Chandler Limited GAV19T

By Cleveland, Barry | Guitar Player, September 2013 | Go to article overview

Chandler Limited GAV19T


Cleveland, Barry, Guitar Player


(GuitarPlayer EDITORS' PICK)

THIS LITTLE RED 19-WATT WONDER excels at cranking out traditional rock and blues tones--but it gets there via atypical approaches to old-school amp technology. Designed by Wade Goeke, renowned for crafting crackerjack studio gear inspired by classic Rupert Neve and Abbey Road circuitry, this cathode-biased, class-A amp brings that same respectful but innovative perspective to guitar tone.

The first thing you'll probably notice about the GAV19T is that the controls are clearly nonstandard. For example, the input volume control is accompanied by a 5-position Bias switch that adjusts the bias of the ECC83 preamp tube from slightly overbiased to two flavors of under-biased, with Marshall- and Selmer-like settings along the way. The resulting tone shifts are subtle but noticeable, and playing response and feet are also affected.

Then there's the Drive section, comprising a 6-position Boost control that increases gain incrementally, and a 5-position Tone control labeled Off, Treble Boost, Full Range, Aggressive, and Mids. This section changes the tone dramatically--from upping the edginess in various ways to changing dynamic response to seriously increasing gain and saturation--and working in tandem with the Tone switch's Normal and Intense settings, provides lots of sound-shaping power. The behavior of these controls is also greatly altered depending on whether you are plugged into the High or Normal input. And, in an interesting twist, the Drive controls affect the dual-EL84 power section, not the preamp section, resulting in uncommonly robust crunch and punch even at lower volumes.

The Bass and Treble controls are not your garden-variety tone stack, either, but rather a Baxendall-style EQ (related to those found in some Magnatone, Orange, and Ampeg amps), powered by an ECC803 tube, and providing appreciable amounts of boost and cut. Cranking both controls scoops the mids, rolling them back provides the equivalent of a mid boost, and setting them straight up results in an essentially flat response. …

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