The Barber Echelon Amp

The Barber Echelon Amp

Students in guitar lessons often ask me about my Barber Echelon amp.

Of the many hundreds of amps I must have played in this lifetime, the Barber Echelon is by far my all-time favorite one.
I owned and played anything from Marshall’s, to Blackfaces, to Fender amps to Suhr’s OD 100 legendary amps to John Landgraff‘s nice wooden, highly coveted 50W head which I have recently seen listed for $20,000.

None, in my opinion and to my taste, come close to the unbelievable sound I get from the Barber Echelon.

The Barber Echelon is a 50W tube amp that has been meticulously designed by David Barber over a two year development period.
The amp is a single channel non master volume amp, built for the ultimate in dynamics with great clean headroom, for the working player who needs more than just another “too hot amp”.

David’s website says that that the Barber Echelon is “quite rare” and “a collectable”.
To be precise: if what I’ve heard is correct, then only 20 Echelons were ever made.

The listing price is $2300.
Considering I sold my Landgraff for $5000 a couple of years ago, which I have now seen listed for $20,000, it’s safe to say that the Barber Echelon listing price is exceptionally affordable for a boutique amp that amazing.

Then again: this $2300 listing price is what I found on David’s Echelon webpage, and he might not have updated this page in years.
One would think, compared to the prices of other boutique amps, and considering how rare this Echelon amp is, that the price might have gone up significantly in past years.

Here’s some fun features of this amp.

  1. The volume push/pull switch for the “pull fat” function.

    When this control is set to the “in” position you will have a British style bass cut.
    Use this feature to keep the bass solid and tight when overdriving the Echelon (high
    volume settings).

    Use the pull fat switch for a deep “American” style tone.
    This will set your amp to respond more like early Blackface and Tweed amps.

  2. The sweet/punchy EQ selector switch.

    The Sweet setting allows you to set the tone response for a sweeter sounding tone stack. This style EQ is best for clean and moderately distorted
    tones. David says he likes to think of this as the Blackface/top boost style EQ.

    The Punchy setting has all the muscle from the early Tweed and late 60’s British amps.
    This is perfect for tones from tough toothy cleans to outrageous sustaining high volume/modified settings!

  3. The Vintage/Modified switch

    This switch sets the gain structure of the Echelon amplifier.

    The Vintage setting has the levels of your old favorites from the 50’s-60’s.
    The Modified setting delivers the over the top gain of the modern era of supercharged amps of the 80’s – future!

All three switches can be combined in multiple combinations for truckloads of tones.

Then there is also the Triode/Pentode switch in the back of the amp.
This switch allows a “half power” setting by rewiring the output tubes as a “triode “style setting.
This also gives a sweeter slightly compressed tone.

Another cool feature, is that the Echelon has Speaker outputs for 4 Ohm, 8 Ohm and 16 Ohm cabs.

You can find the Barber Echelon webpage here:


Hit me up anytime at [email protected] if you have any questions, or if you would like to book a lesson.

These free lessons are cool, but you will never experience the progress and results learning from blogs and videos, that my students experience in lessons.
There’s also much more cool stuff you can do with substitution pairs, and way more possibilities than can be covered in a video or blog.

That is why people take lessons: way better results and progress, much more complete information, way more creative ideas they learn in lessons than you can get from a blog.
There is only so much that self-study can accomplish.

Keep me informed on your progress. You can hit me up in the comments section below.
If you like this blog: give it a rating and feel free to give me any feedback.
I believe everything can always improve. I’d gladly implement your suggestions and ideas.

Be on the look out for more blogs about guitar, music, songwriting and music education.
You’re on your way to becoming a great guitar player.
Have fun! 🙂

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