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Ceriatone 100 watt Chupacabra

Sun, May 15, 2011 10:06am

I have been a rigtalk member for a little over a year and decided to give my take on members pursuit for the ultimate high gain head! My focus has been on the modded marshall's ie - Cameron, Freidman and so on. I realized to aquire a Cameron Marshall you need a Kings randsom (and worth it).

I hold my hand up when I say that I am part of the contingency searching for high gain heaven. I am now convinced that I found it in the Ceriatone 100 watt Chupacabra. My resume of past heads, mesa, voodoo modded marshall, egnater seminar head and more that I cannot remember.

I will give the cliff notes version of the chup. As you may know, you have three options for tone. 80's modded marshall, 60's Plexi(loud as hell) and Modern. Each option does an incredible job of recreating those tones. I prefer and use the 80's modded sound. I have to say that this thing is as close to a Cameron modded marshall than anything else out there. In the power section I have the EL-34 Winged C's and for the preamp, 3 JJ 12ax7's. This thing will nail - 80's - Lynch, VanHalen, 60's - ZZ Top, AC/DC. Modern - Drop tune you then have Killswitch Engage. For the Cabinet, I am running a Marshall 4x12 with Vintage 30's.

Here is the kicker, this thing is quiet and really cleans up well with the volume rolled down on your guitar. So...unless a Cameron Modded Marshall falls in my lap? My pursuit is complete with the Ceriatone 100 watt Chupacabra.

Re: Ceriatone 100 watt Chupacabra

Thu, Jun 02, 2011 12:57pm

Thanks for the short review. I am thinking of buying the Chupa or maybe the Yeti.

Re: Ceriatone 100 watt Chupacabra

Sun, Jun 05, 2011 9:22am

The yeti seems to be an impressive hybrid of the chup. I have read on the forums here that the chup seems to be a little bright. Like I have said before, tone is subjective to ones ear. I think with the values and the pussy trimmer ( i love that) on the yeti it gives one the option to work more with the tone. In my opinion, you could flip a coin on which head to buy and would not be dissapointed with the end result. One calling that holds true is that Nick is incredible to work with.

For fun, I connected a sonic maximizer through the effects loop and really liked it for drop tuning sounds, on the other hand I was not so much impressed with the max in standard tuning. Once I figure out how to post a decent vid I will do so and let our fellow rig-talk bretheren (spelling?) decide. Either way I think your choices are right on point - the chup or the yeti!

Re: Ceriatone 100 watt Chupacabra

Mon, Nov 14, 2011 4:26am

Thanks for the review!

Everything I hear from the owners of either the Chupa or the Yeti is most impressive. Does not help my GAS at all haha!

Clips of your Chupa would be greatly appreciated ;).

Re: Ceriatone 100 watt Chupacabra

Wed, Nov 16, 2011 10:05pm

Thanks! Seems like everytime time i think about doing a clip......i forget to :D I am still in the honeymoon mode with this amp. A clip will be coming real soon.

Re: Ceriatone 100 watt Chupacabra

Thu, Nov 17, 2011 10:09pm

My Chupa 50 is due to ship to me today so should get it on Monday, can't wait to crank it through my Eminence FDM Reignmaker speakers!

Re: Ceriatone 100 watt Chupacabra

Thu, Nov 17, 2011 11:42pm

guitarnoize wrote:My Chupa 50 is due to ship to me today so should get it on Monday, can't wait to crank it through my Eminence FDM Reignmaker speakers!


Do they throw in a free replica Swiss Rolex watch? :p

Re: Ceriatone 100 watt Chupacabra

Thu, Nov 17, 2011 11:55pm

petejt wrote:
guitarnoize wrote:My Chupa 50 is due to ship to me today so should get it on Monday, can't wait to crank it through my Eminence FDM Reignmaker speakers!


Do they throw in a free replica Swiss Rolex watch? :p


Does Dave Friedman or John Suhr?

Re: Ceriatone 100 watt Chupacabra

Wed, Jan 25, 2012 1:13am

Wow!!!!!!!! After all this time!!!!!!!!! I have a vid clip to share with you guys! Enjoy and let me know what ya think!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbN9IQZBKbY

Re: Ceriatone 100 watt Chupacabra

Sat, Jan 28, 2012 9:04pm

1meanplexi wrote:Wow!!!!!!!! After all this time!!!!!!!!! I have a vid clip to share with you guys! Enjoy and let me know what ya think!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbN9IQZBKbY

Great job on the clip. :thumbsup:

Re: Ceriatone 100 watt Chupacabra

Sun, Jan 29, 2012 5:05pm

Thanks!!!!! it was really a lot of fun. My bass player had her iphone and walla! It was all done in one take hence that awesome version of crazy train. :-).

