Posts tagged ‘Bluetone’

06/12/2017

Hyvää itsenäisyyspäivä! Happy Independence Day! #Finland100

17/04/2017

Testipenkissä: Bluetone Fried Eye 2+2 Reverb

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Voisin aloittaa tämän testiartikkelin sen loppupäätelmällä:

Minun mielestäni Bluetonen vahvistinvelhot ovat tehneet yhden maailman parhaista vahvistimista, ja sen nimi on Fried Eye 2+2 Reverb Combo.

Minun korviini Fried Eye 2+2:n soundi on uskomattoman hyvä ja kombon tarjoama monipuolisuus suorastaan hämmästyttävää. Kyse on loistavasta soundista, täysin ilman hypeä!

Jos tämä tiivistelmä riittää sinulle, käväise oitis Bluetonen nettisivuilla tsekkaamassa styrkkarin speksejä.

Tai voit myös jatkaa lukemista…

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Helsinkiläinen Bluetone on aito custom-paja, jossa valmistetaan käsityönä kitara- ja bassovahvistimia, sekä niille sopivia kaiutinkaappeja. Asiakas voi mukauttaa tilaamansa vahvistimen mieleisekseen, sekä ulkonäöllisesti, että spekseiltään, laajasta valikoimasta custom-optioita.

Testissä käynyt täysputkikombo (hinta noin 2.400 €; jalkakytkin ja suojahuppu kuuluvat hintaan) tarjoaa puhtaan Bluetone Clean -kanavan, sekä firman hot-rod-muunnelman Marshall-tyylisestä säröstä, nimeltään Fried Eye Crunch.

Nimen ”2+2” -lisäke tulee päätevahvistimen erikoisesta arkkitehtuurista. Bluetonella ei uskota, että perustavanlaatuisesti erilaisia vahvistinsoundeja pystyisi tuottamaan riittävän uskottavasti yhdellä pääteasteella, vaan aitoon soundiin tarvitaan aina myös etuasteen kanssa yhteensopiva, oikeanlainen pääte. Marshall-päätevahvistimella ei voi tuottaa aitoa Blackface-soundia, eikä Marshall-särökään oikein lähde lentoon 60-luvun Fender-päätevahvistimella. Autenttisiin soundeihin tarvitaan asiaankuuluvat putket ja oikeanlainen kytkentä.

Bluetonen 2+2-päätevahvistin koostuu kahdesta itsenäisestä pääteasteesta, joissa kussakin käytetään yhtä putkiparia. Puhdasta kanavaa käytettäessä, Fender-tyylinen 2 x 6L6GC -pääte herää eloon, kun taas säröpuolen tehot tuotetaan Marshall-tyylisellä 2 x EL34 -kytkennällä.

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(Kuva: Bluetone Amps)

Nykyään Bluetonella käytetään kahta eri vahvistinrakennusmenetelmä. Kalliimmat custom-vahvistimet rakennetaan yhä point-to-point-menetelmällä, mikä on hyvin aikaavievä prosessi. Upouuden Amp Designer -sovelluksen kautta tilatut vahvistimet taas tehdään modulaarisesti huippulaadukkailla piirilevyillä. Nämä piirilevytkin on juotettu käsin Bluetonen pajassa, mutta moduulien ansiosta vahvistimen kasaaminen on nopeampaa (ja edullisempaa), laadusta tinkimättä.

Fried Eye 2+2 Reverb -kombo on juuri tällainen modulaarinen Bluetone-styrkkari.

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Niin kuin monissa Bluetone-komboissa, myös Fried Eyessä käytetään avointa kaiutinkaappia.

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Testivahvistin on yksi ensimmäisiä Bluetoneja, joissa on käytetty neodyymimagneetilla varustettuja Celestion-kaiuttimia.

Kaksitoistatuumaisessa G12 NEO:ssa on Celestion Creamback -henkinen soundimaailma, mutta se painaa kevyemmän magneetin ansiosta huomattavasti vähemmän.

Fried Eye 2+2 Reverb -kombon jousikaiku käyttää MOD-firman tankkia Bluetonen omaan putkipiiriin kytkettynä.

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Tässä Fried Eyessä on tarjolla myös muutama mielenkiintoinen ominaisuus kombon takapaneelissa:

Bluetonen Front End -boosteri (FE BOOST) vahvistaa tulosignaalia signaaliketjun alkupäässä.

Fried Eyen jalkakytkimellä aktivoitavaan efektilenkkiin on lisätty oma vahvistuspiiri ja Volume-säädin. Jos lenkkiin ei ole kytketty ulkoisia efektejä, voi sitäkin käyttää esimerkiksi soolo-osuuksien lisäboostina.

