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PG's Jordan Wagner walks us through his latest print review--the
Stadler Goldtop Solidbody electric (featured in the February 2011 issue
of Premier Guitar magazine).
The Stadler Goldtop features a butternut body with ivoroid binding, a choice of either one or two singlecoil pickups, a two-piece, 25.625" scale maple neck with a maple fingerboard (that Wagner describes as being as "fat as a baseball bat...and one of the best riffing necks I've ever played." In addition it features replica Kluson tuners and includes a Cedar Creek case.
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The Burriss Dirty Red head is a little 18-watter that is fired by three Mullard reissue 12AX7 preamp tubes, an Electro-Harmonix EZ81 rectifier tube and two JJ EL84 tubes in the power section. Burriss, hot off the heels of the release of their popular Royal Bluesman, packs a lot of both qualities in their newest little monster, the 18-watt, EL84-driven Dirty Red. It's also built around a cascading preamp design that enables higher-gain sounds at lower volume, which gives it the goods to stand tall in the mini-amp crowd. On the front panel, you'll find a familiar 3-band equalization section consisting of Bass, Middle, and Treble knobs, along with separate Gain and Master volume controls. But nestled between the Middle and Treble controls, you'll find another knob called Top Cut. Burriss says the control is designed to tame the high end and warm the signal at higher gain settings. Anyone familiar with a presence control will find it works in a similar fashion. Finally, there's a Loop switch for engaging the effects loop, which can also be activated using a footswitch inserted into a rear-panel TRS 1/4" jack.
Read the full print review here - http://www.premierguitar.com/Magazine...
The 21-watt Valpreaux weighs a very manageable 30 pounds—roughly three-quarters the heft of a blackface Deluxe Reverb—and it's available in any covering or grill-cloth option listed on Mojo Musical Supply's website. Ours came in striking red Tolex with a black-and-tan grill. Top-panel features include a delightfully simple EQ section with crème-colored Tone, Volume, and Gain knobs, as well as Reverb, Depth, and Speed knobs for the three-spring reverb and footswitchable, bias-vary tremolo circuit. There's also a metal vent beneath the handle to help keep the tubes cool so they last longer and operate more reliably. Other Valpreaux features include a 12" Goodsell RGH speaker modeled after a Celestion G12H, three 12AX7 preamp tubes, and a 5AR4/GZ34 rectifier tube that runs approximately 390 volts.
The TH30 head is a 30 watt head running on EL84 power tubes. The simple control layouts of Orange amplifiers have always been a design strength. In the case of the TH30, that philosophy remains very much intact. Each of the amp's two channels—which you can select using a front-panel toggle—is controlled by just three knobs, which means you can dial in both clean and dirty sounds with very little fuss. The Clean channel features a Volume knob and Bass and Treble EQ controls, while the Dirty channel features Gain, Volume, and Shape knobs.
The amp's overall wattage can be cut from the maximum of 30 watts to 15 watts, using the 3-way standby switch on the front panel. And if you're in the mood for some low-wattage, greasy-amp goodness, another rear-panel switch lets you knock the wattage down to a tiny seven watts by bypassing two of the four power tubes. Rounding out the modern options are a series effects loop and a jack for an optional channel footswitch.
The AGA70 is ideal for the acoustic performer because it's designed to perfectly project the subtle resonances and sweet, mellow tones of the acoustic guitar. Each of the two channels (Normal and Tube Pre) is equipped with a standard guitar input, as well as a microphone input with selectable phantom power. An electro-acoustic guitar or mic can be connected to each channel, making this the perfect amp for a singer-instrumentalist. An additional Lo-Z / Hi-Z switch on each input accommodates a variety of signal levels.
The Tube Pre channel preamp features a 12AU7 (ECC82) dual-triode vacuum tube.
In addition to Bass, Middle, and Treble tone controls, each channel provides an effective COLOR control. Working in harmony with the traditional EQ, the COLOR knob allows you to quickly shift the tonal response to match your performance. This additional control accommodates a broad variety of sounds ranging from thick and robust to sparkling and clean.
Also, it features onboard Reverb (both channels) and an on/off switch for a Chorus effect.
The Avalon 35 is an EL-34 powered combo that incorporates top-shelf components in a design with partial PC-board construction. In addition, it's loaded with 5-12AX7s, a 5AR4 tube recitifier, and a robust transformer. The cabinet is loaded with a 12" 30 watt Celestion G12H speaker. The front panel controls on the Avalon 35 include Volume, Bass, Treble, Cut, Master Push/Pull, and Reverb.
The Lunchbox Acoustic is ZT's first two-channel amp that features a top quality, dedicated microphone channel and separate instrument channel each sport the individual controls. It's loaded supported by 200W of clean amplifier power, anti-feedback circuitry, a pro-grade reverb and a highly flexible signal I/O.
The amp's controls are Gain, Bass Treble, and Reverb for each channel, a Master Volume, and a three-position anti-feedback control. It houses a 6.5" speaker and weighs about 12 pounds.
The Isabella is Jens Ritter's (renowned bass luthier) take on building a hollowbody-style guitar but with a solid body construction. It also uniquely thin as it only measures 1" thick. Also, it has a very different bridge design/construction, which Ritter describes as "the hand cast bridge foot is mounted into a small hollowed area carved into the body that exactly matches the contour of the bridge foot. The bridge foot is held in place by a friction setting and only makes contact with a 2mm thin elliptical contour ridge along the hollow area. Thus, most of the surface area on the interior side of the bridge foot and the bridge studs float in the hollow area."
The body is made from a very light swamp ash, the neck is switenia mahogany and the fingerboard is Bavarian maple. The tuners are Gotohs, the bridge is a Schaller and the pickup is a Haeussel Custom Fat-Jazz.
The ZT Club is a solid-state combo that rocks out an incredible 200 watts of Class A/B power.Sharing the same proprietary electronics design of the Lunchbox amp, the Club is capable of delivering 200 watts with output over 130dB at only 22 pounds and just a few inches bigger than the custom 12 driver inside. The Club expands on the ZT Lunchbox platform by featuring separate Bass and Treble controls, an effects loop, and a traditional Reverb control.
The Jaguar Junior is a 17 watt class A amplifier and is loaded with 2-12AX7 preamp tubes, 2-EL84 and 1-GZ34 power tubes. It is a single channel amp with high and low inputs. The controls are simplistic and basic -- Master Volume, Volume and Tone. In the back of the amp there is a pentode and triode switch that enables the guitarist to dial back the amp to 7 watts. The over-sized cabinet is packed with a single Customized Celestion G12H Anniversary speaker and the whole package weighs about 45 lbs.