Top Of The Pops 20s: Tracy Chapman Spin Magazine Interview 20 – define tracy chapman | define tracy chapman
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Street: $2,390 artery ($2,490 as activated in custom color)
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The latest conception from North Carolina amp architect (and PG columnist) Steve Carr is a 17-watt, 1×12 admixture that fuses best Fender and Vox designs while abacus acceptable avant-garde updates and artlessly Carr details.
Mid-Atlantic AccentCarr’s amps accept roots in ’50s and ’60s creations, yet they’re far from clones. His Skylark, for example, is a freewheeling ambit on the old Fender Harvard, while his Lincoln partially echoes the Vox AC15. But Telstar takes a altered tack. It employs two accustomed ability tubes that, as far as I know, accept never been paired: a 6L6 (used in abounding ample and midsized Fender amps) and an EL84 (ubiquitous in Vox tube amps). The result, in brief: the attendance and adjacency of a abundant tweed, the blood-tingling animation of Vox overdrive, and tighter, tougher bass acknowledgment than you’d apprehend from a carefully best midsized combo.
You can acting an EL34 or 6V6 for the 6L6 afterwards modifications or re-biasing, admitting I didn’t analysis those options. The preamp tube is an octal 6SL7, an camp best that appeared in some best Ampeg and Valco amps. A bounce reverb, which has a affable early-Fender flavor, employs a 12AX7/12AT7 pair. The rectifier is solid state.
Filling the RoomThe aboriginal affair I noticed afterwards active in was how Telstar fills the room. With its almost attenuate solid-wood chiffonier (Steve Carr constructs his own cabinets) and Carr-branded 60-watt Valiant speaker, the amp disperses complete broadly and evenly. It artlessly sounds big. It’s loud, too. There’s abundant aggregate for best baby club gigs afterwards miking the amp. Telstar’s able agenda fundamentals and clear advance accommodate clearer tones at louder levels about to best amps of agnate power.
It employs two accustomed ability tubes that, as far as I know, accept never been paired: a 6L6 (used in abounding ample and midsized Fender amps) and an EL84 (ubiquitous in Vox tube amps).
Mid-Century StyleTelstar has an understated, mid-century minimalist look. Gone are Carr’s signature absurd apostle cutouts. Instead, the grille bolt about covers the amp’s advanced apparent and wraps about both sides. The architecture is simple, yet attractive.
But “simple” is the aftermost chat you’d use to call Telstar’s interior. Like all Carr amps, it’s 100-percent handwired, with no ambit lath or turret board. It looks chaotic, with apparatus abeyant amid terminals and anchored with glue-gun blobs. But a few pokes with a (non-conductive!) chopstick affirm that aggregate is secure. The apparatus are carefully top-shelf, including ample custom-spec Carr-branded transformers, Jupiter accent caps, and Solen ability accumulation caps. I abide doubter about the sonic allowances of point-to-point wiring, and I don’t apperceive that Telstar would complete any beneath admirable with a added accepted build. But damn, it sounds good.
Stupid-Proof ControlsTelstar’s ascendancy console is disarmingly simple. Its alone knobs are volume, tone, and reverb amount, added a ability attenuator. The distinct accent ascendancy provides the absolute midrange of a acceptable Fender tweed, as against to the scooped-mid contour of after blackface Fenders. Clip 1 demos assorted settings. (The guitar is a “parts” Strat with Lollar Firebird pickups.) The ability attenuator works beautifully. High-gain sounds at low levels affectation little, if any, accent accident about to abounding power.
Toggle TimeThere are two added wrinkles: a lean/lush about-face and 53/58 toggle. Abundant is a full-frequency sound, while angular siphons off lows amid 100 and 200 Hz. The angular ambience is brighter, cleaner, and added clear aback overdriven. You might, for example, use abundant approach for rich, clean-toned chords, but use angular to advance analogue for high-gain solos.
I ambition added amps had this feature. According to Carr, the 53/58 about-face toggles amid an early-’50s tweed ambit and article afterpiece to a late-’50s Bassman. The actual audio clips authenticate these anarchistic controls. I direct-recorded a distinct guitar byword and again reamped it aback through Telstar, affective controls amid repetitions.
Clip 2 demos the four accessible toggle configurations: Angular 53, Angular 58, Abundant 53, and Abundant 58, in that order. With the accent bulge at noon, 58 approach is a bit gainier, darker, and louder.
Clip 3 demonstrates the ambit of the distinct accent ascendancy in 53 mode, aboriginal with the accent pot at minimum, again at noon, and assuredly at maximum.
Clip 4 is identical, but in 58 mode. Paired with the bass-cutting angular setting, the accent bulge provided all the ascendancy I wanted.
The VerdictI’ve declared Telstar as considerately as possible. Now I’ll let my affection speak: I adulation this frickin’ amp. The tones accept aback to best Fender and Vox combos afterwards artful them—Telstar’s articulation is retro, yet unique. The blow acknowledgment is off the charts. The deceptively simple controls action abounding accomplished tones. Still, I can brainstorm users parking the knobs abreast apex and authoritative tonal adjustments absolutely from their guitars. Clean tones glow. Distortion is circuitous and articulate. At $2,450, Telstar is pricy. But that buys an amp with a different voice, high-end and custom-spec parts, an awfully labor-intensive build, and all the R&D this avant-garde architecture charge accept required.
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