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Komboon kuuluu erittäin kestävän oloinen, kolmikytkiminen jalkakytkinyksikkö kanavanvaihtoa, kaikua ja efektilenkkiä varten.

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Bluetone Fried Eye 2+2 Reverb -kombon etupaneelistakin löytyy runsaasti ominaisuuksia. Loogisen rakenteensa – ja selkeän tekstityksensä – ansiosta vahvistimen käyttö on silti todella helppoa.

Särökanava tarjoaa kolmikaistaisen EQ:n lisäksi Fat- ja Bright-piirit särösoundin hienosäätämiseen.

Puhtaan kanavan High/Low-kytkimellä voi valita kahdesta esivahvistustasosta, joilla on vaikutusta kombon puhtaaseen headroomiin.

Kummallekin kanavalle on omat Reverb-säätimensä – niin ei synny ristiriitoja puhtaan ja särösoundin kaikuasetusten välillä – sekä omat Masterinsa.

Kun käyttää harkiten kaikkia etu- ja takapaneelin tarjoamia ominaisuuksia, voi löytää uskomattoman määrän erilaisia soundi- ja gain-vaihtoehtoja. Jos valitsee arsenaaliin pari (tai kolme) erilaista kitaraa, voi Bluetonen Fried Eye 2+2 -kombolla saavuttaa käytännössä kaikki klassikkosoundit sähkökitaran pitkän historian varrelta (nykymetallin über-gain säröjä lukuunottamatta).

Bluetonen puhtaan kanavan soundivalikoima ulottuu putipuhtaasta kevyeen Blues-säröön.

Tässä klipissä käydään puhtaalla kanavalla eri gain-asetuksia läpi (Hamer USA Studio Custom -kitaralla). Järjestys on Low (kuiva) –> Low (kaiulla) –> High –> High + FE Boost –> High + FE Boost + FX Boost:

FX Loopin lisäboosterin ansiosta Fried Eye 2+2 -kombolla saa helposti nostettua soolo-osuudet esiin.

Tässä klipissä käydään särökanavalla eri gain-asetuksia läpi (Hamer USA Studio Custom -kitaralla). Järjestys on Crunch –> Crunch + FE Boost –> Crunch + FE Boost + FX Boost:

Kitaran volume-säätimen käyttö on Fried Eye –kombon läpi soitettaessa erittäin antoisaa puuhaa. Bluetone-vahvistin kuulostaa todella mehukkaalta ja dynaamiselta myös silloin, kun kitaran volyymiä on laskettu rutkasti:

Demobiisin komppiraidat on soitettu Gibson Melody Maker SG:llä (vasen kanava) ja Fender Stratocasterilla (oikea kanava). Soolo-osuuksia varten käytin nykyaikaista Tele-tyylistä lankkukitaraa. Särön määrää on säännöstelty kitaran volumella:

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Minun mielestäni Bluetonen vahvistinvelhot ovat tehneet yhden maailman parhaista vahvistimista, ja sen nimi on Fried Eye 2+2 Reverb Combo.

Minun korviini Fried Eye 2+2:n soundi on uskomattoman hyvä ja kombon tarjoama monipuolisuus suorastaan hämmästyttävä. Kyse on loistavasta soundista, täysin ilman hypeä!

Herrat Kneckt ja Vauhkonen eivät leikki putkiguruja hyppimällä ympäriinsä korneissa peruukeissa tai kirjavissa vaateissa. He eivät myöskään vaadi, että vahvistimen tilaaja ensin lähettäisi mp3-tiedostoja omasta soitostaan, jotta voitaisiin päättää, onko soittaja riittävän ”hyvä” liittyäkseen ”Bluetone-kerhoon”.

Bluetonella tehdään korkeaa laatua vankalla ammattitaidolla. Nämä herrat ovat jatkuvasti etsimässä vielä parempia tapoja tehdä äärimmäisen hyviä putkivahvistimia – ilman hypeä, ilman bullsh*ttiä

Tämä on aito Suomessa rakennettu boutique-luokan kitarakombo, josta pyydetään mielestäni varsin maltillinen hinta.

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Bluetone Fried Eye 2+2 Reverb Combo

Tämä versio: 2.400 € (jalkakytkin ja suojahupu sis. hintaan)

Lisätiedot: Bluetone Amps

Plussat:

+ käsintehty Suomessa

+ kevyt

+ useat boost-vaihtoehdot

+ monipuolinen

+ jousikaiun soundi

+ kummallekin kanavalle omat Reverb- ja Master-säätimet

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02/03/2017

Bluetone Amp Designer – Konfiguroi ja tilaa unelmiesi boutique-vahvistin netissä!

