Alessandro English Arrived

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by glman, Mar 17, 2006.


  1. glman

    glman Member

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    Well - it finally arrived this morning after 3 (painful )months of waiting.

    Where do I start - From the moment I opened the box and laid eyes on this amp I fell in Love.
    The English head is a lot smaller that I imagined - it's perfect for gigging and the weight is reasonable.

    I use a 2000 Santana 2.
    I own many amps - Marshall Slash Signature 2555 , a Dual recto, and I also have quite a few fender amps which belong to my brother etc..... plus a Gibson GA15 RV
    it's difficult to be objective about an amp after only a few hours of playing but I can safely say that after working in a recording studio as a professional producer and with at least 100 + Albums under my name ( produced for various artists ) that I can make a few Valid statements about this amp.
    Firstly - I've read quite a few remarks stating that this amp is a bit bright and harsh - Totally not true - This amp sings with no harshness whatsoever.
    There was a strange high harmonic following some notes on my bass strings which I couldnt quiet identify initially but this just adds to the intruige of this amp.
    what I later discovered is that this is actually all the extra harmonic complexity that this amp produces which was an alien sound to my ears
    I've never heard so many complex harmonic overtones from a power section before - most of the amps I've played in the past are so loud that all I've ever heard is pre amp tube distortion .
    the English is totally unique sounding -
    The Overdrive tone of this amp sounds quite woody at times and the amp squishes just enough to feel really good when it's pushed hard.
    The lead sound when the volume knob is turned up to around 3 o'clock really sings and is very touch sensitive - at any time a clean sound can be achieved just by picking gently - This is totally new to me from any of my previous amp experiences.
    The overdrive tone is not smooth in a similar way to what a dual recto puts out but feels totally expressive.
    to my ears this amp thrives on Soulful meaningful melodic lines that are played with conviction.
    I wouldnt recommend this to any rock or metal player although I'm sure it could accommodate almost anyone!
    I'm planning on recording a few tracks in the next few days at my studio and then I'll be able to expand on this review.
     
  2. Ogre

    Ogre Member

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    I have a Redbone Coonhoud(6550s) that I love. The English is a wonderful amp, especially with single coils. They can be delicate, so I advise babying it. Enjoy!
     
  3. Stephen Landry

    Stephen Landry Member

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    I love my English (standard model, though in a fancy walnut head cabinet). Got it, sold it, then bought it back when it came up for sale again, and had it ever since. There's something very cool (and yes maybe "unique") about its tone that keeps me coming back. Its clean tone is just superb for what I want to hear when I plug in, and I love having the volume at noon (usually with a Muzzle plugged in) - super touch responsive "on the edge" tones I could play for days.

    I admit that when I owned it the first time around I thought it was a little bright (for me - I'm into darker, smokier tones). I've since spent a lot more time with it and found that it has a ton of flavors to offer if you just take the time to get to know it.

    In short, just a great great amp. I'd love to hear a Blue Tick to see how it compares.

    Looking forward to your clips!
     
  4. Gordon

    Gordon Silver Supporting Member

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    The English is really just right for cutting through the mix at a jam. In your house, I can see that some may think that it's a bit bright and cutting. But in reallity it's not, it's just right. The Black n' Tan is the mellower, smokier sounding Alessanrdo of the two. It uses 2 EL34's instead of the 4 EL84's, puts out a tad less power and is softer and gentler on the ears. Real nice for playing at home, but a bit too full and soft sounding to cut through the way I would like to in a band, IMO. BTW, the BnT has the smoother overdriven distortion sound while the English has the buzzier of the two. Glman, if you don't get an answer to your question, let me know. I'll pull mine apart and see, I just don't remember right now.

    Gordon
     
  5. glman

    glman Member

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    Incidentally - I got a 16 Ohm muzzle which Sounds great
    Does anybody know if it's safe to use the 16 Ohm muzzle with my 8 Ohm EVM 12L - will it damage the output transformer in any way?
     
  6. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny Member

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    i'm sure its fine, but you might not be hearing the amp at its full potential by mismatching the impedences.

    as for the caps, havent seen or heard that. maybe he is trying something new. still, his ideas will rock anyone's ears.
     
  7. Sam Evans

    Sam Evans Compliance Officer Gold Supporting Member

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    glman,

    The caps you describe match the wiring pics from GP's review (Jan or Feb of 2000) of the Beagle.
     
  8. glman

    glman Member

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    I havent got a color pic of the beagle from guitar player 2000 but from what I remember all the caps were Golden/Yellow in color.
    I can't access the guitar player page from the Alessandro homepage anymore - if anyone has a beagle or English and is curious - Open it up and see if there are any orange colored caps near the guitar input
     
  9. glman

    glman Member

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    This is George Alessandros reply concerning the caps


    "I use different caps in different places, the orange ones are what I use in the tone and preamp circuit. The amp sounds different with the Foil in Oil in those stages but it is the orange ones that I use standard."

