I was attending an electronic high school.
-When did you start making amplifiers and maintenance/modifiers in earnest?
Akima: When I was a college student, I made my own amplifier. Although it was a little amateur, I also modified the amplifier I had. After that, I graduated from college and joined Kanda Shokai ... I was the most full -fledged at that time. Musicman and Maxon effectors, and SHURE's microphone. I almost did the maintenance around that. Also, at that time, I was doing joint development with Paul Libera (former Fender's amplifier designer, then original brand Rivera). It was fun to share ideas and shapes.
-Is it Paul Rivera? What is it like?
Akima: He was a good person (laughs).
"Everyone says the same. After all, the genre doesn't matter."
-There is an original amplifier, but how did you get it?
Akima: Regarding the original amplifier, I didn't start saying "Okay, let's do it !!", so I don't know exactly when. At first I was asked by an acquaintance. In the introduction of an acquaintance, it seems that people who do not know at all come to request, and it seems that it has reached the present. The brand name "Akima & Neos" was taken from my band name at the time. In my case, I made a new sound with an amplifier and a song, so the brand name was the same as the band name. The band has now become Rama Amoeber, so it feels like "Akima & Neos" as an amplifier brand.
-I think there are orders from various customers, but are there any tendencies or trends?
Akima: Oh, that's it. Everyone is the same. After all, the genre doesn't matter. So almost all the guitarists want an amplifier. The sound quality part ... In terms of sound texture, everyone is "everyone can hear it". It doesn't matter if it's jazz or heavy metal. When I talk to various people while making a sound, everything is the same. Rather, the difference in the genre is still the difference in the guitar? For example, jazz people are boxes, and heavy metal people have an arm and have a sharp body (laughs). ). Isn't the type of pickup different? So I think genre is not an amplifier but a guitar taste. The difference in the genre of the part you want from the amplifier is the degree of crunch. Only the degree of crunch changes depending on the musicality. But the texture was the same. It was really interesting.
And there is a need for sound with midrange. Even those who think that it is OK with a donzal -like sound without a midrange, comes to me because the sound does not come out when it comes to ensemble. Bringing a CD of an overseas artist who wants to make such a sound, it is not surprisingly donchari. You can hear it in Don Shari, but there are quite a midrange, actually. So when you adjust it and ring it with an amplifier, you often feel like "Oh, this is it" (laughs).
-It is interesting. The texture or tone you are looking for is the same, and the difference is the degree of distortion ...
Akima: After that, there is a subtly American trend, the United Kingdom tendency ... something like a texture. It may be the difference between amplifiers, or rather the difference in speakers. American people have gencen, and British people are selations. The British type likes beautiful sounds, and American systems are a bit wild.
"There is something from the old tweed period of Fender. That is not so different from Marshall."
―I think Mr. Akima has actually seen various amplifiers, but what kind of amplifier was the amplifier that was sometimes impressive?
Akima: Isn't there a bluesbreaker combo of Marshall? That's 12 inches. What I saw was a (vintage) diamond type with 4 shots of 10 inches. I think it's quite unusual, but that Bluesbreaker sounded really good. Probably the circuit of the head is the same, so I think the difference in the sound of 12 inches and 2 shots of 10 inches. In the fender, for example, the difference between a professional reverb and a super riverb. So I think it's a diameter of a speaker that really matches the guitar. After all, two shots are a little short. Conversely, isn't it common to say 12 inches 4 shots? No matter what Marshall. I have the image of a low -matched Low. I think it's probably near HR/HM.
-I just talked about vintage, but can you talk about the vintage marshall, fender, VOX and highwatts features? Of course, there are various things, such as models, etc. Do you feel like the wind?
