Hayden MoFo Guitar Amplifiers: Go MoFo!
Hayden Amplifiers are snowballing in popularity, but what is it that makes them so good? Dan from Music Junkie bought one, so we thought we'd get him to tell us...
The US and the UK have been at odds over many things over the years - whether it be language, tea or Starbucks, there's plenty that divides us. If there's one thing that stands above all others in terms of the battle of the countries, however, it's amplifier tone.
There's always been a clear definition of British and American guitar tones. Fender amps like the Hot Rod Deluxe and other boutique amp companies like Mesa-Boogie (expertly recreated in the Line 6 DT50) hold the banner for the States, whereas the Marshall Vintage Modern and Vox AC30 offer what a lot of people tend to think of as the classic British tone.
Now, personally, I've always been pretty patriotic when it comes to this. Yes, I like the chime of a Fender amplifier, but what I look for in an amp is a chunky, smooth drive tone, and I've found that in the Hayden MoFo 30 Head, an amplifier I like so much I bought one for myself - surely there can be no better endorsement?
So, the deal is this: The Hayden MoFo 30 head is an all-valve guitar amplifier featuring 4 EL84 power tubes to push out 30W of incredible sound. It's got a "Stealth switch", which lowers the overall volume, allowing you to really drive it at a volume that won't annoy your neighbours - well, much. The head is also available as the MoFo 15 (as seen in the video above) and the MoFo 55.
So far, so standard - what is it about the MoFo that makes it my favourite amp? There are a couple of really cool features that you don't find on your average amp which I enjoy greatly - for starters, there are two inputs, voiced as UK or US, meaning that whichever side of the UK-US tone argument you fall on, the MoFo can accomodate you by either giving you a classic British warm tone or a more US-centric scooped tone. The other thing that this amp has that you won't find on any other is its namesake - the MoFo dial.
Now, the MoFo dial is possibly the most appropriately named control I have ever seen on any amplifier - no simple gain control, the MoFo is a gain multiplier, and it's footswitchable - basically a kind of configurable boost control, the MoFo boosts the main gain control by a power dependent on how far you turn it up, and can be switched in or out by the included footswitch - so you can go from clean to driven, or clean to crunchy, or crunchy to screaming - there's a huge amount of gain control in this amplifier, and it's pretty easy to get a tone perfect for you.
So, how does it actually sound? Well, it doesn't sound like a Marshall, and it doesn't sound like a Vox. What you have here is a much more bluesy, classic-rocky, punky amplifier with a character all of its own. I really love the drive tones of the MoFo, particularly with the gain control and the MoFo both set to about 1 o'clock - it has a really warm, smooth, distinctly British character that I find completely irresistable, and I'm not the only one - not only are Hayden amps really great sellers in-store, but you'll see Hayden amps on stage with Biffy Clyro, Dirty Pretty Things, Sunny Day Real Estate, Eagles Of Death Metal, Pulled Apart By Horses and a whole load of other acts.
I've played a few different guitars through this amp, but my own guitar is a Fender American Deluxe Telecaster - not a guitar you'd usually associate with huge gainy tones, but the Hayden can handle them and very well. Come on down to our flagship music store in Leicester where we've got Hayden amps for you to try out and see if it's the perfect sound for you, too!