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Unelmavahvistimen speksaaminen ja tilaus ei ole koskaan ollut niin helppoa:

Helsinkiläinen putkivahvistinpaja Bluetone tarjoaa uudistetuilla nettisivuillaan Amp Designer -nimisen työkalun, jolla pystyy ”rakentamaan” oman unelmavahvistimen helposti ja nopeasti eri moduuleista.

Bluetonen Amp Designer antaa kaikista moduuleista taustatietoa, sekä moduulien hinnat. Kun kaikki palikat ovat kasassa selviää myös oman vahvistimen kokonaishinta.

Lopullisen tilauksen voi sitten lähettää suoraan sivulta muutamalla klikkauksella.

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02/03/2017

Bluetone Amp Designer – Configure And Order Your Boutique Amp Online!

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Ordering your own custom-made guitar amp has never been easier:

Finnish boutique maker Bluetone now offers you an online Amp Designer, which makes it possible for you to configure your own dream amp in a matter of minutes.

Bluetone’s Amp Designer also keep you informed about the cost of each chosen module, as well as the final price of your amp.

When you’re satisfied, you can place your order a the bottom of the page with just a couple of mouse-clicks.

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27/02/2017

Review: Bluetone Fried Eye 2+2 Reverb

bluetone-fried-eye-22-logo

OK, people, let’s go wild here and start with the summary for a change:

In my view the good people at Bluetone Amps have outdone themselves with their Fried Eye 2+2 Reverb Combo.

I will stick my neck out really far by claiming that the Fried Eye 2+2 is the best-sounding and most-versatile compact two-channel boutique valve combo I’ve ever come across. This guitar combo is all tone and no hype!

If the demo video and this summary are enough to whet your appetite, I’d suggest you head over to Bluetone Amps’ website right away.

If you want to know more, read on…

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Helsinki-based Bluetone is a small boutique amp maker that handcrafts each and every one of their guitar and bass amplifiers, combos and cabinets. Bluetone offers a wide range of customisable options, both on the electronic as well as on the cosmetic front.

Our review combo (price of this version: 2,400 €; incl. footswitch and cover) is a two-channel all-valve affair comprising a Bluetone Clean channel partnered with a Fried Eye crunch channel, which is Bluetone’s take on the hot-rodded Marshall theme.

The 2+2-monicker in the combo’s name points to the special power amp architecture applied here. Instead of trying to emulate or approximate the different power amp sounds of, say, a Blackface-style clean channel and a Marshall-style crunch channel using heavy filtering and electronic trickery, Bluetone Amps go for maximum authenticity.

The 2+2 power amp uses two different pairs of output tubes – one pair for each channel. Selecting the clean channel switches on the power amp’s pair of 6L6GC-valves, while switching over to the Fried Eye channel will see a pair of EL34s spring into action.

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(Photo courtesy of Bluetone Amps)

Bluetone Amps have recently been moving away from building their complete model range using only point-to-point building techniques. Certain models are now available as modular designs, which makes production less time-consuming, and thus more affordable. Still, like the point-to-point amplifiers, Bluetone hand-solders all its PCB-based modules at their workshop.

The Fried Eye 2+2 Reverb has been made in this modular fashion.

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Like most Bluetone combos the Fried Eye is constructed with an open back.

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Our review sample is one of the first Bluetone amps to feature a Celestion neodymium speaker.

The 12-inch G12 NEO promises genuine Celestion Creamback tones coupled with the benefit of considerably lighter weight.

The Fried Eye 2+2 Reverb uses an MOD reverb tank and Bluetone’s own valve-driven circuitry.

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This Fried Eye combo comes with some interesting back panel features:

There’s a Front End signal booster, amplifying the signal right at the beginning of the signal path.

The Fried Eye’s switchable effects loop is an active affair, complete with a dedicated level control. If you don’t run any effects in the loop, you can use the loop’s make-up gain as an additional, foot-switchable boost in the signal path.

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A chunky three-button footswitch unit is supplied with the Bluetone combo.

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Bluetone’s Fried Eye 2+2 Reverb combo offers a wide range of options on its front panel. Thanks to the logical layout and the clear lettering, the front panel never seems complex or crowded, though.

The Fried Eye Crunch channel offers you a 3-Band EQ-section, plus Fat and Bite switches, to fine-tune your crunch tones.

The Bluetone Clean channel’s High/Low-switch offers two different pre-gain settings, which change the amount of available clean headroom.

Each channel features its own reverb level knobs – so you don’t have to compromise lush reverbs for clean tones with drier settings for crunch – as well as dedicated master volume controls.

