Cutthroat Audio Down Brownie

David Garner

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
6,001
He who hesitates...... these amps don’t sit around long in stores.

This is a GREAT rock amp for crunchy to glorious tube distortion and with pedals even more killer gain. Headroom in a band situation is not likely going to be its thing. You said dead clean. It has great cleans but not at the volume you’ll likely need on stage.
If I were in your shoes I’d run my DR and DB with an ABY, problem solved. The DR would be the clean channel and DB the dirt channel. It’s a killer setup and I do it often right here in the living room. If footprint is an issue I’d use a stand to stack them.

I know a lot of guys don’t want to bother with 2 amps but I come from a time when we used a half stack at minimum and usually a full stack so moving 2 light combos is a walk in the park.

These amps are special and I wouldn’t let the clean thing get in the way of having one. That’s me though.

For recording I actually use this amp for almost all the clean parts. Having a Deluxe Reverb too should tell you how much I think of the Brownies cleans.
That's the thing -- live I can get cleans via the PA. If the amp is out of headroom anyway, I don't mind dialing down the guitar volume to get clean in either case. Where I'm worried, though, is at rehearsal.

I'll probably get it anyway just because it makes way too much sense. Worst case I can ABY or just plug in a Strat to clean things up.
 

JK1965

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,147
That's the thing -- live I can get cleans via the PA. If the amp is out of headroom anyway, I don't mind dialing down the guitar volume to get clean in either case. Where I'm worried, though, is at rehearsal.

I'll probably get it anyway just because it makes way too much sense. Worst case I can ABY or just plug in a Strat to clean things up.
Single coils are a whole different deal. Definitely more headroom.
You can also use an ABY to each channel and set one to be “clean”.
 

ebenezer

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,145
Shameless plug, but here’s a recording we just finished with the Down Brownie on the left side. The DB sounded so good I barely did any eq on it, just cut out some rumble in the low lows. The other amp in the right channel is an AC15. And the solo was done by my 5e3. Anyways, you’ll get a good idea of how the DB sounds when played some good old rock and roll.
 

Gallery

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,521
Shameless plug, but here’s a recording we just finished with the Down Brownie on the left side. The DB sounded so good I barely did any eq on it, just cut out some rumble in the low lows. The other amp in the right channel is an AC15. And the solo was done by my 5e3. Anyways, you’ll get a good idea of how the DB sounds when played some good old rock and roll.
Sounds great!
 

David Garner

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
6,001
So first my disclaimers:

  1. It's the first time I've done a demo video and only the second time I've used iMovie.
  2. I was much more focused on covering all the amp settings and all the logistics of recording both video and audio separately than on my actual playing, so I pretty much play the same boring pentatonic licks repeatedly ad nauseam. In other words, I know my playing is rather lame so be kind.
  3. The upload quality is low because I'm at my in-laws house and the connection is slow here. I just finished all the edits and didn't want to wait until I got home. I'll upload a high quality version when I get home tomorrow night or Monday.
  4. Yeah camera positioning kinda sucks and my junk is center screen half the time... see 1 and 2
Anyway, I hope I did the Down Brownie and Ron's excellent work some justice. I hope I was able to demonstrate the functions well enough to show its capabilities. I hope my playing doesn't bore you to death.

Ok, no more stalling... be gentle:

Gallery, sorry to quote the whole post but I was curious — what pickups were in this guitar? I have 2 LPs with different sets and just wanted to know which might be closer when I go demo a DB in the (hopefully) near future.
 

Gallery

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,521
Gallery, sorry to quote the whole post but I was curious — what pickups were in this guitar? I have 2 LPs with different sets and just wanted to know which might be closer when I go demo a DB in the (hopefully) near future.
No worries. The LP is a 2013 R8 with CustomBuckers. I also have a 2016 R8 and the CustomBuckers in the 2013 pups are slightly hotter and more cutting. The 2013 is pretty magic and I’m partly convinced that it’s due to the random winding of CustomBuckers. Even my guitar tech in my local shop that carries Gibson and stocks a bunch of Custom Shop LPs made a comment about how good it sounds (and I didn’t buy it there). I think I just lucked out and got a sweet set in mine. That said, most of my guitars have vintage output or slightly hot sets of pups ranging from Duncan Antiquities to Gibson BurstBuckers to Suhr Thornbuckers and they all sound killer with the DB.
 

David Garner

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
6,001
Sweet. My 16 has Custom Shop Pearlies in it, so it’s definitely closer than the 93 with the JB in the bridge.
 

