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Friedman BE-100 Brown Eye Boutique Plexi Tube Amp Head, Early Hand-Wired 2 Input


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Up for sale, a Friedman BE-100 Brown Eye tube amp head in near mint condition and in perfect working order, complete with footswitch and padded cover. This very early Friedman (SN: 0102) was hand-wired by Dave Friedman (distinct from recent PCB versions), featuring a two input design and combining the lush, creamy and aggressive tones of plexi-era ‘60s British amps with modern sonic flexibility. A lifetime spent servicing and modding his clients’ classic amps has left Friedman with a veritable fount of knowledge when it comes to classic British tone, and it only takes one strum through this early BE-100 to feel the singular, precise vision that has led to many players referring to the Brown Eye 100W as the “ultimate modded plexi”.

The BE-100 features a versatile multi-input design: the BE input is the standard sound of the amp, while the HBE input switches to an alternate voicing with a preamp triode gain boost and a bit more raw oomph. There is also a clean input, engaged by the included foot pedal, which achieves a remarkably pristine signal for a more rock-centric amp. There are a wide array of possible tones to be had with this amp, not merely that mid-rich Marshall scream that first inspired it, largely thanks to Friedman’s “superior” Master Volume control which retains harmonic detail at volumes where other amps would begin to suffer. The low-end presence is huge and tight, and the highs are plenty bright and aggressive.

The controls are fairly straightforward, with Presence, individual EQ knobs for Bass, Mid, and Treble response, and Master, Gain, and Clean Volume knobs to ensure that there’s always plenty of headroom.

The amp supports 4, 8, and 16 ohm speaker loads. On the back of the head, there are three switches for further tonal sculpting: the Fat switch, which (unsurprisingly) thickens up the tone and boosts the midrange, designed for single coil pups; the C45 switch, a custom voicing for the BE/HBE channel; and the SAT switch which increases gain, saturation, and compression (recommended by Friedman for usage in tandem with the C45 switch). The tube complement includes a matched quartet of ARS EL34 power tubes, with preamp tubes from the likes of JJ, Marshall, and Ruby.

The amp features black tolex framed by gold piping, with a gold plexi Friedman badge and gold plexi panels on the front and back of the head. There is sparingly little wear on the enclosure, with just a few small nicks along the bottom edge.

A black padded cover is included, along with the Clean/BE channel footswitch.