Armed with two EL34 power tubes, the
TCT 50 features two footswitchable channels
with independent EQ, Gain, Drive, and
Volume controls (along with Shift, Smooth,
and Tight switches), a footswitchable Mix
function that lets you combine the channels,
and a clever Balance control that adjusts
the level in “combined” mode to allow for
a volume boost or cut.
The preamp section uses five 12AX7s,
one of which works in tandem with a highvoltage
FET (field effect transistor) in the
input stage to accomplish three things:
reduce noise, pump up the drive, and “provide
a more pentode-like tonality.”
Another interesting feature is the Phase
switch, which reverses the phase of the
output stage. This is useful when using
the TCT 50 in a multi-amp setup where the
speakers in one amp may be out of phase
with those in another, causing a loss of low
end. You might also use the Phase switch
to change the acoustic coupling between
your guitar and the room in order to make
it easier to get feedback sustain.
Other global controls that affect the
power stage include Deep (enhances lowend
response), F’BK switch with “tight”
(more feedback) and “loose” (less feedback)
settings, and Edge, which is like a
presence control, but works with the type
of feedback selected via the F’BK switch).
As with all models in the TCT series,
the TCT 50’s channels have identical controls,
but, like the TCT 35, Channel A is
“pre EQ” (i.e., like blackface Fender) and
Channel B is “post EQ” (like tweed Fender
or Marshall). So despite having similar
gain and voicing, each channel has its own
particular response curve. In general, I
found the best clean tones on channel A,
though it can also deliver a stout distortion
sound with excellent touch sensitivity.
The dynamic qualities of this amp are
very good and, again, the digital reverb is
a welcome feature.
For heavier and more sustaining tones,
channel B offers more aggression and punch,
as well as more saturation at high Gain and
Drive settings. By deploying the “tight” setting
on the F’BK and turning up the Deep
control, you can concoct some thoroughly
wicked metal tones. Here too, the EQ is
more effective than you typically find with
passive tone stacks, and Midrange control
is extremely useful for getting exactly the
right flavor of crunch. Depending on your
guitar and the kinds of tones you’re going
for, the Shift, Tight, and Smooth switches
on both channels can really help to bring
the sounds in focus. For example, using the
Tight switch with a humbucker guitar can
enhance its low-end wallop, while a single-
coil bridge pickup will deliver a more
buttery lead tone with the Smooth switch
engaged. These functions respond differently
on both channels too, so it pays to
The TCT 50 is a loud mofo when you
crank up the master in full power mode,
and the 33 percent setting, which drops the
output appreciably enough to run the amp
hard on a small stage, is a welcome feature.
Albion has imbued the TCT 50 (and
TCT 100) with as many useful functions
as possible in order to obtain maximum
flexibility without adding more channels,
and the result is an easy-to-use amp that
can do just about anything you ask of it.
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