In theory, a big guitar amp should sound larger than a smaller one. Then there’s Henriksen’s The Bud. Based on a cabinet created by company founder Bud Henriksen, it’s a small-but-powerful 120-watt box completely gig-ready for the acoustic or electric musician.
The Bud measures a mere 9x9x9″, yet weighs 17 pounds, indicating there’s some serious mojo going on inside. The amp has two identical channels, each sporting combo 1/4″ and XLR jacks; input and output Gain controls; and a Bright switch and mini-plug Aux In. The EQ section has five bands (Low, Low-Mid, Hi-Mid, High, and Presence), and a digital reverb completes the signal path.
Part of The Bud’s magic is a great pair of drivers – a 6.5″ Eminence Beta speaker and a special fluid-cooled tweeter to reproduce the upper frequencies of acoustic guitar without harshness. (Jazz cats will appreciate that the tweeter is “defeatable” – there’s an on/off switch for bop-fueled archtop work.) In the rear, working guitarists will dig the two effects loops, headphone jack, XLR line out, and external output. On the bottom, look for large rubber feet and a sound port that helps deliver the amp’s mondo bass dimension. The Bud is built like a small tank.
Tested with Yamaha and Takamine acoustic-electrics, The Bud provided incredible volume output without any PA assistance. Its multiple EQ controls allowed for extremely precise tuning of the tone –very important to acoustic players. Despite the small main speaker, the tone was never small or muddy – you’ll easily find shimmering definition and personality. Dial in the digital reverb to sweeten the deal and it sounds terrific.
In all, Henriksen’s The Bud is a small but ingeniously designed amp for guitarists and stringed-instrument musicians. Don’t let its size fool you – The Bud is a giant in its category.
This article originally appeared in VG June 2017 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.