Looking for a small tube harmonica amplifier to expand your gear? Do you want to buy something other than the usual famous products? Today I'll introduce you to a handcrafted amplifier produced in Nederlands. The manufacturer is a small company, that has more than twenty years of experience in designing and building point to point wired tube amps.
As a harmonica and electronics enthusiast, I spend several hours on internet looking for quality products for my instruments. I am one of those who like a bit of niche objects, those that enclose in every inch of their shape the passion and the work of those who build them. During one of these investigations, I came across this 7 watt amplifier and as soon as I saw it, I decided to deepen my knowledge about this gear. You may find all the technical specifications and features regarding this on manufacturer's website.
Let's take a closer look at this amp called Max lx8.
This amplifier delivers 7 watts of power and its weight is 7 kg: one watt per kg!
The classic and retro shape covered by tweed has the essential controls, a treat for the eyes of those who love simple things; volume and tone can be adjusted.
The size of the amplifier is 34 x 29 x 20 cm, and the price is about 875 euro. The supplied speaker is 8 Ohm and measures 8 inches. The pre-amplification section has a 12AT7 NOS valve (new old stock) from USA whereas the final section has a 6V6GT valve that can be replaced by a 5881.This unit comes with a 5Y3GT rectifier, or alternatively a 5U4GB.
All the valves used to build this device are well known and widely used in guitar valve amplifiers.
Based on the Tweed Champ designs with a single ended class A output section, this amplifier has some custom transformers developed to accept a 6V6 as well as a 6L6 power tube.
The choice of which tube to use depends on the sound you want to get: with a 6V6, a sweeter and rounder sound is produced, while if a 6L6 is set, the amp emphasizes the low end. This 6L6 can be combined with a 5AR4 rectifier, in that case tmore power would be required.
Also the pre-amp can be modified, using a vintage 6SL7GT octal tube in place of the standard 12AT7 tube. The 6SL gives you a nice warm tone both on clean and overdriven sound, while the 12AT7 provides a more midrange detailed sound. This tube can also be replaced by a 12AX7 to have a bigger gain, or even with the 12AY7 that assures a more old-fashion sound.
A nice feature of this small amplifier is that it can operate even without a speaker load, you can use it as a pre-amp and also connect it to an external PA system.The device comes with a line out connection for this purpose.
A slightly bigger version of this amplifier can be ordered for a guitar player. This one has more power. You can also have it with a bigger 10 inch speaker.
Are you curious about this amp? Have a look at the manufacturer's website here: