Magazine article Guitar Player

Goodsell: Labrador 50

Magazine article Guitar Player

Goodsell: Labrador 50

Article excerpt

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GOODSELL'S NEW BLACK DOG SERIES INCLUDES the Labrador 50, which follows on the heels of the company's popular EL84-fueled Super 17 and 33 Custom heads and combos. The Labrador 50 uses a solid-state rectifier and two cathode-biased EL34 output tubes to pump 50 watts into a pair of dissimilar WGS 12s. The amp is equipped with a tube driven reverb, three-knob EO., and a Tone Bypass jack that allows you to bypass the tone stack (when toggled with the included footswitch) for a gain increase of 20 to 25dB. The black Tolex covering on the birch-ply cabinet is nicely accented with white piping, giving the Labrador 50 a classic British look that is quite attractive. Inside the aluminum chassis we see mostly point-to-point wiring, with a couple of small tag boards for connection points. The tube sockets, a mix of ceramic and phenolic types, are chassis mounted for ruggedness and ease of servicing.

Designed for players who like to get their sounds from one well-voiced channel, the Labrador 50 provides the broad gain range needed to obtain everything from ultra clean to seriously distorted tones. With its feisty, Brit-style attitude--party of which is due to having no negative feedback in the output stage--the Labrador needed little coaxing to get happening classic, '70s-style rock sounds with all of our test guitars. The overdrive tones are tough and muscular with humbuckers, and, with a downward twist of the Treble control, I was able to get a deep, ringing grind from a Strat's neck pickup that was reminiscent of some of Robin Trower's Seven Moons tones. The long-spring reverb sounds especially good when deployed on clean to moderately overdriven tones, providing just the right airiness at low settings to give some dimension to blues tones, and lots of vibrant surf-style drippiness when turned up.

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With the tone controls bypassed, the Labrador 50 delivers a big increase in gain, and does not seem to lose anything in its voicing from having the tone stack out of the signal path. …

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