New • Princeton/Champ/Marshall circuit
5 Watts • Vintage National amp cabinet
This hand made amplifier has a very unique look and gives the player a lot of versatility.
Based on a Fender Princeton Tweed circuit but hardwired in the tradition of the Gibson GA-5, which is to say, point to point without circuit boards. The 10″ speaker sounds very warm and broken in, the way you want a vintage amp like this to sound.
The cabinet is from a very early National Dobro amplifier that has been modified to house this amp and speaker. Mainly in that some additional venting was added to keep air circulating around the amp chassis.
This amplifier’s controls are where it’s uniqueness really shines. Volume and tone controls as well as an Off/Standby/On switch and two inputs. The first input is voiced a little hotter, single coils sound very full and good in this input. However, humbuckers will send the amp into breakup very easily when plugged in here. The second input is great for players using hotter pickups or effects pedals. Humbuckers sound very creamy and rich in this input and the lower gain really lets your effects shine through. Finally, there is a small 3-way toggle that controls the voicing of the amp. In the center you have a Fender tweed setting, pretty low gain and very clean. The up position is a boosted Fender Champ with a little more gain on tap. The down position gives you something closer to a Marshall circuit with a lot more breakup and gain plus a bit of a mid boost.
This amp was made in Montana by Chad Leslie of Bigfork Amp. This was no hurried job. He has carefully tuned the cabinet for the amp by adding bracing here and there and expanding a tone port. This amp is our current favorite amp for great retro tone.