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15-Watt, 1x12 Guitar Combo Tube Amplifier with Celestion Speaker & Spring Reverb
Get superior guitar tone and flexibility using this 15-Watt, 1x12 Guitar Combo Tube Amplifier with Celestion Speaker & Spring Reverb from Monoprice!
As the title indicates, this guitar amplifier features a 15-watt tube power amplifier and a Celestion brand speaker. It uses three ECC83/12AX7 preamplification tubes and two EL84 power tubes for the amplifier section, plus a Celestion Red Truvox 1215 speaker. The EL84 tube is the tube that powered the Mullard amplifiers favored by the British Invasion bands of the 1960s. It can produce a full output from a relatively small signal and is therefore easily overdriven to produce that distinctive chiming, treble-heavy sound, especially when compared to the 6L6 tubes more commonly used in 1960s era American guitar amps.
The amplifier handles frequencies between 80Hz and 10kHz, with hum and noise -75dB below the rated power and 0.5% total harmonic distortion. It includes a Low input and a High input, with the former attenuating the signal by approximately 50% and the latter being easier to overdrive. The cabinet is ported in the rear and features a leather handle, cloth speaker grill, and a cream-colored, textured, synthetic leather exterior with chrome corner guards.
The amp features a genuine spring reverb with the ability to enable it remotely using a foot switch. It supports FX send and receive, so you can either connect it to an effects processor or use the send/receive connections as line out and line in connections. Two inputs allow you to select between the full power mode and a 1 watt limited amplification mode for recording or late night practice sessions.
|Rated Power||15 watts|
|Frequency Response||80Hz ~ 10kHz|
|Total Harmonic Distortion||0.5% (clean mode)|
|Hum and Noise||-75dB below rated power|
|Input Impedance||1 megohm|
|Power Consumption||50 watts maximum|
|Amplifier Load Range||8 ~ 16 ohms|
|Preamplifier Section||3x ECC83/12AX7 preamp tubes|
|Power Amplifier Section||2x EL84 power tube|
|Dimensions||16.8" x 17.1" x 9.25" (427 x 435 x 235 mm)|
|Weight||25.4 lbs. (11.5kg)|
At anything above the lowest volume the reverb would rattle like crazy giving a clanging type sound. The tank was secured under the speaker to the cabinet with glue and a piece low density foam which allowed it to move excessively, causing the springs to smack into the tank housing.. I removed it from the foam and secured it directly to the cabinet with a set of rubber grommets which stopped the noise even at full volume.
Overall a great amp for the price but needed a bit of work to get it to its full potential.
PROS: Nice speaker, good tone, cool low wattage input, good tone controls.
CONS: Not the nicest tubes, poorly secured reverb tank, tolex had some bubbles and rough edges.
PROS: Great sound
CONS: Mediocre reverb
Jack for footswitch but none available
One knob was missing. Monoprice originally wanted me to return and reorder but I'll use a non-matching knob I have on hand if they can't find a knob. Hate to have them incur 2 way shipping for a tiny knob.
The initial sound was very brassy (out of Fender / Lace Sensor's for crying out loud). The speaker was tight as a Scottish Banker to start with. A couple of hours later though the cone began to relax a bit and the sound warmed up. Still needs moderating and I haven't even hit this with the P90s or the TV Jones supers yet.
Lots of fun sounds though. Really good versatility too. The sub watt setting is more like 5 watt setting.. not bedroom level, but not too bad either. It doesn't give you 'attenuator brown'. The sound retains the highs and upper mids (mostly) and so you really can go to town.
PROS: Very good sound, strong versatility. Lots of fun from grumble to grind
CONS: Not a whole lot of clean headroom. Sub watt setting is anything but. One control for reverb but a Tone and 3 band EQ? Sound is very stiff and a touch brassy at least to start.
PROS: Lightweight, plenty of volume to jam with a live drummer, and still get the same great tone as low volume with the 1 watt input.
CONS: Tiny reverb tank sound gets pretty "boingy".
PROS: Great price. Fun to play through. Classic "guitar here" rock tones with just an amp, guitar and cable. VH, Zep, Jimi .... it's all there.
CONS: No cons at this price but a tweed version or head only version would both be killer.
At 15W it's plenty loud enough to gig with - as long as your drummer isn't a complete animal banging away on the skins!
I haven't used the effects loop yet because there's really no need. unless I decide to use the amp's preamp gain. At that point I'll use it for modulation and time effects, as well as a noise killer.
I'm rocking two of these bad boys in true stereo and let me tell you, they sound fantastic! Catch them when Monoprice runs a special and you can grab a pair shipped to your house for less than $200 each!
PROS: Warm Tone
Great For Blues/Classic Rock/Jazz
Loud Enough For Gigs
CONS: Quality Control can be spotty
PROS: Tone, price, quality.
I love that it has gain + master volume, and an effects loop. I'm guessing the "Tone" control is really a "Presence" control. I wonder if the schematic for this amp can be found somewhere, I wonder what circuit design this amp has modeled.
I've got a number of tube amps (Marshall JCM800, vintage Fender Champ and Bronco, Crate VC). This is a perfect mid-sized amp for small rooms, with a great wide range of tones. The EL84 pairing has an expected chimey brightness. In terms of power, do you really need more than 15W? Probably not...and I love that about this amp. If you're playing small clubs you're probably gonna mic the amp anyway.
The build quality was really nice. Cream tolex was perfect, no scratches/glue/peeling. Knobs turn smoothly. Some of the screws (which are recessed by washers) stick up a little high, but that's pretty minor.
I wish the reverb was a longer spring reverb it's really short and "boingy". It's also extremely sensitive to the amplifier being touched/moved. Wish it had a standby switch too. All that said, for around $200 you have a really great sounding portable little amp.
PROS: Value, tone, master volume, build quality
CONS: Boingy short reverb, no standby switch, no detachable power cord.
PROS: sounds good
CONS: cheap hardware, horrible reverb unit