Akima: For example, there is something from the old tweed period of Fender. That is not so different from Marshall. Marshall made based on Fender Baseman, but there are almost places. There is only a little difference. So, I think Marshall is stubbornly protecting it. I think the fender has been established as a fender after a minor change such as White Torex. Of course, the marshall is too modern when it becomes JCM900 or 2000, so it is quite different. Until I get tired, it's about 1959 or 4 inputs. So VOX is a little different again. VOX feels a bit unique. The feature of VOX is that it uses a small power tube called EL84. That's a big signal, I can't get a big output, but if it's a truck, it's like a light tiger. However, there is a tone that does not come out unless it is, and it is very delicate and contains a lot of harmonics. If you say it on an acoustic guitar, it feels really good or the overtones are rich. It still has a soft sound. AC30. Regarding highwatts, it's a bit different. That is completely different from Marshall. I guess the low mid has a characteristic.
"The one made in the United States has a so -called American characteristic. It's lively and bright (laughs)."
―I also talked about vacuum tubes, but I would like to tell you the differences between the common Europeans and the United States, or the production area.
Akima: Now I can hardly get what Europe and the United States have made a long time ago. Russia, Slovakia, China, and such places are hard to distinguish. But in the old tubes, it's still an American tube 6L6 tube. Well, it can be said not only for tubes but also for the whole part. The one made in the United States has a so -called American characteristic. It's lively and bright (laughs). Europe feels dark and thick. There are also characteristics of Murad and the image of the country. It feels like it is reflected as it is. German things are straight. When it comes to Japan, it's really good, but it's colorless (laughs). There is no color (laughs). It is interesting to see various things.
There is also such a tendency for condensers. People who make and modify themselves are often in amplifiers, assuming that sprag condenser orange drops are good, but that may suit the American tube, but for European amplifiers. I feel uncomfortable to put it in. That's why even tubes and condensers, which are generally good, have compatibility with the amplifier itself.
-I think the speakers and enclosure that came out at the beginning of the story are also important, but for example, I think there are times when you have to replace the speakers in some cases. Can you tell me that Akuma -san is concerned about the exchanges?
Akima: Even if the state of the amplifier is good, if the speaker is not suitable, the personality of the sound is ... the influence of the speaker is great. Even if it is a marshall, depending on the speaker, the head has not been able to demonstrate the goodness at all. After all, I think that it is useless if you do not put the speaker that matches the head. For example, in the case of JCM2000, 900, or 800, just replacing it with green back or Vintage 30 will make you feel like a different thing. Even with the same size of the same gain, the texture of the distortion is completely different, and the softness of the sound is different. Even an acquaintance says, "The Marshall JCM2000 of the live house there makes a really good sound", and when you actually go see it, it is often a normal head. However, when I checked it, the cabinet was 1960V and the speaker was Vintage30. I don't know at first glance. The only thing that everyone says is "the best head" is not the above, but the difference between the lower speakers. I think it's better to stick to the speakers in various ways without despising anyway. If you say that the genuine and attached thing is good, it may not be so. There are many speakers that can bring out the potential of the head more. Isn't the guitar replacing the pickup? The speakers used to be very expensive in the past, but now they are quite affordable. It's a bit big because it's a little big, but I think it's worth trying.
"Because the area with the parts solder is wide, hand wiring is overwhelmingly stronger in that respect."
-The next time we will talk with the keyword handmade. Akima's amplifier is also handmade, and what is called vintage amplifier is also handmade. Of course, there are many good mass -produced type, but what do you think of the goodness of handmade or its charm?
Akima: It is easy to simply make it on a printed circuit board, and if the same parts are on the ride, there is a feeling that there is not much difference ... theoretically. However, the printed circuit board is based on the base of the copper foil, and the electricity runs there. The parts are soldered there ... In my opinion, the copper foil is so thin, and when I do it with parts to -parts (point to points), the wiring becomes so thick. I guess the difference is big. Of course, the sound changes with the wiring material.
Even if I say electronic, I have an image like a water pipe. The tone of the guitar is changed to an electric signal or a voltage. When the attacking attack enters "can", it is necessary when the current (from the transformer/power supply part) from the amp. At that time, if the electricity does not flow, the attack cannot be expressed. Then the whole tone will change. You're also a synthesizer, attack/release. Because it is related to the degree of strength, it is useless if the electricity does not flow properly when you want the attack. If you have a thicker water pipe, you will come to "Don" when you want an attack. Also, the details are durable. Even if the amplifier head is a cabinet, there is a fine vibration when it is constantly ringing. Hand wiring is overwhelmingly stronger because the area has been soldered to the printed circuit board.
