Switching to the neck pickup produced a
predictable boost in the amp’s low mids,
which the Positron handled beautifully,
retaining a fully dynamic clean tone that
didn’t break up too easily at low volume.
The amp is really expressive and present
in clean mode, and plenty loud too.
But the amp does not stay clean for long.
Bringing the Volume up to just 10 o’clock
produced a fantastic, bluesy breakup that
responds, like any good tube amp, to even
the most delicate fingering. And what I
quickly discovered was that this amp could
have easily included just a single volume
knob. With most amps, I find myself searching
for a slightly brighter sound, but from
sparkling clean to raunchy overdrive, the
folks at Diamond Amplification have obviously
taken the time to make sure this
amp is voiced perfectly right at noon. The
Tone knob is still useful and enables subtle
brightening or darkening effects, but it
does not deviate much from what Diamond
deemed the ideal tone.
With my Fender Stratocaster and the
Positron wired to the Emperor 4x12, I
rolled the Volume up to noon and let
the Strat’s bridge single-coil kick out the
twang with a startling volume and dynamic
punch. Because of the non-Master
volume architecture, I was also to dictate
an array of responses quite readily by
using the guitar’s Volume knob. For kicks,
I dimed the amp’s Volume and strummed
power chords, which filled the room with
thunderous rock ’n’ roll tones that were
similar to an AC30’s, but with a bottom
end more like an early Marshall (a quality
that was no doubt enhanced by the 4x12
cabinet). Switching to the Strat’s neck
pickup kicked up the low-end content
yet again, and the amp responded with a
smooth, creamy overdrive.
In search of more classic rock tones, I
routed the Positron to the Celestion
Vintage 30-loaded 2x12 and plugged in
my Gibson SG again. The hotter output
from the humbuckers drove the Positron
into overdrive land, with the preamp
emitting traces of sizzling distortion. This
is as close to a Marshall sound as I’ve
ever heard from a class A amp. Sustained
lead notes rang out with musical feedback.
Throughout all settings, the amp’s
dynamics remained intact, and I had
to think that the Positron would be an
invaluable amp in the studio.
Tone that hearkens to ’60s, class A, non-
Master-volume British amps has been a
sound ideal among amp freaks for years.
Now, Diamond Amplification’s Positron
allows you to access those beautiful vintage
Vox and Marshall tones in a moderately
powered, portable package that
sacrifices nothing but the heft of those
icons. The two-knob control setup makes
it quick and easy to tap in to the tonal
magic, and the compact package means
you can take it anywhere, provided there’s
a cab waiting for you at your end destination.
For class A fans on the run, the
Positron is an ingenious little amp of surprising
you crave a handwired, compact,
no-nonsense class A tube head
one channel isn’t enough.