The Coda by Juke Amps comes in a 810 and an 812 model, the differences being the amount of power produced and the type of bias (fixed versus cathode). The two different models are similar, but they do have a few key differences that players will want to take into consideration. No matter which one you go with, you’ll get a unique amp which is reminiscent of a old Valco amp with aspects of vintage Fender, Magnatone, and Ampeg circuits.
Both models use a Tri-Cone speakers system. You can select either a 1 ten inch and two eight inch speakers or a twelve inch and two eight inch combination. It’s also available with four eight inch speakers or six eight inch speakers. You can go with either Weber Alnico or Ceramic speakers. The amp has controls for treble, color, speed, level, contour, bass, reverb (dwell and depth), vibrato, and volume. A footswitch controls the reverb and vibrato.
The 810 model uses KT66 tubes and is a fixed bias, Class AB amp. It runs on 35 watts of power. The 812, on the other hand, uses 5881 tubes and is a cathode bias, class AB amp with 22 watts of power. The Coda is available in a number of difference colors. It weighs 38 pounds and is pretty compact, so it’s a great amp to take to gigs. Juke will does custom features on this amp available on request. The basic model retails for $2,800.
The Matchless Avalon 30 uses a new type of hybrid construction that Matchless has developed over several years. This new technique is a mixture of circuit tracing, turret style construction, and point to point wiring. Of course, the Avalon still uses only the best components, just like the ones Matchless uses in its other, more expensive amps.
The Avalon 30 produces 30 watts of amazingly dynamic sounds. You can run it in half power (15 watt) mode if you like as well. The preamp is powered by three 12AX7 tubes and the reverb by five 12AX7s. The rectifier tube is a 5AR4, while the main section is powered by four EL84s. The speaker has a switchable impedance of 4, 8, or 16 Ohms. You’ll find a number of different features on this amp, including hi/lo inputs, master volume, bass, treble, effects loops, and two speaker outputs. The combo uses a Celestion G12H30 speaker.
The Avalon 30 head retails for $1999, and if desired you can add a clear Plexiglass front for an extra $180. The same option is also available on the combo, which often retails for closer to $2500. The head weighs 40 pounds, while the combo is 62. That’s still light enough to carry to gigs if you don’t mind a little heavy lifting.
Fargen’s Blackbird VS2 has been considered by some to be the best blackface inspired amp ever. This amp is the result of over ten years of research and trial and error, obtained from gathering information from a number of different circuits from the 60s. It merges that great vintage tone with some modern parts and design concepts, creating a unique balance of new and old. The amp has excellent touch response, produces amazing harmonic overtones, and can really belt out some clean sustain. The amp has a passive FX loop.
So what does the Blackbird VS2 have under the hood? This amp uses two pairs of 12AX7s, two 6L6-GCs and a GZ34/5AR4. It puts out 40 watts of power and can be run in either 4 ohm or 8 ohm mode. It’s classified as a class AB fixed bias push/pull amp. The custom Mercury Magnetics transformer set, external bias adjustment and probe point, and Fargen Custom Shop resistors all help create that unique twist on the blackface sound.
The amp also works very well with just about any overdrive pedal, and players are certainly encouraged to use the Blackbird VS2 with effects pedals to get that perfect sound. It weighs a light 35 pounds and is pretty small, making it great for traveling. The amp has a MSRP of $2,195.
Many people loved the sound of the Maz 38, but were looking for the same general tone in a more portable 18 watt model. The result was the Maz 18 Jr. Then some people wanted an amp with more gain and less compression, so Dr. Z again responded and removed the reverb. This created the Maz 18 Jr NR, which stands for No Reverb. The NR does everything from raw vintage rock to crystal clean chime. You can easily dial in some British crunch if that’s what you're looking for, too. The NR features volume, middle, treble, master, and cut controls. Cut is like a tone control for the output tubes, allowing you to adjust power as needed.
This 18 watt tube uses two EL84s for power and features 4 12AX7s and a 12AT7 for its preamp stage. The rectifier is a GZ34. It’s great for a variety of different music, including jazz, blues, and even vocals in some cases. It comes as a head, a 1x12, a 2x10, and a 2x12 combo. The standard wood finish is black, but it comes in a variety of other finishes upon request. This is a very portable amp, weighing only about 47 pounds for the head and first two combos. The 2x12 weighs 65 pounds.
Clark Amplification’s Piedmont amp is a classic premium grade replica of a tweed era amp. The amp features bright and normal channels that use the same presence, middle, bass, and treble controls. The tone of this amp sounds very, very close to that of a true tweed era amp such as the 59 Bassman. The custom wound power transformer corrects all voltage so that there are no issues at high power. The amp uses four Weber Alnico P10Q style ten inch speakers to deliver a big rich sound. These speakers are exact replicas of the Jensen P10Q speaker, the ones that were used in the original tweed amps.
Other features of the Piedmont include its all Allen Bradley carbon composition resistors, the Jupitor Red Astron tinfoil and mylar coupling capacitors, and the Sprague electrolytics. It uses one 5AR4 tube, two 5881 Tung Sol RIs, two 12AX7 Mullard’s, and one NOS 12AY7. The amp also uses solid 22g cloth covered wire just as the original did.
The Piedmont comes in a handmade cab covered with tweed and spray tinted. While it is sprayed, rest assured that there is no buildup of tint or sealer on the inside—all Clark amps are taped and masked before spraying. The Piedmont retails for $3,195, but used ones can be found for as little as $2,000.