Marco Brunetti made his first
valve amp when he was 14, subsequently progressing
to designing and building pro audio equipment.
He now designs every Brunetti amp, which
are “handmade” using top-quality and custom-made
components. The amps are constructed,
burned-in, shock tested, and sound checked in
Modena, Italy. Check the website for a full list of
Some modern amp manufacturers achieve
impressive versatility without resorting to multiple channels and gain stages, or complex EQ. The
Single Man is a case in point with just three tone
switches augmenting the Volume, Bass, Middle,
and Treble controls. Brilliant adds 10dB of boost
at 8KHz, Thick lifts the low mids by 6dB at 300Hz,
and Smooth cuts the treble response by 3dB at
5KHz. There’s also a Tweed/Fat switch.
Though rated at 50 watts with the TAD 6L6
power tubes pushing and pulling in Class AB
tetrode mode, a Power Limit switch reconfigures
the 6L6s to triode mode for 15 watts in Class AB. There’s also a 2-watt triode setting
with a single-ended 6L6. Two speaker outputs
are provided, along with sockets for the reverb
footswitch and a true-bypass effects loop that’s
buffered by solid-state components.
The Single Man is not designed for crunchy
rock or metal tones. Full power produces a solid,
room filling sound that remains fairly clean until
the volume control passes one o’clock. Beyond
this point overdrive builds gradually, with all the
tubes working in conjunction with the speakers to produce thick, gutsy overdrive. The power
supply is robust enough to resist sag, and the
tone retains punch and well-defined bass.
Full power is ideal for players who need loud
clean and semi-dirty tones—and those who prefer
to get their distortion and sustain from pedals—while the overdrive and compression are more
pronounced on the 15-watt and 2-watt settings.
The switching options not only enabled the
Single Man to sound great with the various humbuckers
and single-coil pickups in our test guitars,
but they take some of the strain off the tone controls,
allowing them to respond in a gentle and
refined way. In particular, the Thick switch has a big
influence on the Middle control and there’s more overdrive when it’s engaged. In fact, it does the tweed
thing more effectively than the Fat/Tweed switch.
Even when you’re not using the effects loop,
keeping it engaged provides more level and bass.
We tried a Roland Space Echo in the loop and the
Single Man responded in a manner that would
delight Brian Setzer fans: snappy lows, chiming
highs and all twang you could need, with
surfy on-board reverb too. In essence, the Brunetti
Single Man recalls medium-power Fender
piggyback amps from the old days. It doesn’t
do modern crunch or the chewy rawness and
full ferocity of a true tweed, but it excels in sonic
transparency, and is versatile enough for gigging,
studio work, and home practice.
Single Man Head
PRICE $1,400 street
CONTROLS Volume, Bass, Middle,
POWER 50/15/2 Watts
TUBES Two Tung Sol 12AX7
preamp tubes, two TAD
6L6 power amp tubes
SPEAKERS Tested with a Brunetti CW212
Cabinet ($800 street) with
two 12" Celestion V30s
EXTRAS Brilliant, Thick, Smooth,
and Tweed/Fat switches.
Effects loop. Spring reverb.
WEIGHT 22 lbs (head), 55 lbs (cab)
KUDOS Big, loud clean tones. Smooth
overdrive. Works well with
pedals. Versatile. Stylish looks.
CONCERNS PCB construction at a handwired
price. No FX loop footswitch.
Tolex covering a little
untidy around the corners.