Using all the different front panel and back panel features offers you a mind-boggling array of different tonal and drive options. With just a couple (or three) well-chosen guitars, Bluetone’s Fried Eye 2+2 Reverb will give you access to virtually any classic guitar tone you could dream up (with the exception of contemporary Metal).

Bluetone’s clean channel will take you from pristinely shimmering cleans well into Blues break-up territory.

This clip steps through the different boost options offered by the Fried Eye’s clean channel (using a Hamer USA Studio Custom). The sequence is Low dry –> Low plus reverb –> High –> High + FE Boost –> High + FE Boost + FX Boost:

Being able to use the FX loop as an additional booster turns the Fried Eye 2+2 into a two-channel-plus-solo-boost machine.

This clip steps through the different boost options offered by the Fried Eye’s crunch channel (using a Hamer USA Studio Custom). The sequence is Crunch –> Crunch + FE Boost –> Crunch + FE Boost + FX Boost:

Cleaning up the crunch channel using your guitar’s volume control works like a dream here. The Bluetone’s Fried Eye Crunch sounds juicy and lively, even with the guitar turned down to almost zero:

The demo track’s rhythm guitar parts were played on a Gibson Melody Maker SG (stereo left) and a maple-necked Fender Stratocaster (stereo right). The lead part was recorded with a modern Tele-type guitar, using the instrument’s volume control to adjust the amount of overdrive:

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In my view the good people at Bluetone Amps have outdone themselves with their Fried Eye 2+2 Reverb Combo.

I will stick my neck out really far by claiming that the Fried Eye 2+2 is the best-sounding and most-versatile compact two-channel boutique valve combo I’ve ever come across. This guitar combo is all tone and no hype!

Messrs. Kneckt and Vauhkonen don’t run around wearing strange clothes or wild hairdos, pretending to be exalted tone gurus. You also won’t be required to send in mp3s of your guitar playing to prove you’re worthy to join the ”Bluetone Cult”.

Bluetone’s dynamic duo are down-to-earth guys, out on an ongoing quest to bring you maximum tone and usability, and no bullsh*t.

For a genuine boutique-grade amp of its calibre, I can only call the Bluetone Fried Eye 2+2 Reverb’s price tag extremely fair.

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Bluetone Fried Eye 2+2 Reverb Combo

This version: 2,400 € (including footswitch unit and dust cover)

Contact: Bluetone Amps

Pros:

+ handmade in Finland

+ lightweight

+ multiple boost stages

+ versatility

+ reverb sound

+ dedicated reverb and master controls for each channel

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17/02/2017

Bluetone Fried Eye 2+2 Reverb – now on SoundCloud

Contact: Bluetone Amps

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16/02/2017

First View: Bluetone Fried Eye 2+2 Reverb

Bluetone Fried Eye 2+2 Reverb

• Handmade in Finland
• Two-channel valve amp
• Class AB
• 20-40 W
• 5 x 12AX7 plus 1 x 12AT7
• Two pairs of power amp valves – 2 x 6L6GC (Clean channel) and 2 x EL34 (Crunch channel)
• Switchable boost
• Switchable effects loop
• Switchable spring reverb
• Single Celestion G12 Neo speaker

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Demo Track
• Two rhythm guitars (Clean channel) – Gibson Melody Maker SG (left) and Fender Stratocaster (right)
• Lead guitar (Crunch channel) – modern Tele-type guitar

Contact: Bluetone Amps

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15/02/2017

Bluetone Fried Eye 2+2 ^^^ Testi tulossa! ^^^ Review coming soon!

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Contact: Bluetone Amps

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14/01/2017

Finnish Blues Awards 2017 Guitar Show

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Löydät lisää kuvia TÄÄLTÄ.

More pictures can be found HERE.

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09/11/2016

Review: Bluetone Shadows Reverb

For many guitarists the Vox AC30 is the greatest guitar amp ever made – bar none.

The combo was originally designed for the instrumental group The Shadows, but it became known worldwide as ”The Beatles Amp”. Over the decades, many other guitarists have favoured Vox’ best known design. Users include people like Brian May (Queen), Rory Gallagher and U2’s The Edge. Many Finnish Shadows-/Ventures-style bands (”rautalankka”) also favour the AC30.

