“The Model T has to be done right – we’re going to do it in a way that is accessible:” Sunn CEO James Lebihan says iconic amp will be returning

“We lost Sunn for 20 years. We’re not going to repeat that mistake.”

Sunn Amplifier

Image: Sunn Amplifier

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James Lebihan, CEO of Sunn and Mission Engineering, has confirmed that the iconic Model T will return to the Sunn brand’s product line up, but there’s a lot of considerations that need to be thought about before it’s comeback.

It was announced earlier this month (August), that Sunn would be making a revival thanks to support from both Fender and Mission Engineering, with products expected to hit shelves later in 2023.

To chat further about the re-launch, Guitar.com has caught up with Lebihan to ask all the important questions – with the most important, of course, being about the brand’s most-loved amp head, the Model T.

“We’ll definitely be doing a Model T,” Lebihan confirms to us. “In fact – there’s going to be more than one Model T. You have to look at how many people out there that really want one – but they’re really expensive amplifiers to build.

“By the time you’ve gone through all the supply chain, paid licensing fees and recreated all those components that no longer exist – you end up with a very expensive product that not many people can afford,” he explains. “But that’s a valid market, and it’s a market we’re going to support.”

Lebihan continues: “However, we want everybody to be able to enjoy the sound, and everybody to be able to access a Model T at some level or another. However, it’s a lot of development and a lot of resources to get to that point. We need to get the company going in order to be able to support that development.”

Lebihan also reflected on the history of the brand, reminding us of how we lost Sunn for 20 years: “Let’s look at what happened to Sunn last time around, in its last iteration in the late 1990s, early 2000s. There, its key product – its only product – was a reissue of the Model T. It was a fantastic amp, and it killed the company. We lost Sunn for 20 years. We’re not going to repeat that mistake,” he declares.

“We have to grow the business over a period of time. And the Model T has to be done right – it’s a complex job, but we’re going to do it, and do it in a way that is accessible to everybody.”

So there you have it, the Model T will be making a return, but we might just have to hold our horses for a little while longer.

To find out more about Sunn, visit its website.

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