october 2019

Need more headroom or gain? Spin the bottles.

[Originally published: 9/2/2019]
You might guess from the title of this column that I love Fender amps. And you’d be right. From a musical and engineering perspective, I think vintage Fender blackface amps are the best ever made. With bright, American-style speakers, they deliver pure and natural tone. Their channels, with volume and EQ, are intuitive for any guitar, bass, or keyboard player. It’s impossible to not find a decent tone in less than 10 seconds. From a technical perspective, their handmade tube-based circuits are simple, and they were built with high-quality components. And today, there are easily available parts and schematics, and an abundance of other online technical information, which makes it possible for many techs and players—including you—to service these amps.

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A handwired Harvard post-graduate.

 

Ratings

Pros:
Terrific tweed-style tones. Bargain price for a good handwired amp.

Cons:
Trem circuit produces pops/clicks at higher depth settings.

Street:
$1,163 street (as reviewed with Weber alnico 12A125A speaker)

Winfield Amps Tremor
winfieldamps.com


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Spring-reverb junkies rejoice: This brilliant offering from France puts three amp-rivaling ambience options right on your pedalboard.


Recorded using a Squier Vintage Modified Telecaster Custom with Curtis Novak Tele-V bridge and JM-V neck pickups going into a Ground Control Tsukuyomi boost (set at 9 o’clock) and then into a Warehouse G10C/S-equipped 1976 Fender Vibrolux Reverb (with reverb off) miked with a Royer R-121 and feeding an Apogee Duet going into GarageBand with no EQ-ing, compression, or effects.
Clip 1: Le Bon tank (first bypassed) then with two different settings: 1) All controls at noon and spring-saturation switch off, first in middle pickup position, then neck pickup. 2) Out and low at max, mix at 2 o’clock, and high at 10 o’clock, first in middle pickup position, then in middle pickup position with spring-saturation switch engaged.
Clip 2: Same as clip 1, but with La Brute tank.
Clip 3: Same as clip 1, but with Le Truand tank.
 

Ratings

Pros:
Adds world-class spring-reverb sounds of all stripes to any amp. Great build. Reasonable price.

Cons:
Requires careful pedalboard placement and possibly extra padding, particularly for heavy stompers.

Street:
$349 street (Premium bundle, tested), $249 (Le Bon bundle), $279 (La Brute bundle), $299 (Le Truand bundle)

Anasounds Element
anasounds.com



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