An excellent tribute to blackface Fenders in terms of tonality, Brunetti''s Singleman also features classy looks, roadworthy build quality, and a very reasonable price.
For many players, it’s difficult to resist the enthralling clean tones of a blackface Fender amp. There are many reasons why those classic amps have made generations of guitarists salivate—their rich warmth, sparkly highs, and springy response, for starters. Their sonic qualities have driven builders since before the dawn of the boutique amp age, all of them hoping to capture a sliver of what made those amps great.
But mimicry only goes so far, and Brunetti Amplification didn’t want their new class A, 6V6-powered Singleman combo to be a simple clone of a classic. Although the 16-watt 1x12 combo (a 35-watt, 6L6-powered version is also available) shows an obvious affinity for those tones, it really uses them as a foundation for its own voice, throwing in a couple of extra features to expand its sonic palate.The Singleman oozes class with the black-and-tan motif of its Celestion Vintage 30-stocked, semi-open back cabinet. Brunetti says it weighs almost 40 pounds, but it feels a bit lighter. It also features a jack for connecting a 16 Ω cab.
Inside the stainless-steel chassis, the Singleman uses top-shelf components—sealed relays, Red Series MKP WIMA caps, and low-noise film resistors—in a handwired circuit governed by a dual 12AX7-driven, 3-band EQ section with a few tricks up its sleeve: Although the amp might seem limited to some players because it has just one channel, it serves up more versatility via its midrange-boost and brightness switches, as well as a 3-way switch for selecting tweed, fat, or smooth voicing modes. Tonal and application flexibility are further bolstered by the Singleman’s PowerLimit circuit—a patented system for switching the tubes from push-pull tetrode (16 watts) to triode (12 watts) and single-ended triode (1-watt) modes. There’s also a seriously great-sounding Accutronics spring reverb, and a serial effects loop.
The Classics … Reborn
The Singleman’s tones—scooped cleans with deliciously smooth breakup—conjure thoughts of a trusty ’60s Deluxe Reverb bellowing over an audience in a smoky blues bar. The P-90s in a Gibson SG Classic push the front end very nicely, allowing the amp’s woody attack and mids to shine through. The EQ controls are well voiced and dynamic, too, so it doesn’t take much tweaking to get tones that can cover jazz, blues, country, and rock—especially if you dedicate your attention to the amp’s midrange control (more on that in a bit).
Evidence of the EQ’s dynamics is evident as you travel from one extreme to another on each knob. A perfect example is how immediate the attack becomes when treble is turned past 3 o’clock—it yields a snappy top end perfect for country fingerpicking. Increasing the bass lays down a luscious low end that works well with neck-position single-coils for jazzy rhythms, and the amp reacts with authority when you pick the strings hard. Meanwhile, the middle control is great for tailoring the Singleman’s voice for a specific guitar: For example, lower settings accommodate a Gibson Les Paul, balancing its lows and highs, while boosting it above 1 o’clock fattens the tone enough for a Stratocaster’s bridge singlecoil to handle jazzier fare.
The Singleman’s reverb is deep and lush, rivaling that of a venerated old Deluxe or Twin—though some players might feel there’s too much on tap. Setting it between 9 and 10 o’clock adds a nice, three-dimensional quality that helps carry the tone across the room—it’s likely plenty for most jazz, blues, and country players. When it approaches noon, you get into splashy surf-rock territory. If you like drowning your sound in reverb, the amp can yield mammoth-sounding results.
Given the inspiration for its design, one might assume that the Singleman’s main mission is to deliver beautiful, vintage-style cleans, but its overdriven tones are nothing to turn your nose up at, either. Single-coils and humbuckers both have a fantastic vintage bite in the highs, and the smooth midrange setting sags in a really pleasing way when the volume is up high enough to yield some dirt. The 3-way voicing switch is indispensable for honing the drive’s flavor—it delivers some of the amp’s coolest tones. I particularly liked the tweed setting, with volume at 1 or 2 o’clock and a pair of P-90s driving it all—it’s one of the coolest, most refined riffs on a cranked Deluxe sound that I’ve ever heard.
