THE PHILLY 20 (or) 40 WATT AMPLIFIER

Throughout my experience as both a repair tech and musician, I fell in love with the American amps of the 1960’s. These amps have a full-bodied and almost “hi-fi” sound with natural-sounding cleans that make you want to strum the day away. Their only downside is their reluctance to overdrive -- if you're like me, you want the amp to deliver your "normal" tone, and only use pedals to add effects or insane loads of gain (see FUZZ pedals). And so it is, I set out to try and uncover the gritty clipped-edges of the waveform within these circuits.

There are so many ways to achieve overdrive, but almost all come with some downside: crappier sound at lower volumes, complicated switches or hard-to-dial-in-controls, or seemingly non-existent clean headroom. But I think I’ve done it this time.

I’ve added controls, and taken them out. Added channels, and then removed them. What's left is essential to your tone. Only the controls that matter, not the ones that allow the most "tweakability" (see: esoteric and obnoxious on stage).  Alas, a revoiced, more harmonically-rich version of the classic clean circuits of the 1960's.

This simple, yet versatile amplifier features:

  • Over-rated resistors and components - so the amp outlives you

  • F&T / Sprague capacitors for the best tone and reliability without the snakeoil

  • Reverb (large and lush)

  • Mercury Magnetics transformers (Made in the USA)

  • A variable mids/gain boost (BOOST control)

  • A HARMONICS switch which alters the high-frequency response and overdrive character

  • Terminal-strip (closest to actual point-to-point wiring possible) construction

  • Cathode-Biased power tubes so there's never a need to "bias" -- just throw in a new set of 6V6's!

  • The option of footswitchable reverb or boost (or both!)

TUBES: 2 x 12AT7 // 1 x 12AX7 // 1 x 5751 // 1 x 5U4GB // 2 x 6V6 (or 2 x 6L6 for 40w version)

HOW TO ORDER? Send me an email (info@RootbeerAudio.com) or use the contact form. A 50% deposit (PayPal or Venmo) is required to start the build. Once the amp is done, the other 50% (plus shipping) is due. You can also check to see what's available on REVERB or at Dipinto Guitars.