First launched at the NAAM show in 1973, the miniature battery-operated Pignose amplifier was used on many classic rock recordings of the 1970s. Clapton said that he had recorded all the guitar parts of his 1974 song Motherless Children using a Pignose amp, which may well have been this particular amp. Other notable examples of recordings with a Pignose include Joe Walsh's Rocky Mountain Way.more
"This is the Pignose amplifier that was responsible for the bulk of the nasty guitar tones found on the Apostrophe(’) and Over-Nite Sensation albums. This little piggy couldn’t escape modification, as evidenced by the two XLR jacks on the back. Zappa appeared on The Mike Douglas Show in 1976 (below), where he can be seen walking onstage to perform “Black Napkins” with this Pignose in one hand and the “Baby Snakes” SG in the other."more
"Interviewer: I know that live you’ve used the Frank Zappa trick of close-miking either a small Pignose or Orange Micro Terror in an iso cab and blending that with your larger heads. Is that something you do in the studio, too? Matt Pike: Oh yeah, it’s all over the Sleep record. When you hear the chainsaw parts with tons of sustain [laughs]—that’s when I’m running three Pignoses, daisy-chained, with a Soldano G.T.O. driving the front of them all. It fucking rules!".more
“I played acoustic for the first time – a J-200 on the intro and outro of ‘All Of This And Nothing’ – but my main guitar was a Music Man Sabre II. I put a Les Paul pickup in the neck and a Bill Lawrence in the bridge, and cranked it up through a baby Vox and a Pignose. Pedal-wise, I was using an MXR flanger, a Rat, a Roland Space Echo, delays and wah. I was always much more into effected-sounding lines than straight ones, and I used a lot of textures and volume pedal swells and some harmonics.”more
Beginners will be drawn to the whistles and bells of modern portable digital modelling amps but Pro's will appreciate the pignose's zen like simplicity and the warmth of it's old school analogue transistor circuitry. The Pignose is now my go-to portable amp despite the fact that I already have the popular Roland Microcube and Vox DA-5. Besides my guitar, I primarily use the pignose for filthy Chicago style harmonica, which my digital amps just can't seem to process without nasty dissonant overtones. The pignose handles the crazy harmonica signal waveform effortlessly, and delivers a presentable harmonica honk directly from my Bottle o Blues harmonica mic. Distortion is controlled by balancing the ratio between the mic (input) volume, and amp (output) volume, just as with guitar. It also plays well with my preferred effects pedals; another reason to choose it over the generic built in effects of modern portables. A final bonus is that the Bottle o Blues stows neatly inside the case along with 5 harmonicas and a 2 meter instrument cable.
Other amps may go to market but this little piggy will stay at home!
Not sure if it's just nostalgia or what but I love the Pignose. Portable, super colored sound, super fun to dial in the drive-yeah, it's just fun but also entirely practical to use in the studio-re-amping whatever. It's just a lil' box of fun. I still buy batteries from Costco in bulk. Awesome & possibility maybe an under used piece lately of my collection.