Budda might have made a more long-standing impression
on the scene with its footswitchable Superdrive series,
but the company is keen to remind us all that it was a major
name at the front end of the lower-wattage boutique amp
craze. And what better way to do that than bring back the
amp that set the pace for Budda in 1995? The reissued Twinmaster
1x12 combo recaptures all the hand-wired construction
and hot-tubes tonality of the original in a basic format that
has become very familiar over the past 16 years, but which still
presents plenty of worthy twists when done Budda-style. The
brass tacks here are 18 watts of EL84-generated power, a butt-simple
array of Volume, Bass, and Treble controls, and a sneaky pairing
of Normal and High Gain inputs to tap your preferred degree of
sizzle. You also get a series effects loop and Budda’s own large-magnet
Phat 12 speaker in an open-backed finger-jointed solid pine cabinet.
A peak inside the chassis reveals a preamp circuit laid out on a
turret board, with the larger filter caps and power supply circuitry
built across a pair of turret strips—all hand wired in the U.S.A. using
quality components from Mallory and Illinois Capacitor. The power
and output transformers are also hefty, custom-designed units. Budda
calls the Twinmaster a “class AB” amp, although it is cathode-biased
with no negative feedback, just like a Vox AC30 and many other amps
that are liberally described as “class A,” and which tend to offer plenty
of chime and harmonic saturation when pushed into distortion.
A welcome return amid a flock of more
chime-oriented EL84-based combos, the
Twinmaster brings together some of the best
aspects of vintage and modern amplifiers
in a format that fans of aggressive, EL84-
generated rock tones will truly enjoy.
CONTACT Budda Amplification, (877) 866-3439; budda.com
Twinmaster 1x12 Combo
PRICE $1,999 street
CHANNELS One (with high-gain/lowgaininputs)
CONTROLS Volume, Bass, Treble
POWER 18 watts
TUBES Two 12AX7 preamp tubes, two EL84 output tubes, 5U4 rectifier tube
EXTRAS Series effects loop, dual speaker outs with 4/8Ω switch
SPEAKER Budda Phat 12
WEIGHT 40 lbs
KUDOS Impressive build quality. Admirable simplicity. Scorchingly fun high-gain tones.
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