Despite their legendary status, vintage Vox AC30s also do have their issues:

This large 2 x 12″ combo weighs quite a lot, making it a little hard to carry alone. Old Voxes also are non-master volume amps, which means that attaining natural distortion comes at the cost of serious sound pressure levels – often too much for small clubs and function gigs. Old AC30s also have all their valves – yes, also the power amp tubes – placed inside an almost completely closed metal chassis. This has led to vintage-Voxes getting an infamous reputation as relatively prone to catching fire.

vox-chassis-studiofreak-photobucket

(photo: Studiofreak/Photobucket)

Boutique amp makers Bluetone (from Helsinki, Finland) have recently come up with their special take on the beloved classic combo. Their new amp is called Bluetone Shadows Reverb, and it comes with a whole number of welcome improvements and modern features.

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Bluetone’s Shadows Reverb (reviewed version: 1,950 €) is a single-channel all-valve amp loaded with a genuine spring reverb. The combo represents the company’s view of what constitutes a perfect Top Boost-channel tone, all presented in a much more compact format.

The Shadows Reverb is a class AB amp, and it offers between 15 and 30 Watts of output power, depending on the setting of its built-in Variac.

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The combo’s cabinet is made from high-grade plywood. The Shadows Reverb is a good deal smaller and less deep than its classic forebear from the 1960s.

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This reduction in heft is due mostly to the use of 10-inch Celestion Alnico Gold speakers in place of the AC30’s 12-inch speaker pair.

The speakers in the Shadows Reverb combo have been ”played in” for a number of hours (using an oscillator) to get rid of the typical tightness of brand-new Alnico Golds.

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This Bluetone-combo uses three 12AX7-tubes, and a single 12AT7 in its preamp section.

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The power amp runs on a quartet of EL84 valves. The Shadows Reverb is a cathode-biased valve amp, which means that replacing the power amp tubes doesn’t usually necessitate any rebiasing.

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Yes, the Bluetone Shadows Reverb is ”just” a single-channel combo, but it is far from a single sound guitar amplifier. In large part this is thanks to the brilliant modern features Bluetone has incorporated into this homage.

The Shadows Reverb offers you two guitar inputs – High and Low – for use with single coil- and humbucker-equipped instruments.

The preamp features a two-band Baxandall EQ-section – with typically interactive controls for Bass and Treble – as well as a three-stage Bass Cut rotary switch, which offers you two fatter alternatives to the famously bright and wiry Vox Top Boost sound.

The onboard spring reverb sounds fantastic and is a real treat to work with, giving you everything from completely dry tones to Surf Music antics.

The power amp section comes with three controls:

Cut allows you to make overall adjustments to the combo’s treble output.

Bluetone’s Master Volume-control is placed after the phase inverter, right at the end of the signal chain. This allows you to get juicy power amp distortion at low volume levels, and with only minimal changes in the amp’s tone.

As mentioned before, the Shadows Reverb comes with a built-in Variac circuit. Although the Variac also has a bearing on the combo’s output level, it works in a completely different way to the master volume, namely by dropping the voltage the power amp runs on. Turning the Variac down will result in a good deal less clean headroom and more power amp sag.

Due to large public interest, I had to return the Shadows Reverb much earlier than anticipated, but I still managed to record two different demo tracks with the Bluetone amp.

The first (clean) track features rhythm guitar tracks played on a Fender Telecaster (left channel) and a 1970s Japanese copy of a Gibson ES-335 (Kasuga; right channel). The lead guitar part was played on a Fender Stratocaster. All guitar tracks have been recorded with an AKG C3000 microphone placed approximately 80 cm from the combo’s front:

The second track (overdriven) has been recorded with a Stratocaster. The distortion comes from the Shadows Reverb (no pedals used), and all tracks have been close-miked with a pair of Shure SM57s:

bluetone-shadows-reverb-master-section

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Bluetone’s Shadows Reverb is an outstanding boutique amp take on the Vox AC30 motif. Like all other Bluetone amps, the Shadows Reverb is carefully handmade in Finland to the company’s strict quality standards. This results in reliable top-drawer tools for the musician, with extremely low levels of hiss and negligible AC hum.

I had a great time test driving this combo. The Bluetone Shadows Reverb simply delivers all it promises with style and panache. The combo weighs approximately half of the original classic (AC30s usually weigh between 31 to 36 kg, depending on their specific vintage and the speakers they come loaded with). The reduced size means you won’t be having any problems lifting this beauty into the boot of a small car, such as a Ford Fiesta.

Thanks to the additional features of this Bluetone combo – like the Bass Cut and the Variac – you will be able to enjoy the great sound of the Shadows Reverb anywhere you want, be it at home or on stage.

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Bluetone Shadows Reverb

Prices starting at approx. 1,700 € (reviewed version: 1,950 €)

Manufacturer: Bluetone Amps

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Pros:

+ handmade in Finland

+ size

+ weight

+ valve-powered spring reverb

+ Variac- and Master Volume-controls

+ sound

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