John Painter is the owner and sound engineer for The Kitchen Studios in Dallas, Texas. The Kitchen Studios has been making classic recordings in the heart of Dallas for over 30 years and boasts a client list topped by Grammy winning artist Erykah Badu.
Over the last year or so, I have gotten to know John, or ‘JP’ as he is known, on a personal level and I can tell you this gentleman is a class act – top shelf type human. Classic is what defines JP.
As I walk into JP’s guitar room, the distinct loom of cash money fills my nostrils and a 1959 Les Paul catches my eye hanging on the wall. Next, an intimidating vintage Marshall full stack looming in the corner challenges me to a duel – my watts vs your ears. Holy hell, I have arrived in guitar nirvana.
Les Paul Juniors litter the floor while vintage Strats share wall space with other Gibsons and rarities like a Shot Jackson and one of a kind Chris Forshage guitars. You really cannot beat vintage gear that is in good shape. There is something special about a piece of wood that has been a guitar for 50 plus years. It knows what it’s job is.
Painter Amps JTM 45 is a handwired take on a Marshall JTM style head. The dual inputs makes cross patching or ‘jumpering’ possible and then the two volume knobs blend between the two channels. One channel is a clean edge and the other is a hotter more raspy gain, but not totally saturated type Marshall snarl. The magic comes when you blend the two channels with the duel volume knobs. The Painter JTM 45 is touch sensitive and makes finding tones at the edge of breakup easy.
I play mostly clean with a touch of dirt. I like the amp to break up some when I dig into the guitar strings. The duel volume knobs make fine tuning your clean to breakup ratio intuitive and pleasurable. There is a large grey hairy sweet spot on this amp that I don’t hear in other Marshall clones.
This 45 watt head has plenty of headroom for nice clean tones, but it can grind too. No tone sucking effects loop or master volume. This amp sounds great and comes equipped with kt66 tubes that give it that classic tone. John says you can swap in el34s if you want, but the Painter JTM 45 is specifically designed to run kt66 tubes.
The point to point handwired Painter JTM 45 amp is affordable with a MSRP of 999.