ARTISTE Combo 50w JMP !!!
This is real useful vintage amp. It is not very old and generally can be found in good working order.It is not very heavy and, thanks to its 2 channels, can be considered 'versatile' while talking about vintage amps of course.
Everybody agrees to put the Artisté amps down.But really , listening to my examples, I am quite doubtful they have been trying wealthy amps. You could argue that even Mr.Jim himself dislike them.
But here is this amps : one channel is rawking like hell while the other gives you a pseudo-twin sound which can make illusion in a late night gig where a lot of beers have been sold. Who could ask for more?
And you could easily ask a girl to see it from the back : she will not resist those magnet covers and will become an instant groupie. If it does not work , you have found a strictly Fender amp she-admirer. Be sure on the next gig you will bring your BlackFace Deluxe Reverb.
Please don't cry. Original Bluesbreaker amps are VERY hard to find, unless you want to sell your house and buy it from a specialised dealer. I have heard some good things about the reissue, but it is still an expensive amp. So what is left for 16 years old suburb bluesboys? This cheap second hand pedal. And strangely enough, you are not far from the real thing: this device behaves more like an amp than like a stompbox. When the gain is on noon, you get a nearly clean sound with some coloured, not far from the clean JTM45 sound. And when you max it, you get a slight, natural overdrive reminiscent of the fabulous English GE KT66 valves. However, even maxed, this pedal has less distortion than my favourite JTM45. Is my example of this stompbox special ? Anyway, it really is a useful sound for me, smoothing any big amp just like you changed the whole set of tube with KT66. A very surprising miming pedal that deserves its glorious monicker.
Here is the sequel. If you consider this pedal by itself, it is a very good overdrive pedal, with a good smooth sound, natural frequency settings and everything. The boost option is quite disappointing: I was waiting for some kind of lightly distorted boost a la Fuse Blower, but it only is a clear , transparent booster. But the "worst" thing about this pedal is that it lost his BluesBreaker flavour somewhere on its way to India ( besides, it is really cool to manufacture pedals in India. While a little late in History, just imagine what it could have been in the Ravi-Shankar/Beatles/Tablas/Katmandu/incense-sticks/brown-rice era ...). A good pedal on its own but no BluesBreaker here.
PLEXI 100W TREM with
CLOTH RETAINERS !!!
This is a fine Plexi 100w tremolo from around 1968. Trem amps seemed to be very popular in those days. Mr Townsend himself used only trems. But you seldom hear this effect in the records so why is it so. I once again think that, like Deluxe Reverb or regular, built-in effect amps had more gain because of the effect recovery stage tube.
But what I love the most with this amp is that it sill has its original power tubes cloth retainers. What a strange electronic part...I can trace their English origins because they remind me 'Alice in Wonderland' so much. You know the big mushroom she has to eat to change sizes. And if you look better, maybe you could see old Jim's grin fading away behind the lay-down transformer...
This is the back of my battered 100w plexi and surprise, it still has 2 of its cloth retainers. One of them is suffering because, during its American days ( I bought it in France but there is an American repairman sticker showing this amp has travelled a lot) it was retrofitted with the American equivalent of the EL34, the cheerful 6CA7, which looks like a 6L6, sounds like a 6L6 but is not a 6L6.