Re: Ceriatone 100 watt Chupacabra

Fri, Jul 06, 2012 2:54pm

Can this be had in a 2 channel? Cost? I am also looking at Baron and Splawn.

Re: Ceriatone 100 watt Chupacabra

Fri, Jul 06, 2012 3:06pm

I believe a 2 channel version is in the works but currently only single channel is available

Re: Ceriatone 100 watt Chupacabra

Fri, Jul 06, 2012 4:59pm

Yep, two channel in a few months. Around $1500.

From clips, the Chubacabra sounds better than any of the Friedman amps I have heard.

Re: Ceriatone 100 watt Chupacabra

Sat, Jul 07, 2012 4:06pm

Hmmmm......not me.

Re: Ceriatone 100 watt Chupacabra

Mon, Jul 09, 2012 10:04pm

Just got an AFD #35 and have a Chupacabra 50. Run them together is sheer heaven.

Re: Ceriatone 100 watt Chupacabra

Tue, Jul 10, 2012 10:09pm

If Nick comes up with a two channel of the chup??????? I will force myself to the front of the line! For those that have one already and cannot wait? Contact FJA mods. I should have thought of that before i sold mine :doh:

Re: Ceriatone 100 watt Chupacabra

Sat, Sep 15, 2012 4:50am

:rawk:

Re: Ceriatone 100 watt Chupacabra

Sat, Sep 15, 2012 9:06am

I don't think the Chupacabra 50 needs a second channel. It rolls off to cleans just fine. I've never had a problem. I spent last weekend playing around with the trimmers inside my AFD #35 and now that thing just destroys!

Re: Ceriatone 100 watt Chupacabra

Sat, Sep 15, 2012 7:36pm

Damn... this thing is further confusing my search...

Re: Ceriatone 100 watt Chupacabra

Fri, Nov 02, 2012 9:55pm

:rock:

Re: Ceriatone 100 watt Chupacabra

Sat, Nov 03, 2012 8:32am

The AFD #35 has the Plexi channel from the Chupa then the AFD channel goes into sheer massive gain ripping madness. I run the gain around 10 o'clock and it still shreds. Anything past 1:00 on the gain is just overkill. Nik is awesome to work with!!

Re: Ceriatone 100 watt Chupacabra

Sat, Nov 03, 2012 5:54pm

I was about to order a Chupa or Yeti but according to the manual the loop does not play nice with pedals.

How does it handle delay pedals?

Re: Ceriatone 100 watt Chupacabra

Thu, Nov 08, 2012 11:09pm

The Ceriatones are so inexpensive. How are they cutting costs...cheap components? What kind of iron are they throwing in them?

Re: Ceriatone 100 watt Chupacabra

Tue, Nov 27, 2012 8:37pm

FondledDuck wrote:The Ceriatones are so inexpensive. How are they cutting costs...cheap components? What kind of iron are they throwing in them?

Looks pretty good to me.

Info on Components Used:

Hand Wired on Turret Board

Quality Mallory 150 Coupling Caps, + Silver Mica + Ceramic Disc tone caps

* Sozo coupling caps available for USD 30 extra

Carbon Film 1W resistors + Carbon Composition where proper, and precision Metal Oxide and Wire wound resistors

Teflon Silver Plated signal wire, UL1015 TC wire, RG 174 Shielded Wire

Ceriatone's Holy Grail Custom made electrolytic capacitors (you have found the Holy Grail for the caps here)

Alpha potentiometers (we think they're the best, and so do many manufacturers. Open your booteek amps! :))

Belton Tube Sockets

Custom wound Transformers

Re: Ceriatone 100 watt Chupacabra

Tue, Nov 27, 2012 8:43pm

FondledDuck wrote:The Ceriatones are so inexpensive. How are they cutting costs...cheap components? What kind of iron are they throwing in them?

They got younger kids to assemble them.

Re: Ceriatone 100 watt Chupacabra

Wed, Nov 28, 2012 12:14pm

:lol: :LOL:
LP Freak wrote:
FondledDuck wrote:The Ceriatones are so inexpensive. How are they cutting costs...cheap components? What kind of iron are they throwing in them?

