Charlotte, 2009 Our Visit to the Splawn Amp Factory
Lee and I paid a visit to the Splawn Amplification Factory in Dallas, NC the day before the Charlotte Guitar show and it was both pleasant and informative. We were given the nickel tour by the owner himself, Scott Splawn and he gave us access to places no humans had ever been allowed before. The place is laid back, but busy and the guys who work there were as cool as the other side of the pillow. Great place, great people and a really great product- so much so, we became Georgia's exclusive Splawn dealer and that's saying a lot about these amps. If you can imagine the perfect Marshall JCM 800 sound, then make it better and have it sound the same every time you cut your amp on, you have just imagined the sound of Splawn amps. They produce the best rock guitar tone ever to enter the 'Elkcave and that's the reason Lee not only plays them, but why we represent them! Now, on to that nickel tour….
Photos 1 & 2. This is the owner of Splawn Amps, Mr. Scott Splawn. He's created a humble, but excellent place to build these amps and it was a surprise to us when we first rolled up to his factory. The building is small and unassuming, but don't be fooled: the activity is on a large scale and everyone who works there is a busy beaver. Scott demoed a new head and slant 4x12 cabinet for us and you would have sworn George Lynch was standing in that room. The tone was that spot- on and one of the best we'd ever heard. I cannot begin to tell you how much I wish these amps had been around in 1986- there would have been some sulking, just got blown off the stage guitarists in Atlanta!
Photo 3. This is Scott's bench, where he hand- wires and "final assembles" every amp that leaves the shop. You have to love and trust an amp that was finished and checked by the CEO of a corporation.
Photo 4. This is Josh M., the electronic technician and pre- assembly guy. I don't think this cat said one word the whole time we were there and he may have looked up from his bench once- if he did, it was only a quick glance. But, as we say down in Georgia, "silence speaks volumes"…..
Photo 5. This is Brian "Tree" S. He's in charge of all CNC and woodworking operations at the factory. The guys at Splawn told us they call him "Tree" because he's so tall, but we'd bet the ladies of Dallas call him that for another reason. Either way, we didn't touch it with a ten- foot pole- we just kept on moving.
Photo 6. Here's Brian "Dude" E. Everyone calls him "Dude" because he calls everyone "Dude". He's the guy that installs the tolex and piping onto the finished cabinets and then loads the cabs. One of the secrets of the "Splawn tone" is that Brian listens to Scorpions all day, every day. That small, but important gesture both ensures that the spirit of rock is embedded into each cabinet that goes out of the shop and keeps him awake so he doesn't shoot heavy- duty staples into the top of his feet.
Photo 7. New, pre- fabricated chassis, ready to receive the guts of the amp.
Photo 8. Head and cab boxes with routed faceplates, ready for assembly and tolex. The heads and cabinets are made from Baltic Birch to provide for a superior tone and show a dedication to provide only the best materials available for these products.
Photo 9. Assorted Splawn tolex colors and patterns.
Photo 10. Finished 4x12 cabs. These beasts look and sound like nothing else on the market and when you're ready for the magical tone that's eluded you for years, try just one of these amp and cabinet sets- you'll never go back to your old rig again!