From TheGearPage after the 2007 New York AmpShow
excerpt from Hansoloist's (Jeff Samson) Ultimate Amp Review II - used with permission
And now for something completely different: the Tube Wonder. Alex, the maker of this sonic wonderland and a hell of a nice guy, is coming from a place that…well…I can’t really say for sure where it is, but it’s far and away different from any amp builder I’ve ever encountered. Alex isn’t building upon an existing platform. He’s not drawing from an existing tonal palate. He’s not mimicking or modifying. He’s doing his own thing altogether.
Listening to Alex run through the features on his amp, and the philosophies and science behind them, was mind-blowing. To get an idea of what it was like, imagine all of the girls from the first three Girls Gone Wild DVDs at a nanotechnology seminar. That was the look on most of our faces. Occasionally I’d grasp a concept here or there, but in the end I was lost. I only know that this amp is a tweaker’s paradise, and is very special.
The cosmetics are interesting--raw wood cabinet with some antique radio designs routed into the front, black face panel, and some very cool round knobs with white tips. Very different from a lot of what's out there. There are so many knobs and toggles on this thing that it’s really hard to figure out where to start. To make things more interesting, get this: they all do something. In a world of boutique amps where most knobs allow one to tailor a given sound, without severely altering that sound, this amp allows you to sculpt its tonal characteristics to a degree I have never experienced. With Barry working his way through the knobs and toggles, we were able to coax a seemingly endless variety of tones from the amp. I simply cannot emphasize enough the extent to which we were able to dial in and out frequencies, sculpt distortion characteristics, add and cut sustain, alter harmonic content…every facet of the tonal spectrum could be toyed with. Some of the tones we discovered were familiar (fender, vox, marshall, dumble, wreck all can be had to an extent). Some were wholly original. Some were flat out bizarre. All were very cool.
Alex is really on to something with this Tube Wonder of his. It’s an amp that forces you to reconsider existing notions about tone. About the connection between amp and player. About finding one’s sound. I do not think it too bold to say that it represents an evolution in amplifier building.
Kudos to you, Alex. And best of luck.
Quotes from other threads at The GearPage:
Most interesting and innovative: the Tubewonder of Alex Niemand - great tones! - Trisonic
The Tubewonder by Alex Niemand was terrific. Very versatile and the harmonics switch worked like a charm [...]All around versatile beast with singing harmonics on each note. Great verb too..... Nice footswitch - scottl
I had another great encounter with Alex and his Tubewonder amp. We first met at the Chicago Tonefest, and Alex continues to work on improving this amp. It is probably the most tweakable amp ever built. If you can't find your tone in that amp, it doesn't exist! His newest development is the addition of a proprietary 4 button footswitch for boost, OD, reverb and fx-loop bypass. It made a huge difference by taking an amazingly versatile studio tool gig-friendly as well. - Frankenstrat2
The Tubewonder had great tone and could cop MANY different styles. I like the way you could access 4 completely different sounds from the footpedal, great stuff!!! - Chi