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Purple Nightmare

Full review (German language):




  • 100 Watt all tube amp
  • 2 channels with Gain – Bass – Mid – Treble – Volume
  • Clean channel with mode switch
  • Burn channel with gain switch
  • two mastervolumes
  • tube FX loop
  • 2 Watt Night-Switch
  • 9V DC out


  • Tuner Out
  • built in Overdrive T/S with
    Gain – Tone – Volume
  • Rumble and Sharp control


Clean channel

Individual controls for Gain, Bass, Mid, Treble, and Volume, allow for the first channel to be adjusted independently from the second. With only a little Gain added, the sound offers a lot of headroom and covers a lot of musical styles thanks to the very efficient EQ. With higher Gain settings the amp reacts strongly to the output of the pickup and can distort. In all other settings the amp remains highly dynamic and has enormous punch at all volumes.

The channel works very well with distortion pedals, overdrive pedals or modulation effects – expect high quality wicked sounds. To answer the question of the channel’s sound: rather American.


Burn channel

Just like in the clean Channel, there are individual knobs for Gain, Bass, Mid, Treble, and Volume. Additionally there is the Gain switch which can add or subtract a Gain stage. With the Gain switch on LOW and Gain settings in the lower third, clean or slightly distorted sounds are possible, depending on the pickup. If you turn up the Gain, you’re rewarded with a full and rich rock sound. The sound is very straightforward and dynamic; chords ring out forever and playing with the Volume knob of your guitar is really fun! The channel reacts very well to the player and does not thin out any sounds.




With the Gain switch on HIGH you will be blown away. More Gain, a little more compression and with a more modern tuning, this channel will burn the house down with fat rhythms, screaming leads and razor-sharp staccatos! Always on point, even with a lot of Gain and Bass. Chords stay crystal clear—and with the Volume knob clean sounds are possible even with this setting. Thanks to the efficient EQ you will achieve a high quality sound from ‘80s hair metal to modern core and djent.


Overdrive T/S






Love to use that green overdrive pedal? Here you’ve already got one!

The T/S overdrive is integrated into your PurpleNightmare and can be permanently switched on, activated by foot switch, or assigned to a channel or the second master volume. No more tap-dancing on stage!

Equipped with Gain, Tone, and Volume knobs, this feature is an extension for any channel! The T/S can upgrade the Clean channel to a nice rocky or a punchy oldschool overdrive channel! The recordings of many famous bands have been fine-tuned by this green dwarf.

On the Burn channel the T/S can be used as a Booster, for example for solos. With T/S Gain set to 0, Tone on medium, and full-on Volume, the sound becomes tighter, gains more attack and power, more complex Mids—the band sound becomes clearer. If you also turn up the T/S Gain, the sound gets a little more punchy and dirty, just becomes rougher and meatier.

If you turn down the T/S Volume, you can soften very high-gain pickups, so the T/S works also as a negative-booster. With the T/S Tone you can emphasize or take back the attack in the burn channel.


The pressure better comes from within!

The PurpleNightmare is equipped with a versatile section of power amps. After your sound has passed the preamp stage, it has a tube-buffered Effect Loop at its disposal. Like the T/S, the Loop can either be turned on permanently, activated by foot switch, or assigned to a channel or the second Master volume.

The second Master volume can be used by foot switch and enables you to boost the volume, e.g. for solos. The Sharp knob sets the high frequencies of the power amplifiers; the Rumble sets the low bass. With both knobs you can modify the sound even more and adapt it to various speakers and room situations.

The amp works with four 6L6 power amp tubes with a push-pull principle and accomplishes around 100 Watts. On the back there is a Bias test point and a knob for each of the two pairs of power tubes. The power tubes can be adjusted by any technician after changing – without removing the amp from the casing. Additionally, the two independent knobs enable you to use different tubes. Two 6L6 combined with two KT88 or two KT88 together with two KT66 – not a problem!




2 Watt Nightswitch






Creative at night?

Using a 100-watts tube amp at a neighbor-friendly volume can be a challenge: turning up the Master volume just a tiny bit and the walls start to shake. For this case, the PurpleNightmare offers a 2-Watt Switch. It switches the power amps completely off (including heating!) and gives you a 2 Watt Mosfet power amp—more than enough for creative nights or a simple practice session at home (at full volume your neighbors will still hear you).

Power amp tubes are wear parts and are getting more and more expensive, so why should you waste them on a simple practice at home? By switching off the power amps you will go easy on them. In this mode, the amp can also be used without speaker or load box.


The amp can be controlled without a footswitch. Channels can be switched on the front panel, Loop and T/S can be switched on/off or assigned to a channel on the back.

All features can be operated by footswitch, including Channel switch, Master switch, Loop, T/S,  and MUTE. Additionally, any of the features can be switched on externally. This way, a multi-FX processor with switching outputs can switch the channels of the amp or even the loop—a simple contact is sufficient.  With the help of a Midi box the amp can be entirely remote controlled.

Thanks to the rotary switches Loop and T/S you can switch to many sounds without a lot of tap dancing on stage:

you set the T/S to Channel 2, the Loop to Master 2. By switching the channel from Clean to Burn the T/S switches on automatically; by pressing Master 2 you activated your Loop with echo and reverb and get a little more volume for your solo.

Apart from the 5-Footswitch there will be one with only two knobs, to which you can assign features at will. If you only need the Channel switch and the second Master or the Mute on stage, then get the 2-Switch!







This is inside

The PurpleNightmare is designed for quality and durability which is reflected in its construction and the parts we use. All electrical parts are of high quality and tight tolerances. Electrolytic capacitors are made by JJ or F&T, film capacitors from OrangeDrop to WIMA to Röderstein to SolenFast are used—and always in the right places.

Since the Sound of a tube amp also depends on the transformers, we only use hand-wound transformers made by a German manufacturer. The quality of each transformer set is being attested to by an enclosed measuring record—and there is a 10-year warrantee on it!

Tubes are recently manufactured and selected by hand. This way we only use particularly low-noise tubes for the first Gain stage.

The layout is ergonomically arranged on a large and very thick circuit board with a large copper layer. All mechanical components are decoupled from the circuit board! Tube sockets, switches, sockets, and potentiometers are freely wired in order to keep heat and mechanical stress from transmitting to the circuit board.

The chassis is laser-cut from 2mm thick aluminum and pressed into shape using CNC. This awards a high durability, a low weight, and no rusting! The front panels are also made from aluminum, anodized black, and lettered by laser. This way the lettering will be in mint condition even after years of use.

Everything is well protected in a 18 mm thick birch multiplex casing, which can be upholstered with various synthetic leathers according to your wishes. For more see the Customshop!

Fotos by „Guido Metzen, bonedo.de

Options and pricing


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Driftwood Amps - Handmade in Germany