Albion TCT 35C

August 17, 2011

imgThis compact 1x12 combo has two footswitchable channels with independent controls, an effects loop, digital reverb, and a handy wattage switch that allows you to run the amp at full or 33 percent power—very cool for situations when you want some tube sweat without overpowering the room. On the back of the amp is a series effects loop, dual speaker jacks with an 8Ω/16Ω switch, and a metal grille that has to be removed in order to access the tubes and the Albion ceramic-magnet speaker. Weighing in at 48 lbs, the TCT 35C is a reasonable carry, and the rubber handle is easy on your hand.

Both channels have the same gain and voicing, although their responses differ somewhat because Channel A is configured “pre EQ” (i.e. like blackface Fender) while Channel B is “post EQ” (like tweed Fender or Marshall). The amp’s clean response is decent, although in a side-by-side comparison with a DR. Z EZG-50 1x12 combo, the TCT 35 could not deliver the same degree of depth and dimension. Possibly the speaker is partly the culprit, as the TCT 35 yielded better clean sounds when connected to the EZG-50’s Celestion G12-65 speaker.(Steve Grindrod informs us that some tweaks are already being done to enhance the clean sounds.)

The Gain and Drive controls provide a wide range of dynamic grind and plenty of sustain for solos. You could play an entire gig on either channel just by using your guitar’s volume control to go between rhythm and lead. The digital reverb is well implemented and sounds close enough to a spring tank to satisfy all but the most demanding ’verb-o-holics

Probably due to its post-EQ configuration, channel B channel sounds better for heavier tones. And thanks to the effectiveness of the EQ section—particularly the Midrange control—you can easily dial in dynamic crunch and lead sounds that cover the gamut from classic rock to thrash metal. The TCT 35C has plenty of reserve volume for gigs, and its F’BK switch significantly increases the low-end kick for thumping rock tones. This amp is an obvious choice for players who gravitate toward medium-powered tube combos, and if your style is on the grittier side of the tonescape you’ll likely dig what it has to offer.

More from this Roundup:

Albion AG10, AG40DFX, TCT 35, and TCT 50
TCT 50
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