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Mastodon’s Bill Kelliher destroys on new Friedman Butterslax 100w head
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Mastodon’s Bill Kelliher destroys on new Friedman Butterslax 100w head

by Stephen Charlton2016/07/10

The Friedman Butterslax Bill Kelliher Signature Head is a crushing 100-watt, three-channel behemoth, brought to you by boutique manufacturer Friedman Amplification and the Mastodon guitarist. The hand-wired amp has quite a dark, nasty sound. Kelliher plays a range of material over the four-minute video below, showcasing quite a few sounds, although the amp maintains a distinct voicing throughout.

Boutique outfit Friedman Amplification no stranger to big names

Friedman Amplification may be a relatively small manufacturer but founder Dave Friedman certainly has the right credentials. Friedman, who is based in Los Angeles, has provided gear for Eddie Van Halen and his rooster currently includes Jerry Cantrel and Billy Idol guitarist Steve Stevens.

Friedman Butterslax Bill Kelliher Signature Head specs

Mastodon Friedman Butterslax Bill Kelliher Signature Head

The Friedman Butterslax Head.

The Friedman Butterslax is named after Kelliher’s online handle for the past several years. It’s inspired by a mid-70s Marshall sound. The amp is US-made and is powered by 4 x EL-34 power tubes and 4 x 12AX7 preamp tubes. It features a line-out with level control, “ultra transparent” series FX loop, custom USA-made transformers, two-button footswitch and a limited lifetime warranty.

Friedman admits straight up that this is not the amp for players who make extensive use of the clean channel. Instead he promises:

“Gain, more gain, extreme gain and some more gain to top it off…  If you want a tone machine that measures on the Richter Scale, plug into the Butterslax and enjoy the ride.”

The amp is designed to deliver super tight high gain with a deep, rich low-end. It also offers:

“detailed midrange and singing highs that capture every drop of each articulated note”.

Mastodon Friedman Butterslax Bill Kelliher Signature Head rear

The back panel of the Friedman Butterslax.

The first channel (with gain, master, bass, middle, and treble) takes you from clean, to overdriven to hard rock tones. The second channel takes you to where most metal-focused amps leave off. The third channel hits extreme gain territory. The first channel has an individual control panel, while the second and third channel share their EQ settings. There’s also global Presence and Thump controls.

US buyers can pick up the Friedman Butterslax Bill Kelliher Signature Head for $3,899 on Amazon while UK and EU buyers can buy it for £3,558.60 and €4,159 respectively on Thomann.

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About The Author
Stephen Charlton

Stephen Charlton is a musician, journalist and editor.

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