The Fabulous Headstrong Lil' King Amp - Ask Zac 158

April 17, 2020

I have bought and sold at least 10 Princeton Reverb-style amps over the last 30 years. I want to love them, but I hate the way most of them sound really small when dialed in clean with a Telecaster's bridge pickup. And as much as I love my old 1965 Deluxe Reverb amp, there are many times when I wish I had an amp that would hit the sweet spot at a lower volume, and be a bit easier to tote around. Earlier this year, I was at JD Simo's studio, and he encouraged me to play through his Headstrong Lil' King. I was blown away and ordered one the next day. It arrived a couple of weeks later, handbuilt by Wayne, and it was no less stellar than Simo's amp. I took the amp on a gig 2-days later, and I kept looking back at it during the gig. On the gig, I played at least half the time on the bridge pickup with a cleaner tone, and the Lil' King produced wonderfully fat tones no matter the pickup setting or pedal used. After many years of searching, I found my Princeton.

Gear used:

2023 Headstrong Lil' King with 12" Eminence GA-SC64 speaker

1957 Fender Esquire with a 1954 neck pickup, and original bridge pickup. Restoration and Aging on the Body by Dan "Danocaster" Strain. Refret by Nick at Glaser Instruments. Both pickups were rewound by Ron Ellis. Pickguard design by Jay & Kristi Smith of Juicebox Designs.

Strings: D'Addario NYXL 95-44

Pick:Blue Chip TPR 35

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