The Black Keys Guitar Tech Dan Johnson & the Palmer Drei

This video shows Daniel Johnson, guitar tech of The Black Keys, testing the Palmer DREI and giving us his impressions on this new revolutionary amp concept.


BAPTISTE: Dan, you’ve been trying the Drei. What are your impressions of the Palmer Drei, this new amp?

DAN: I really liked the controls, the layout of the controls, especially dialling up the separate power amp sections, and that you have the parallel preamps and control over their input gains. That gives you the ability to dial up any kind of threshold of distortion sort of sound which is where the best guitar tones originate if you’re good at pedals. You usually will add some pedals of some sort to take it from that starting point either into fuzz or more overdrive.

But I like the clean sound because that’s really the basis of a good amplifier. If they can make a good clean sound they can make a great distorted sound. And the clean sound is just… there’s all kinds, there’s shimmering and darker, and it’s very diverse.

I also liked the design of the chassis, too, it’s classic old radio kit design. It’s pretty appealing, too, the kind of things that I like. I mean, modern amps are kind of boring looking, but it has more of the earlier designs, I guess.

I like that it’s very simple, too, not a lot of channel switching or low boosts or effects loops. It’s just a basic amplifier with controls that maybe some guitarists don’t understand right away because they’re controlling the amp in a way that’s the basis of how it works. But it doesn’t have a distortion switch, you have to know how to dial it up. Four, five knobs and no channel switching… I like that actually, I like the simplicity of it.

Thanks Dan, thanks Jason, thanks Susan, thanks Dan and Patrick! We love the Black Keys.

For more info about Palmer DREI visit our website:

Source: Interview by Baptiste Languille, February 2012.

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