Kendrick K Spot

The most popular amp that Kendrick currently makes, the K Spot ($2,595 direct only) sports a cabinet made from 100-year-old solid lacquered pine, neat hand-wired circuitry, and a tube-powered, 3-knob reverb that’s housed in a separate box mounted to the inside of the cabinet. This is another superbly made amp, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen lacquered, tweed-cloth covering applied so nicely. Toned to a hue that Kendrick calls “nicotweed,” it literally hugs every curve and corner—and there are a lot of them—as if part of the wood itself.

The K Spot’s floating grille features a large “K” cutout designed to cover the center of the 100-watt Fane speaker to mitigate beaminess. The amp’s four inputs are also voiced slightly differently, with #1 being the brightest, #2 slightly less bright, and so on. This is a good way to utilize the four bores on the tweed Deluxe-style chassis, though I got the best results just using input 1 most of the time. In case you’re wondering, you can’t jumper the inputs on this single-channel amp.

Plugging into the U.S.-made K Spot is a rewarding experience, as it gushes tones that are big, beefy, and dynamic. At a Volume setting of 3 or even less, it’s loud and clean enough to cut it on a jazz gig. Turned up around 5, it’s perfect for hard-driving blues or rockabilly. And that’s just the beginning, as the K Spot pours on the throaty distortion as you go from there, quickly shedding its tweed demeanor and assuming a more aggressive, Marshall-like stance. If you’re into riding your guitar volume to morph between rhythm and lead, this is the amp for you. In fact, most of us who used the K Spot live didn’t even want to bother using a distortion pedal. When the grind’s this good, who needs it? Although the K Spot is a fairly loud amp, some situations—such as when playing with another guitarist—required elevating the amp in order to hear it more clearly. (A louder 2x12 version of the K Spot is available for $2,995.) No matter how hard you’re running it, though, the K Spot always cleans up well when you turn your guitar down, and it stays crisp and articulate. You never feel like you’re fighting murkiness with this amp.

It helps to be a reverb fanatic to fully appreciate the K Spot, as its excellent all-tube unit can deliver everything from subtle airiness to soaking-wet surf textures. It’s nice to be able to turn the reverb on and off via footswitch, too. Compact, great sounding, and beautifully made, the “K” stands for “Killer.”

Kudos Awesome tweed Fender to vintage Marshall-style tones. Great sounding reverb. Light and compact. Handy 20-foot power cord.

Concerns May be necessary to raise the amp to hear it more clearly on large stages.

Contact Kendrick, (512) 932-3130;