They got younger kids to assemble them.

Re: Ceriatone 100 watt Chupacabra

Sun, Dec 02, 2012 10:13am

This past week I heard from Nik on the two channel chup. The good news is that it is going to happen, the other news is not for a while. He said that they are focusing on the new lucnhbox type amps. He did share with me that at last count, the drawing for the new chup (so far) has 16 knobs (take that for what it is worth). Either way I am on the faux waiting list. In other words....he will contact me when they are ready to take orders.

Re: Ceriatone 100 watt Chupacabra

Sun, Dec 02, 2012 10:19am

Almost forgot! Most pedals work great through the loop. In the vid I have the boss giga delay looped. I tried just a standard reverb (boss) and it did not fare well. With pedals like the reverb or older ones you need an outside source to boost/balance the signal. Ceck Ceriatones site and look up the Klein-ulator.

Re: Ceriatone 100 watt Chupacabra

Thu, Jan 17, 2013 12:02pm

Guys, what do you all think of the Chupacabra compared to amps like the Mesa Electra Dyne, Marshall VM or Splawn Competition. I am looking for a single channel head. Looking for it to have an effects loop, good classic rock tones, 90s and modern rock. I don't like 80s tones so I try to avoid....and I am not into metal at all.

Re: Ceriatone 100 watt Chupacabra

Thu, Jan 17, 2013 7:46pm

Hi, the one thing I loved about the chup was the era switch. Unlike (most) modulation amps that attempt to create tone.....this thing acually works. 60's, 80's and modern. Blending the gain channels can get you almost any tone you need :thumbsup: .

I know their might or has been some prejudice on the made in Southeast Asia thing. Could not give a fuck less....... Nick has got it down and his history can back up his product. His pics showing the guts is not the, hey take the best one we have and put it out there kind of thing, all his amps look that way and sound amazing.

You can check out my clip I put up or for what I think is the best, Guitarnoize Really throws it down.

Right now I do not own the chup, but I am on the short list for the new two channel one which should be out in the not to distance future.

Out of the amps you listed, I would say go with the chup. I will not say it is better than the ones you mentioned, just for my ear....it is the best. I hope this helps. as we say :rock: on!

Re: Ceriatone 100 watt Chupacabra

Fri, Jan 18, 2013 12:46am

The AFD #35 is two channel and has three different internal trimmers so you can really dial in the tone you want. Fifty watts with a 25-watt mode means you can really let this thing rip. I bought it on a lark and it has payed off huge!!

Re: Ceriatone 100 watt Chupacabra

Fri, Jan 18, 2013 6:10am

racerevlon wrote:The AFD #35 is two channel and has three different internal trimmers so you can really dial in the tone you want. Fifty watts with a 25-watt mode means you can really let this thing rip. I bought it on a lark and it has payed off huge!!

What do the trimmers do?

Re: Ceriatone 100 watt Chupacabra

Sun, Jan 27, 2013 5:45pm

I see your question went unanswered. They are external trim pot's. When I had mine I went to the lowest point and it reduced the gain. Maxed (where I had it) was all out in! It really is a nice addition.

Re: Ceriatone 100 watt Chupacabra

Sun, Jan 27, 2013 8:33pm

1meanplexi wrote:I see your question went unanswered. They are external trim pot's. When I had mine I went to the lowest point and it reduced the gain. Maxed (where I had it) was all out in! It really is a nice addition.

So all three trim pots are for gain?

Re: Ceriatone 100 watt Chupacabra

Sun, Jan 27, 2013 8:41pm

YUP! My chup only had one. The AFD? Guess it has 3 :thumbsup: !

Re: Ceriatone 100 watt Chupacabra

Sun, Jan 27, 2013 8:45pm

1meanplexi wrote:YUP! My chup only had one. The AFD? Guess it has 3 :thumbsup: !

Interesting

Re: Ceriatone 100 watt Chupacabra

Sun, Jan 27, 2013 8:52pm

Right now... I have a 2012 QR and Love it! On the way is a 1959 SLP reish' from FJA with the molten gain "Nick Mod". The new 2 channel chup would have been 1st if it was available.

Re: Ceriatone 100 watt Chupacabra

Sun, Jan 27, 2013 8:59pm

1meanplexi wrote:Right now... I have a 2012 QR and Love it! On the way is a 1959 SLP reish' from FJA with the molten gain "Nick Mod". The new 2 channel chup would have been 1st if it was available.

