Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Equipment Notes - Part 7

While I was waiting for a blackface Fender amp to become available (at a reasonable price), I needed something to use on gigs. My friend, Sonny, had this Music Man RD-50 112 amplifier that I had heard him use before. I recalled that it was a good amp, so I bought it from him. I immediately blew out the speaker, so I had an ElectroVoice EVM12L 12" speaker installed. I now had an awesome guitar amplifier to use.

Leo Fender sold the Fender Musical Instrument Company to CBS in 1965. In 1971, Leo Fender, Forrest White and Tom Walker formed a new musical instrument company that became "Music Man" in 1974. All during this time, Leo Fender was being cautious not to take an active role in the company because his 10-year "non-compete" clause with CBS (due to the sale of Fender Musical Instrument Company to CBS in 1965) hadn't yet legally expired. In 1975 Leo came out from behind the curtain and announced he had been elected president of Music Man, Inc.

While CBS was making changes to the Fender Amplifiers that were not being well received by working musicians, Leo Fender and his new company seemed to be taking care of "business as usual" and were building some great hand-wired tube amplifiers, similar to the "blackface" Fender amps that were being produced when Fender was sold to CBS.

My amp has plenty of volume, headroom, and is reasonably portable, considering the excess weight of that massive EVM speaker. 50 Watts, more than enough volume for most gigs, point-to-point wiring, reliable, and all running from two 6L6GC power tubes.

The amp has a single input which is switchable between two channels, a drive channel and a clean channel. What is interesting about the design is that the amp circuit is a "hybrid." The pre-amp of the clean channel is solid-state, while the drive channel uses a preamp tube. The power section is all tube. The solid-state front end really tightens up the sound. You get a really crisp, clear tone that is a bit unique to Music Man amps. The built in reverb works on both channels. Somewhere along the line, the white grille cloth got replaced with black grille cloth. The footswitch controls channel switching and reverb.

As much as I like Fender blackface amps, I do not mind using this amp at all It really does a nice job!

Here is a photo of the amp:


Post a Comment

<< Home