My name is Marco Wendel.
Since I was 12 years old, I am playing guitar and piano and deal with sound engineering. At 16, I got my first electric guitar, my father built a small recording studio for me and I founded my first band. After high school diploma and my education as an electronics engineer with the focus on telecommunications and radio technology, I became a professional musician and played in several bands (see below).
My equipment was always set up in that way, that I had many different sounds with as small as possible setups. One day modeler came on the market. I had them all. Pod, Pod 2, Pod XT, a few Digitechs and then the Pod X3 combined with a TC G-Force. In the studio and on the front PA, the sounds always were great, but not on stage.
So I was looking for the right amplification for my equipment, but it did not seem to exist so far. So I had to do it by myself – building an amplifier that meets my requirements and brings the complete frequency spectrum on stage, linear responding and loud. It should be able to amplify electric guitar just as well as acoustic guitar.
At the beginning of 2008, I got all the materials, joined me for 3 weeks in my workshop and built my first amp. Of course, the child had to get a name. And because he was covered with leather in my favorite color blue, I named it “Blue”. At the same time it was the birth of BlueAmps.
With the prototype, I was satisfied with my stage sound for the first time. My colleagues and those from other bands were also quite impressed.
Since the materials for the “Blue” were quite expensive, I decided to build a small brother of the “Blue”, which was significantly cheaper to manufacture. For smaller gigs and home. I called it “Blue light”. It is equipped with two 8-inch speakers, which impressed me fairly well for the size. So I got an idea for the next amp.
This should be as loud as the “Blue” but compact as the “Blue light”. In the design, I quickly realized that this is only to be implemented with absolute and expensive high-tech materials. Neodymium speakers, titanium horns and a rather complicated crossover made it possible and the 3rd amp was born. His name explains itself: “Blue 3”
Slowly requests from guitarists from the German-speaking countries came who would like to have something like that. Since I wanted to build the amps only for me and there was no time to build something like that in series, I wrote on my website that I am looking for co-operation partners. And it happened … nothing. I could unfortunately not satisfy the requests.
My band played on quite big stages then and I needed an amplification “for men”. I opted for 2 cabs as a stereosetup, each equipped with 2 12-inch speakers and a high-frequency horn. Its name: “212 FR”. Both were amplified by a rack power amp and an Axe-FX Ultra. What a killer sound! With this equipment I was happy for several years. Until he came …
The Kemper Profiling Amplifier. I felt for the first time “arrived” at the imagination of my dream sound.
And someone else came: Tilman Ritter. Tilman is owner of RITTER Amplification and was interested in a cooperation with me. As one of the best tube technicians in Germany, he was initially skeptical about the topic of “modeling”, but he was nevertheless able to convince himself of a serial production. Tilman has provided suitable power amplifiers and a wealth of experience in small-scale production. He has been taking care of the production since 2011 and I am developing and building custom models.
Our cooperation called KPA-Solutions brought the world’s only retrofit amplification for the Kemper KPA, the “Camplifier”, in 4 versions to the market. In addition, the “Camper 112” and “Camper 212”, two amplifiers with a unique concept, showed up. Most customers come from the German-speaking countries, but we are also ship internationally. So one of the first “Camper 212” went to Australia, another stands in a studio in Music City Nashville / Tennessee.
This was followed by an active version of my “212 FR”, the “212 FR-A”, and the “Camper CX”, an amp with a 12-inch coax chassis.
Meanwhile, guitarists from 15 countries around the world are among the customers of KPA-Solutions.
One day my two “212 FR” were too heavy for me and I developed a 2×12″ amp, which amplified in stereo. Because that was the ultimate for me, I called it “Ultimate”.
On the basis of the “Ultimate”, I did an active floor monitor in stereo, the “ASM Wedge”, according to his ideas, to the well-known german guitarist Andreas Schmid-Martelle. Andreas made some YouTube videos to the BlueAmps “212 FR-A” and is still happy about his wedge today.
In 2014, I was able to close the gap between the small “Blue 3” and the monster “Ultimate” with the BlueAmps “Spark”. The “Spark” has 2 10-inch speakers and 2 neodymium tweeters and is the first component of a modular system called BlueAmps “Spark Full Stack”. Together with the subwoofer “Spark Sub”, the “Spark” also leaves conventional 4×12″ cabs behind. 50-25,000 Hz, 125 dB max and a flat response of the reference class! So it is no secret, that I play by myself the “Spark Full Stack” live and in the studio.
A “Blue 3” customer was very satisfied with his amp so far, but now he played in a loud rock band, where the small “Blue 3” often reached its limits. He did not want to change to a larger amp, because he would lack the flexibility. In addition, he did not want to burden his back with a heavier amp. The solution: His “Blue 3” received acoustic support with the “Blue 3 Sub”, an active subwoofer fitting to the “Blue 3”. A smart transportable mini-stack with great sound.
In 2015 Tilman of KPA-Solutions came up with the idea of offering a guitar kit for the first time ever. After several weeks of brainstorming and testing in the BlueAmps workshop, I finished the prototype. Its name is “Camper Plus Kit”. For all those who want to bring some craftsmanship and save money, this is an unprecedented opportunity to come to a good-sounding box for modelers. And this is how it works: You buy an empty 1×12″ Palmer cab, order our kit and build yourself a linear responsing guitar cab. The highlight: The “Camper Plus” can do both, FRFR (full range flat response) and GFR (guitar flat response), selectable via 2 jacks.
At the beginning of 2016 I built the “112 ASM” according to the specifications of Andreas Schmid-Martelle. It is a small and highly effective FRFR active cab based on a 12 inch speaker.
At the same time my stepson started to play guitar and needed a small amplification for practise at home and a Kemper-guy wanted something like that, too. So I designed the BlueAmps “Home”, a 2x 5″ stereo FRFR with optional bluetooth interface. The “Home” is our smallest amp and the start into the world of BlueAmps.
… to be continued …
As a musician, I stood on the stage in several formations with the following artists:
- Chris Thompson & Band (singer of Manfred Manns Earth Band)
- The Rubettes
- Bonnie Tyler
- Ute Freudenberg & Band
- Petra Zieger & Band
- Münchener Freiheit
- Jürgen Drews
- Olaf Henning
- Andreas Holm
- Annemarie Eilfeld
- Thomas Karaoglan (“The Checker” of the german casting show “DSDS”)
- Hot Banditoz
- Captain Jack
- Deborah Sasson
For these companies I worked with different bands:
- radio SAW
- Radio Brocken
- MDR Jump
- mdr 1 RADIO SACHSEN
- BB RADIO
- Medizinische Fakultät Magdeburg
- MARITIM HOTELS
- FDP Sachsen-Anhalt