I interested to hear what the clean on the Chup sounds like. That's been on of the reasons I never bought one...I need a clean channel.

Re: Ceriatone 100 watt Chupacabra

Sun, Jan 27, 2013 9:10pm

That is the exact reason I sold mine. Zero complaits on the gain side of things. Nik said the clean would be fenderish with an option to take it to plexish tones.

Re: Ceriatone 100 watt Chupacabra

Sun, Jan 27, 2013 9:21pm

1meanplexi wrote:That is the exact reason I sold mine. Zero complaits on the gain side of things. Nik said the clean would be fenderish with an option to take it to plexish tones.

Exactly what I'm looking for. When are these delivering?

Re: Ceriatone 100 watt Chupacabra

Sun, Jan 27, 2013 9:35pm

LP Freak wrote:
1meanplexi wrote:Right now... I have a 2012 QR and Love it! On the way is a 1959 SLP reish' from FJA with the molten gain "Nick Mod". The new 2 channel chup would have been 1st if it was available.

I interested to hear what the clean on the Chup sounds like. That's been on of the reasons I never bought one...I need a clean channel.

I would like to know how it balances out with the gain channel. Thats one complaint I read with the AFD 35.

Re: Ceriatone 100 watt Chupacabra

Sun, Jan 27, 2013 10:58pm

I read that too about the AFD. I have to think that Nik really did not have a true clean channel in mind for that. If you read about the original #39 clean was never thought of or mentioned. I have a feeling that the Chup 2 will be more of a representative of a true clean/dirty.

LP, Nick said that he would contact me with the 1st run of these things. He did not give me a date/timeline :checkthisout:

Re: Ceriatone 100 watt Chupacabra

Sun, Jan 27, 2013 11:00pm

Ummmmm.........#35 :D 1

Re: Ceriatone 100 watt Chupacabra

Mon, Jan 28, 2013 7:45am

1meanplexi wrote:I read that too about the AFD. I have to think that Nik really did not have a true clean channel in mind for that. If you read about the original #39 clean was never thought of or mentioned. I have a feeling that the Chup 2 will be more of a representative of a true clean/dirty.

LP, Nick said that he would contact me with the 1st run of these things. He did not give me a date/timeline :checkthisout:

Cool, post when he does.

Re: Ceriatone 100 watt Chupacabra

Mon, Jan 28, 2013 2:13pm

Nik mentioned that they are knee deep in their "lunchbox" style amps, and soon afterwards will work on the 2 channel Chup. But from what I have gathered from Nik, it will be more like a 2 channel Yeti versus the Chup. This will be called the King Kong. Look for it sometime in the March time frame...

LP Freak wrote:
1meanplexi wrote:That is the exact reason I sold mine. Zero complaits on the gain side of things. Nik said the clean would be fenderish with an option to take it to plexish tones.

Exactly what I'm looking for. When are these delivering?

Re: Ceriatone 100 watt Chupacabra

Tue, Feb 05, 2013 5:39pm

Cool review.

Re: Ceriatone 100 watt Chupacabra

Thu, Mar 14, 2013 7:22pm

Great review. Just bought the modded one that was listed. My ears heard the same thing in the clips. Should be perfect for my Pearl jam Tribute with enough gain for my 80's Hair Metal tones!

Re: Ceriatone 100 watt Chupacabra

Fri, Mar 15, 2013 10:54pm

bikerdude2 wrote:Great review. Just bought the modded one that was listed. My ears heard the same thing in the clips. Should be perfect for my Pearl jam Tribute with enough gain for my 80's Hair Metal tones!


Excellent buy :thumbsup: ! You are gonna love it. What mod(s) were done to it?

Re: Ceriatone 100 watt Chupacabra

Sat, Mar 16, 2013 6:23am

LP Freak wrote:
1meanplexi wrote:I see your question went unanswered. They are external trim pot's. When I had mine I went to the lowest point and it reduced the gain. Maxed (where I had it) was all out in! It really is a nice addition.

So all three trim pots are for gain?


Sorry I missed this--one of them seems to affect the low mids, one seems to affect the high mids, and one seems to work very much like the "focus" control on the Chupacabra. It lowers the gain but sharpens the attack. Plus you have the "Peaker" switch that you can combine with the three trimmers, and you can also easily change the cap values on the "Peaker" switch to suit your tonal palette.

Hope this helps.
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