Because Singleman doesn’t have a master volume, the only way to get overdrive is to turn the volume up until the power amp saturates. That’s where the PowerLimit circuit comes in handy. But the lower you go, the more the driven tones sag, which affects the amp’s punchiness. So finding a good overall volume on the amp and riding your guitar’s volume knob is key for getting both clean and dirty tones.
With the Singleman, Brunetti has fashioned an excellent tribute to blackface Fenders, one that shakes up the formula with superb harmonic detail, a little extra grit, more versatile tone-shaping features, and practical power attenuation. Combine that functionality with classy looks, roadworthy build quality, and a very reasonable price, and it’s a compelling option for studio hounds and road warriors alike.
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Sporting custom artwork etched onto the covers, the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One Humcutters are designed to offer a fat midrange and a smooth top end.
Billy Corgan was looking for something for heavier Smashing Pumpkins songs, so Joe Naylor designed the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One pickup. Sporting custom artwork etched onto the covers, the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One Humcutters have a fat midrange and a smooth top end. This pickup combines the drive and sustain of a humbucker with the percussive attack and string clarity of a P90. Get beefy P90 tone plus amp-pummeling output with the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One.
Patented Railhammer Pickups take passive guitar pickups to a new level with rails under the wound strings lead to tighter lows, and poles under the plain strings offer fatter heights. With increased clarity, the passive pickup’s tone is never sterile.
Railhammer Billy Corgan Signature Z-One Pickup Demo
For more information, please visit railhammer.com.
Designed for utmost comfort and performance, the Vertigo Ultra Bass is Mono’s answer to those who seek the ultimate gigging experience.
Complete with a range of game-changing design features, such as the patent-pending attachable FREERIDE Wheel System, premium water-resistant and reflective materials, shockproof shell structure and improved ergonomic features, the Vertigo Ultra Bass takes gear protection to the next level.
The Vertigo Ultra Bass features:
- Patent-pending FREERIDE Wheel System that allows for wheels to be attached on the case in no time, giving you the option to travel with it seamlessly
- Upgraded materials, including a water-resistant 1680D Ballistic Nylon outer shell, plush inner lining and new reflective trim for maximum backstage and night visibility
- Enhanced protection with a shockproof shell structure and heavy-duty water-resistant YKK zippers for protection from the elements
- Improved ergonomics and functionality including added back support and load-lifting detachable shoulder straps with side release buckles
- Flexible storage options with added space for touring essentials
Mojotone will manufacture and market over 60 of their speaker cabinets and amp kits as “Licensed by Fender.”
This partnership marks Fender's recognition of Mojotone’s dedication to its craft, quality of products, and dependability of knowledge. Beginning November 29th and ranging from $327 - $1,016.
Amplifiers were among the first products to wear the official Fender seal. A qualified electronics technician by trade, Leo Fender developed his iconic amplifiers during the mid-1940s putting innovation at the forefront. To this day, Leo’s influence and innovative spirit can still be heard in today’s amps, as that same iconic, clean Fender tone continues to color new music around the world. As a result, the process for completing the exclusive licensing deal required Fender to carefully audit Mojotone’s amplifier kits, wiring diagrams, electronics, hardware, construction methods, and more to ensure this innovation carried on through the partnership. Mojotone’s many years of intense research, quality production, and favorable reputation solidified the deal.
Mojotone has always been determined to provide its customer base with the most sought-after parts with their insider industry-knowledge. They have spent the last 25 years helping musicians recreate what they deem to be the most famous and easily-recognized tones and aesthetics in the music industry. When purchasing Mojotone products, like Fender products, customers can be assured of unmatched quality and craftsmanship.
For more information, please visit mojotone.com.