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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Vintage Vacuum Tube Amplifiers (VVT Amplifiers) Lindy Fralin Model 1,... (Review)

Reviewed By: Jac Harrison 
Purchased from: Manufacturer
Street Price: $1,999.00 USD + Shipping 

Vintage Vacuum Tube Amplifiers (VVT Amplifiers) is the manufacturer of boutique, hand-crafted, all-tube guitar amplifiers based out of Waldorf, MD.

This Lindy Fralin Model 1 single channel combo amp is powered by a custom Mercury Magnetics transformer, carbon film resistors, Mallory tone/coupling caps, 6L6 output tubes with a 5U4 rectifier tube pushed through (1) 15” Eminence speaker at 40 watts with spring reverb and a bright switch featuring (1) volume, (1) treble, (1) bass and (1) reverb control on a top mount control panel. 

Amp Casing: 
Finger jointed pine cabinet construction (20w x 20h) dressed in vintage ivory tolex on a steel chassis.


Guitar used:
VVT Amplifiers have a great reputation for making well built amplifiers. I was only able to play this amp in 15-minute intervals at the NY Amp Show, but I'm confident that this amp would hold up in any studio and/or at a venue without fail.

I'm not sure where to start with this one. There are amps I have played that are well-built and are a great example of a particular sound -- and then there are amps like this one that speak to me on a personal level. To me -- for my personal use -- there is nothing better than a ton of clean warm headroom that you can control the tube saturation breakup with your guitars volume knob while still retaining that "black face" sparkle touch sensitivity and at the same time have a vintage "tweed" breakup on the bottom end. I'm one of those freaks that believes I have the ability to not only hear, but feel the differences between the types and brands of tubes and capacitors used in the manufacturing processes -- yes I know I'm nuts. So for me to find an amp that makes me happy for my personal use without needing any modification -- is a rare find. I must have gone in-and-out of the VVT room at the NY Amp Show 20 times just from my disbelief that someone got my tone right. Besides my personal love for this amp -- VVT is well known for their amplifiers and they have many different styles for every sound. 

So to the review of this amp -- It is a clean mean blues machine with hints of country twang and a NY attitude problem. I was able to play at stage volume without any unwanted  tube saturation breakup with my guitars volume on 8 -- and when I rolled her to 10 it added a slight touch of tube saturation breakup with increased sustain and a slight boost in volume. If you are looking for a SRV meets Clapton sound -- this amp will do the trick.

This amp is available as a 1x15 combo as reviewed or as an amp head for the same price. 

What I would change:
It's location from the VVT showroom to my living room. 

My advice:
Buy it and get me one. 

Vintage Vacuum Tube Amplifiers
520 University Drive
Waldorf, MD 20602
(p) 240 222-3830

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Posted 6/2013
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