The new Magnatone Varsity Reverb guitar amp has been announced today. Currently favoured by players like Jeff Beck, this new updated version of the already popular boutique amplifier adds some reverb to the mix.
Magnatone Varsity Reverb
This 15-Watt Class A combo is based around a pair of EL84 power tubes and 12AX7 preamp tubes. The circuit is all hand-wired point-to-point and features a quality valve-driven Accutronics ‘long-pan’ spring reverb. A footswitch can be used to switch on the reverb or to control the amp’s negative feedback. Speaker-wise, you get a Custom Magnatone 12″ ceramic magnet driver, which should be more than enough for the Varsity Reverb’s output of 15 Watts.
Designed to be a portable, simple, yet versatile amp, this unit should be happy being used both live and in the studio. Expect a very ‘vintage flavoured’ American sound. I can imagine it will be one of those amps where simplicity actually makes it a lot more musical than modern amps that have tons of different options.
The control layout is a clean, no-nonsense affair: Volume, Treble and Bass knobs, then the Reverb level and a Feedback on/off switch.
The amp sports a pair of inputs labelled High and Low Sensitivity. Deciding which to use will probably be your biggest decision when using the amp. The amp’s architecture will hopefully make it easy to dial in good tones, too. You do get the added bonus of a Line out, as well as the regular speaker out, for a bit of added versatility.
In my opinion, the Magnatone Varsity Reverb seems to offer a lot of amp for the money and would suit someone that wants a good solid tone and knows how to use guitar controls and playing dynamics to get their tones. The added reverb circuit of this new model will please a lot of players that wanted the original Varsity but held off because they were looking for a quality reverb on-board.
Magnatone Varsity Reverb product page
- VarsityReverb control panel: Magnatone