Brunetti Amplification is an amp maker from the town of Modena in northern Italy.
Marco Brunetti’s team handcrafts a number of tasty and stylish guitar amps and effect pedals. In addition to custom orders Brunetti also manufactures a range of standard models, of which the SingleMan 16 is the smallest combo amp.
Brunetti-products are distributed in Finland by NordSound.
The main aim behind the Brunetti SingleMan 16 (1,348 €) is to come up with a compact, single-channel design that nevertheless offers a maximum of tonal flexibility for the working musician.
The elegant two-tone finish and the combo’s clear lines make the SingleMan a real looker.
The combo weighs in at a moderate 20 kilos. Its open-backed cabinet is made of high-quality plywood.
The Brunetti comes loaded with Celestion’s famous 12-inch Vintage 30, which is known for its precise and multifaceted sound.
The SingleMan 16 is a genuine Class A valve amplifier. The preamp uses a pair of 12AX7 tubes, while the power amp is fuelled by two 6V6GTs.
The amp’s spring reverb unit comes from Accutronics. An on/off-footswitch for the reverb effect comes with the combo.
The amp chassis is precision cut (by laser) from solid steel.
Taking a look inside, we’re greeted by top-drawer components and very crisp workmanship. In contrast to many large-volume manufacturers, Brunetti’s electronics are handwired, and soldered by real people, not robots.
The SingleMan 16’s back panel offers you jacks for external speakers, the reverb footswitch, and an effects loop (with a dedicated on/off-switch).
The tonal flexibility of Brunetti’s SingleMan 16 combo mainly comes courtesy of the amp’s six modes.
Three modes are provided in the preamp section (by a sturdy mini-toggle), called Tweed, Fat and Smooth. Tweed is the most angular of the three, offering up dry and very dynamic guitar tones. Fat conjures up a warmer, distinctly British palette of sounds. The third mode, Smooth, turns the SingleMan into a bonafide ”cream machine” that’s warm and a bit saggy. Depending on your chosen guitar, Smooth’s richness can be a bit of a mixed blessing. Dark sounding humbuckers might turn into a bit of a mush, here, but spiky single coils will surely benefit from this mode’s innate fatness.
Here’s a clip of the SingleMan 16’s preamp modes when played with a Fender Telecaster (’62 Custom Reissue). The guitar is plugged into the Hi-input, the Volume control is turned to 10 o’clock:
Here’s a similar clip featuring an Epiphone Les Paul Standard (with vintage-style EMG-HZ pickups). Right at the beginning of the clip I turn the Bright-switch from ”off” to ”on”. The guitar is plugged into Lo, with the Volume control still at 10 o’clock:
Brunetti’s SingleMan 16 also comes with three power amp modes, which see the power amp running at Full, Moderate (25%) or Quiet (6.25%) levels. Because the output power reduction is achieved by changing the internal voltages in the output valves, switching from one mode to another also has a direct bearing on the combo’s sound and dynamic behaviour. Compared to Full mode, Quiet mode is far fatter-sounding, far more compressed, and seasoned with a good helping of creamy power amp distortion.
Here’s a clip of the three power amp modes, when using a Fender Tele (Volume at two o’clock):
And here’s a similar clip with the Epiphone Les Paul (Volume at one o’clock):
The demo track features two rhythm guitars – a Fender Stratocaster (left channel) and a Gibson Les Paul Junior (right channel). The lead track was played on an Epiphone Les Paul Standard:
Brunetti’s SingleMan 16 is a fantastic-sounding and surprisingly versatile single-channel tube combo from Italy. It’s practically impossible to dial in a genuinely ”bad” sound, and the combo’s versatility – both tonally, as well as in terms of its output levels – means that the SingleMan 16 will feel equally at home on stage, in the studio, and in your living-room. For extreme clean headroom or bone-crushing amp stack sound pressure, you should probably look elsewhere, but I’m pretty sure most guitarists will find ”their” sound easily using the SingleMan 16.
Brunetti SingleMan 16
Current price in Finland: 1,348 € (incl. reverb footswitch and amp cover)
Finnish distribution: NordSound
+ versatile sound
+ power reduction switch
+ great-sounding reverb