1. #1

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    I’ve been waiting for a used Gries 5 to come on the market, but I’m impatient and the amp is rare. On a whim, I called Alpha Audio Works, which is the only dealer listed on the Gries website. They happened to have one of Gries’s Home/Studio 5 watt heads in stock. This one is based on the AA764 (blackface) Champ circuit, but has bass/treble/mid controls. Gries also makes a 5-watt head based on the 5F1 (tweed) Champ circuit. There are some differences between this head and the full-on Gries 5, but for my purposes, this should be just fine. I paired it with a cool, slightly beat-up 2x10 cabinet built by Bob Burt. The baffle must be aftermarket, because it is cut in such a way that I can only fit one speaker in there. Until I get a chance to build a better baffle, I’ll just have one Eminence GA10-SC64 in there.


    I am still putting the amp through its paces, but so far I am very satisfied. The amp shipped with three JJ tubes: ECC83, 6V6, and GZ34. It felt pretty stiff at first, so I swapped in an old RCA 12AX7 and a JJ 5Y3, which softened up the attack considerably. There is more than enough clean headroom and volume for my play-at-home-during-covid purposes. The three-knob EQ on the AA764 circuit is an absolute revelation. When I think Champ, I think two knobs: volume and tone. This is much more versatile. The bass control is very sensitive—a little bit of movement provides an awful lot of tone-shaping, and it was not too long after doing the tube swap I decided that this amp was a keeper.

    Gries Home/Studio 5 watt-img_3892-jpeg

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  3. #2

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    Congrats, and thanks for the review!

  4. #3

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    Nice Ampeg in the background, too!

  5. #4

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    Very cool amp! Congratulations, and play it in good health!

  6. #5

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    That looks great, I'd love to hear it!