VA-175 TWO TONE SPECTATOR
Based on the early-’50s class A Supro Spectator amp, the VA-175 sports a 10" speaker for some extra beef rather than the original issue 8".The eye-catching, two-tone color scheme is hip-as-hell, and the soft leather handle is much easier on your hands than those on the other Vintage47 amps reviewed. With my Telecaster, the VA-175 yielded a throaty, well-balanced tone with taught lows, thick mids, and sweet treble frequencies with just the right amount of bite. The VA-175 was sensitive to my touch and clean-to-mean textures were easily had via my guitar’s volume control. Like the other Vintage47s, the VA-175 isn’t a gain machine, even though I found its optimum operating range to be wide open, with the Volume and Tone control dimed. Instead of melting down in a pile of messy distortion, the amp keeps its tonal dignity—it just gets a little nastier. With a Gibson SG and L-5, the tones still punched though with authority and a velvety roar that was extremely rewarding for jazzy blues soloing or raucous power-chord riffing. Damn cool. Sure, five watts isn’t a lot, but in the VA-175’s case, it’s still enough to get you in trouble with your neighbors (especially if you use the extension speaker jack), as well as give you some wicked, cranked-amp recorded tones.
CONTACT Vintage47 Amps, (707) 480-6511;vintage47amps.com
MODEL VA-175 Two Tone Spectator
PRICE $495 direct
CONTROLS Volume, Tone
TUBES JJ 6V6 power tube, Sovtek 6SL7 preamp tube, Sovtek 5Y3 rectifier
POWER 5 watts
SPEAKER Weber Signature Series ceramic 10
KUDOS Balanced, raw, low-watt tones coupled with a killer looking cabinet.
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