    Fair enough - I hope George Doesn't think I'm trying to fish something out as the amp sounds more that great - it's just that I've been reading up so much about how foil in oil sounds superior tonally to normal caps that I expected my high end English to contain only foil in oil caps. Especially in view of the fact that the Beagle and blue tick that were reviewed in guitar player had only foil in oil caps ( as far as I can tell ) -
    Anyway I emailed him again asking what exactly the tonal difference between the orange and foil in oil caps is in the English.


    PS - I'll post some clips soon but dont have a site to host them from right now
     
  10. glman

    glman Member

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    Ok - Had it for 2 days now and played around a bit - I'm starting to understand what all the fuss about these amps is now.
    First off - for me personally there is no such thing as "the best" the best in the right situation at the right time could be anything anywhere.
    now that that's out the way - here goes.

    I've had lots of great and not so great amps - None so far has excited me as much as this "little" head - This English head is small in size but FULL of tone - and a lot louder than I expected.

    I took the amp to my studio and tried it out by itself and also with a few tracks I've been working on and even then I was still unaware of it's true potential - The Sound was superb - 3D and rich but my fingers and ears and touch were not used to this kind of responsiveness

    This amp is kinda bright when brand new but i've heard from others that after a few months of burn in it really mellows out.
    Before recieving the amp I went out and got myself some JJ EL84's .I also bought 4 6SL7 Phillips WGT tubes and waited for My amp to arrive.
    As I said above I tried it with the stock tubes and loved it but on trying it with the JJEL84's and the Phillips 6SL7 I almost fell over backwards - Much warmer breakup - Slightly more woody mids but thicker - and similar to Jokers video clip of the Beagle at some previous tonefest. - I'm using a Santana 2 and this is Genuinely the first amp that I've played that can go from clean to thick warm Overdrive using only the volume on your guitar and alternating your picking attack - It Works!!!!!
    Even with my PRS Santana 2 with humbuckers which have more output than single coils - this amp cleans up nicely with guitar volume roll-off.

    Anyway - to wrap up

    I love the English and will post a few clips with different tube types etc... real soon - I need to get a host site for pictures and clips and also put some decent stuff together.

    There are lots of Great amps out there - This is one of them - I'm totally satisfied - I live in south Africa and have never tried or heard an Alessandro amp before this, except some video clip of Joker from a tonefest which is difficult to judge from a handheld home video cam.
    I bought into the Alessandro hype and I'm rewarded with a great (AWSOME) Sounding amp that I'll Never part with - I'll add a few siblings soon - A Beagle , Blue tick and maybe a BnT.
     
  11. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny Member

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    congrats, glman!

    sounds like a sweet honeymoon indeed. not helping my GAS for a high end English...

    FYI, the alessandro EQ section is by far one of the more musical i've ever heard in an amp. dunno if you can tell in the clips, but i give my sound plenty of bass to compensate for my single coils. not a fan of icepick either. and yet, all of my alessandro's kick major butt. especially my good ol' Bluetick w/ Tone Tubby HempE's.


    btw, just so you can see, here's where your baby was probably birthed...

    [​IMG]

    just one soldering iron, one pair of hands, one determined man, making them one at a time...
     
  12. pirateflynn

    pirateflynn Supporting Member

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    Are you sure your English is the High End Model? The difference in caps and the lack of NOS tubes has me curious. Glad you like it and much success.
     
  13. glman

    glman Member

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    My English is the high end with Black Gate caps, silver wire and riken resistors
     
  14. glman

    glman Member

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    I'm guessing but I'm willing to bet if George is using the orange caps as standard in the English that they work better than copper foil caps in the tone section.
     
  15. joel

    joel Member

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    I've never had the pleasure of trying an English, but I love my Beagle. I get three main sounds out of it. A warm clean with bite. It gets really sparkly and crisp at the transition. And gushing crushed-glass el84 overdrive when it's all the way on. Philips 6sl7s are a good choice. Find some RCAs if you want it a bit warmer/fatter & maybe a bit richer. I just got a pair of Tungsols which have a bit more gain. And if you want a bit more headroom, you can try a 6sn7 in the second hole. I haven't experimented too much with the output tubes, but the JANs that came with the amp seem to work great. Enjoy!
     
  16. glman

    glman Member

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    is there a tonal difference between 6SL7 and 5691 tubes or is there just a quality /ruggedness difference?
     
  17. joel

    joel Member

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    I've got a pair of RCA 6sl7s and a pair of RCA red-base 5961s, and I don't notice a huge difference in tone, despite the difference in price.
     
  18. dbeeman

    dbeeman Gold Supporting Member

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    Yes, I had a high end model too - same deal. The major cap upgrade is the black gate filter caps on the high end models.
     
  19. glman

    glman Member

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    I noticed quite a large difference when changing from the sovtek EL84's to the JJEL84Quartet - The amp sounds more woody with more headroom and the overdrive is quite a bit thicker and less buzzy but even with the sovtek tubes it sounds so good that I can't decide - anything will sound good in this amp .

    what tubes have you guys found work we'll in an English and what should I avoid?

    Thanx for all the advice

    sharing knowledge is what it's all about!
     
  20. Ogre

    Ogre Member

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    From my experience, you can throw away every Sovtek tube you have. Glad you are digging that wonderful amp.
     

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