-Certainly, vintage amplifiers are still used for decades, but they can still be used as active, and sometimes they are impressed by the moment.
Akima: For example, the vintage 60's ... The 60's is a so -called antique in the general public. It is only this instrument industry that it is used in active duty. You are active and everyone uses the 60's. At that time, the TV was still a vacuum tube, and it was about the beginning of color TV. So, if you think so, it is common to say that you can't use it because you can't use it. But if you look inside the amplifier properly, for example, the amplifier released last year ... apart from hand wiring ... I can trust it at all. I think it would be safe if things from the 60's were in good condition once. It's not very scary, it's almost fixing, and if you have a vacuum tube amplifier, it's not scary at all. I use a lot of special parts because the cost is reduced when making a printed circuit board that is sold now. It is the same as ordinary appliances. After 7-8 years, there is no parts guarantee. Without that part, you may not be able to fix the failure. So, if you say that what is being sold now is used in 30 years later, that's a bit doubtful. On the other hand, I think that things from the 60's will probably remain. I'll fix it forever.
"The vacuum tube is a very acoustic element."
―In recent years, bass amplifiers have become largely modernized, but only guitar amplifiers (even though the types have increased), vacuum tube amplifiers have long been the mainstream. What do you think Akima's tube amplifier attracts people?
Akima: For example, even with an acoustic guitar, not only the sound of the strings, but also the body and various places resonate, and the overtone ingredients are full on the real sound, and it comes out with a pleasant feeling. That's true for all acoustic instruments, but the electric guitar is almost overtones in the parts that are out of the plug in the first place. As a matter of course, the sound and taste of the overtone with an electric guitar have a large part of the amplifier. With the birth of the harmonics (overtones), it feels like "cool sound" for the first time. That's why electric guitar and tube amplifier are two. I think that the tube amplifier is drawn out the electric guitar -like character.
Distorting the sound is also an image of increasing overtones anyway. It's a tone. At that time, it will be a crunch from a clean sound ... it is also a vacuum tube that creates a pleasant sound of overtones. The only vacuum tube is the clean -crunch -hard dispersion, and the flow there is very smooth. The transistor is distorted from a certain moment. Even if the guitar volume is narrowed down, it remains distorted. I feel like the distorted sound is riding small. So I wonder if I'm really satisfied with vacuum tubes. For that overtone. There are kinds of overtones at even numbers, harmonics at odd times, overtones, and it feels comfortable, and it's wild ... I think the balance in that area is good, the vacuum tube. 。 I think it's a very acoustic element. It has progressed and it is a transistor or IC, but in the electronic part, the replacement may be smooth, but it is not evolution at all. It is not a mistake to advance technology in sound, but it may not be better than for now. It's just convenient.
―I think Mr. Akima has heard various sounds so far, but could you tell me if there is a recommended sound that this sound was cool !! But
Akima: I agree. When I talk about T -Rex, I'm going in a very maniac direction ... (laughs). But in the sound of Stratocaster's center, the sound of Utsumi in the last live of Carol played in the noon !! That is a Facalit. No, it's pretty cool !! The amplifier is Ampeg V4. That's really good !!
-This is the last question, what is an amplifier for Akima -san?
Akima: No, it's pretty important for me than a guitar. Creating songs and playing a band is a message you want to convey, but it's not a place to express it. Anyway, the sound of the electric guitar is cool and I write a song to sound it. It's like that (laughs). So the amplifier is not just one of the tools that regenerate the sound of an electric guitar. The weight is quite high, there is an amplifier, so I make a song, and the band seems to be playing ... it's the opposite of normal (laughs).
-There are many rare stories today.
Akima: Thank you very much.
Photo: kumi noro