|Kimbell and Edlund|
Back in 1968, they were doing a photo shoot at a Rock ‘n Roll trade show, when Edlund saw a 5 watt battery powered amplifier made by an audio visual distribution company called Pacific Radio. There were plenty of 5 watt amplifiers back in the day, but most were AC amps in larger cabinets.
|English Leather Box|
Edlund came up with the idea of a creating small battery powered amplifier. English Leather Cologne was popular back then and it was packaged in a small hinged wooden box. Edlund used one of these as a chasis for his small amplifier.
Edlund asked him to try out his homemade amplifier and Zevon wound up finishing all the sessions using the tiny amp.
|Original Pignose Knob|
The guys came up with “The Legendary” moniker by giving all 65 amps away, in hope someone would take interest and offer funding. It paid off.
|Terry Kath of Chicago|
Edlund redesigned the amp to look much like it does today, and named it the 7-100. Pignose Industries set up production. They used Martin guitars for distribution, and printed thousands of red, white, and blue stickers to advertise the amplifiers.
|Vintage USA made Pignose7-100|
The company made and sold over 50,000 amplifiers the first year.
The amp is in a 9 x 6 x 4” case, and weighs about 5 pounds. It pumps 5 watts into a 5” speaker, and is powered by six AA batteries, or an optional 9 volt AC transformer.
The cabinet included two guitar strap hooks, to allow the player to put a strap on it and wear it over their shoulder.
|JCM2000 with JCM900 cabinet |
and a Pignose 7-100
The Legendary Pignose 5 watt amp was sort of thumbing its snout at guitar and bass players that were obsessed with Marshall Stacks, and other huge amplifiers. And a lot of artists, including Frank Zappa, Eric Clapton, and John Lennon recorded with a Pignose amp.
|Vintage Pignose 7-100|
This little piggy may not have the bells and whistles of the newer amplifiers. And it not just a one trick pony. This little piggy gives a down and dirty distorted guitar sound, but you can actually get a clean and chimey sound out of it if you try.
|Preamp out jack|
You can get a slightly different sound by playing with the cabinet opened or closed. If you have a friend open and close the cabinet while you are playing, you can get a sort of Wah-wah sound. The portability of the Pignose allowed electric guitarists to strap the amp over their shoulder while busking.
|1974 Pignose Ad |
with Terry Kath
The accountant for Chicago ran Pignose Industries from 1974 until 1982.
In 1985 the company was purchased by Howard Chatt. He has owned and run the company since 1985.
|Keith Richard's Vintage Pignose|
|Pignose Hog 20|
Pignose currently offers two other portable battery powered amplifiers; the 20 watt Hog 20, and the 30 watt Hog 30.
|Pignose Hog 30|
Both of these amps come with a rechargeable battery that allows the amp to run for 6 to 10 hours on a single charge.
|1980's Pignose 30/60 amplifier|
The Pignose G40V was first offered in 1997 for $199.00. This all tube amplifier was designed by amp guru Dennis Kager. Sadly, Mr. Kager passed away in 2018.
|Dennis Kager with Sundown Amplifiers|
Kager spent his younger days working for Ampeg, then went out on his own, setting up his shop called Central Jersey Music Service in Edison, New Jersey. It was there he created a line of amps he called Sundown Amplifiers.
One of these was the small but powerful Sundown AC50 watt amplifier. It also came in a 100 watt version. Dennis Kager worked with Yamaha, assisting with the early Michael Soldano amps, and was instrumental in creating Gorilla Amps, which was another Pignose Industries product. Kager was hired by St. Louis Music/Loud Technologies to help recreate the Ampeg SVT-VR reissue. He also worked for Joe Naylor, and created the Reverend amplifiers.
Mr. Kager inked a deal with Pignose Industries to create an affordable small 40 watt all tube amplifier. This amplifiers electronics loosely mirrored a Tweed Fender Bassman, which became the PIgnose G40V.
|Pignose G40V front and back|
Controls included volume, master volume, middle, treble, bass, and presence.
This amp was LOUD. Unfortunately, when it was first offered, the G40V was very underappreciated, due to the fact it was made in China during an era when Chineses products were considered inferior. Today Fender, Vox, Marshall, Gibson/Epiphone, and other companies make most of their products in China.
The Pignose G40V weighed in a 28 pounds, which was a few pounds less than a 15 watt Fender Princeton Reverb, but the Pignose sold for hundreds of dollars less, and was as loud as a 50 watt Marshall amp.
The only issue I had with the G40V was it was a little too bright through the internal 10" speaker. However, the speaker could easily be unplugged. In fact the amp has two speaker jacks. One was for a 4 ohm load, and the other was for an 8 ohm load. One could plug it into a larger speaker cabinet for a most impressive sound.
Around 1999 Pignose offered two other Kager designed amplifers; The Pignose G60V, which featured a 12" special design speaker, spring reverb, and effects send and receive loop, and an additional 12AX7 tube to power the reverb.
|Pignose B100V Bass Amp|
The other amplifier was the B110V bass amp. This one featured a 15" speaker. These amps were covered in a thicker black tolex material. The G40V was covered in the thinner brown material used on most Pignose amps. All of these amplifiers were discontinued, however on the used market, the G40V sells for $200 to $350.00 USD.
|Kager K50-15 Amplifier|
Though Mr Kager is no longer with us, Pignose Industries now offers a Kager designed amplifier called the Kager K50-15. This is a hand-wired tube powered amplifier that is switchable from 15 to 50 watts. The controls feature, volume, master volume, treble, middle, bass, presence, and reverb. It also includes twin inputs, a power on/off, and a standby switch.
The amp powers a 12" high output speaker. It is covered in white tolex, and comes with a cover. It sells new for $1850.00 USD. Considering it is a hand-wired amplifier, this is comparable to other guitar amplifiers in that category.
|Pignose Travel Electric Guitars|
Under Howard Chatt's direction Pignose Industries has offered some very innovative projects including travel guitars, with built-in Pignose amplifiers.
I believe that when most of us think of a Pignose amp, we remember the epic, little piggy 7-100.
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