Soldano Custom Amplification
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|Founded||Los Angeles, California, United States (1986 )|
Soldano (full name: Soldano Custom Amplification) is a guitar amplifier manufacturing company, founded in 1986 by Michael Soldano in Los Angeles, California and later relocated to Seattle, Washington. It is mostly known for its high gain amps such as its flagship model, the Soldano SLO-100, but the product lineup also includes effect units, pedals and cabinets. All Soldano products are tube-based and are class A/B.
Michael Soldano originally worked with his head technician Bill Sundt at Stars Guitars (San Francisco, CA), modifying amps brought to him. He had built his first amp, a Fender Bassman clone, with the aid of books being discarded by a library. Michael worked on modifying his version of the Bassman for years, until he bought a Mesa/Boogie Mark II and began modifying this amp. The first three SLO amps were based upon this amp and the first one was sold to a female friend. The second one was sold to Howard Leese from the band Heart. Within six months, he had sold amps to Steve Lukather, Michael Landau, Vivian Campbell, Aldo Nova, John Fogerty and Lou Reed.
Eric Clapton and Mark Knopfler purchased the SLO-100 when first released in 1987. Guitarist Tommy Kessler of Blondie uses the SLO-100(100W) amplifier head in Snakeskin and a matching 2×12 cabinet as part of his touring rig.
In 1991, Eddie Van Halen used a SLO 100 (which replaced his famous Marshall 1959 due to technical issues) for the album For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge. Eddie would then go on to design the Peavey 5150, which was based on the Soldano.
The Experience Music Project in Seattle contains an area where visitors can play instruments, such as the electric guitar. These rooms contain Soldano amplifiers, along with various Squier guitars (including Stratocaster and Telecaster guitars).
Mike Soldano announced his retirement in 2018.