||Download Example 1
Clean setting with Volume 1 at 8 o'clock and Master at 12 o'clock. Volume 2 at zero.
||Download Example 2
Blues setting with Volume 1 at 1 o'clock and Master at 9 o'clock. Volume 2 at zero.
||Download Example 3
Overdrive setting with Volume 1 and 2 at max and Master at 8 o'clock.
|Recorded with a Tom Anderson Cobra Special-S. For all clips, non-specified controls were at noon.
The Lone Wolf Outlaw is a dual-channel, 18W
amp head and separate twin-12” speaker
cabinet with some unique features and a very
high-quality build profile (it’s also available as
a 1x12 combo). The dual channel setup differs
from most amplifiers in the sense that there
is only one signal path available to the output
section, as opposed to dual channels where
there are two optional paths, usually regulated
by a channel switch of some type. The
two channels consist of two preamp sections
(bright and dark) controlled by separate pots
labeled volume 1 and volume 2, respectively.
The two channels seem identical except that
the dark channel has the highs and upper
mids rolled off sharply before the signal hits
the tone stack, which consists of the usual
Treble, Mid, Bass and Presence—which in this
case is called “brilliance.”
The bright channel runs a full-range signal.
The two “channels” are then added together
with a summing circuit, and from there on
to the output section, which consists of two
EL84 pentodes running in class AB (pushpull)
configuration, and a very beefy output
transformer. The power section uses a 6CA4
(EZ81) tube rectifier and a likewise very beefy
power transformer. Other front panel features
are two 1/4” input jacks, one labeled “high,”
the other, “low” (both feed both preamps),
an On/Off switch and a Standby switch.
The rear panel reveals an IEC power plug
jack (for the separate power cord), two fuse
receptacles, a three-way 4/8/16-Ohm speaker
impedance switch, two speaker jacks, a “pentode/ultralinear” switch (more on that later),
effect send and return jacks, and a plugged
hole labeled “footswitch” to be used on a
future model. The chassis top shows us three
12AX7s (the first two being preamp tubes
and the third the phase inverter), the previously
mentioned output and rectifier tubes
and transformers, plus a major-sized choke
and two very large filter caps.
The chassis interior reveals very neat point-to-point
and turret board solder joints. All small
components, including the tone circuits, are
mounted on the turret board, a nice reliability
touch. The caps are high quality, and the
resistors are low tolerance. The CTS pots are
full size and have the look and feel of good
quality units. The cabinets are sturdily built
from multi-ply Baltic birch plywood with dovetailed
corner joints and covered with black
Tolex accented with white piping. The grill is
an attractive woven fabric. There are heavy
metal corner protectors on each and every
corner. A large, Plexiglas Lone Wolf (howling
at the moon) logo graces each cabinet, with
the top one being back-lit at the flip of the
power switch—too cool!
The speaker cab is loaded with two 12”
Celestions: one Vintage 30 and one GH-12,
both with 50oz ceramic magnets and 1.75”
voice coils. Add the weight of the cab and
the head and we come up with a total amp
weight of 79lb. Before talking about the
sound of this specific amp, it might be good
to gain a bit of historical perspective.
Back in the late fifties, Vox released the first
amp designed for rock and roll: the AC15,
which utilized, you guessed it, the EL84 output
tube. They wanted to get away from the
country and blues amps so heavily favored in
the US and come up with something different
for the burgeoning rock market. The EL84 has
a tight (but not necessarily punchy) bass, a
chimey mid, and sparkling highs—and when
pushed, sounds downright raunchy.