Ashdown Urges Guitarists to Fall in Love with an Essex Blonde

Meticulously hand-wired in Essex, England, and hand-covered in blonde Tolex, Ashdown’s new Essex Blonde guitar combos leave no stone unturned in the pursuit of classic, vintage tone.
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Two models—8 and 15 Watts—each feature oversized, locally-wound transformers, matched tube sets and superior quality reverb trays to ensure authentic tone. The use of polished gold corners, hand-engraved front panels, chicken head knobs and enamel badging mean that the Essex Blondes also look every bit as luxurious as they sound.

The 8 Watt combo uses an all-tube passive preamp, with a mono tube in the power section allowing the guitarist to experiment with the different output tubes without the need to bias. Controls are pure and simple—just Treble, Mid, Bass, Gain, Reverb Level and Output—and power is delivered via a single 10" Jensen speaker.

The 15 Watt model features a duet of 6V6 output tubes, with a Voice control re-configuring the preamp tubes in a number of switchable settings to select a variety of tones from bright and British, through to thick and US. Additional controls include Treble, Mid, Bass, Reverb Level and Volume, and the amplifier is partnered with a Celestion Vintage 30 speaker.

Commenting on the launch of the Essex Blondes, Ashdown’s Mark Gooday said: “Because we’re so well known in bass, it’s often easy to overlook Ashdown’s guitar amp designs. These Essex Blonde combos are packed with character and beautifully built, and I would urge any guitarist in search of pure, vintage tone to check them out.”

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