David Garner

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
6,001
So my Oldfield Club D'Lux got a playmate today. This amp is absolutely amazing, and I haven't even really scratched the surface. Spent some time when I got home playing it at low volume, and my family is pleased (they're used to things being really loud around here).



 

David Garner

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
6,001
First impressions -- Gallery's video is spot on and very, very helpful. I prefer it at low volume with the channels jumpered and everything set "normal" -- tube rectifier and 6g3 negative feedback. The touch sensitivity of this amp really floored me, as did the bass response at higher volume on the brown channel. I expected more of a Marshall type crunch, but it really is Fender-ish, but with much better overdrive than a blackface. But the coolest thing is with lower wind pickups, whether PAFs or Strat pickups, it cools down with the pick attack a lot more than I thought it would. Lowering the guitar's volume cleans things up nicely. I'll give a fuller report when I can open up the master volume some tomorrow. I had to be more picky with the Strat, because it tends to thin out badly at lower volumes, but since I mostly play LPs at rehearsal and live, that shouldn't be that much of a problem. I could set it up for the Strat, but the one negative I'll say about the MV is whereas a truly cooking tube amp doesn't care whether I plug in an LP or a Strat, I had to dial it in differently for the Strat at bedroom volumes. Not a problem on my end at all, just more of an observation. The easiest way I found to deal with it is to plug into the brown channel and un-jumper the channels when plugging the Strat in. That of course made things a lot cleaner, but I have a fuzz pedal that will cure that right fast.

Great amp. It is small and weighs very little, but it sounds huge. It's a cheat code, honestly.
 

ajoel32

Member
Messages
387
First impressions -- Gallery's video is spot on and very, very helpful. I prefer it at low volume with the channels jumpered and everything set "normal" -- tube rectifier and 6g3 negative feedback. The touch sensitivity of this amp really floored me, as did the bass response at higher volume on the brown channel. I expected more of a Marshall type crunch, but it really is Fender-ish, but with much better overdrive than a blackface. But the coolest thing is with lower wind pickups, whether PAFs or Strat pickups, it cools down with the pick attack a lot more than I thought it would. Lowering the guitar's volume cleans things up nicely. I'll give a fuller report when I can open up the master volume some tomorrow. I had to be more picky with the Strat, because it tends to thin out badly at lower volumes, but since I mostly play LPs at rehearsal and live, that shouldn't be that much of a problem. I could set it up for the Strat, but the one negative I'll say about the MV is whereas a truly cooking tube amp doesn't care whether I plug in an LP or a Strat, I had to dial it in differently for the Strat at bedroom volumes. Not a problem on my end at all, just more of an observation. The easiest way I found to deal with it is to plug into the brown channel and un-jumper the channels when plugging the Strat in. That of course made things a lot cleaner, but I have a fuzz pedal that will cure that right fast.

Great amp. It is small and weighs very little, but it sounds huge. It's a cheat code, honestly.
To jumper the channels is as easy as a push/pull pot! That’s pretty cool.
 

JK1965

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,147
So my Oldfield Club D'Lux got a playmate today. This amp is absolutely amazing, and I haven't even really scratched the surface. Spent some time when I got home playing it at low volume, and my family is pleased (they're used to things being really loud around here).



Congrats! Good times ahead for you. Im still finding more sounds over 3 years later. You are right about the overdrive. It’s far and away better than BF/SF.
What serial number is it? It looks to be an original logo one. There have been some tweaks since then.
 

David Garner

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
6,001
Congrats! Good times ahead for you. Im still finding more sounds over 3 years later. You are right about the overdrive. It’s far and away better than BF/SF.
What serial number is it? It looks to be an original logo one. There have been some tweaks since then.
EDIT: Sorry, it's number 23. It's a 2017 model.
 
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David Garner

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
6,001
I just (last Saturday) traded a local TGPer for his Down Brownie.

After a few hours it is all (and even more) than I had hoped for!

I believe it is #23 - On the Tube Chart "DB1023" is hand written, is this Serial #23 like I suspect?

I'm thinking of taking a couple of NOS RCA BlackPlates from my Vicky 201112 and trying them in the Brownie. I was happy to see TAD 6v6s stock in the Brownie, in my experience they are by far the closet to NOS RCAs.

I suspect the days of my Vicky 20112 may be numbered. The flexibility of the Brown and British Channels and the PPIMV are so appealing, especially for home playing. My band is about to come out of our hiatus and I will probably try it at practice to see if it is a viable alternative to the RedPlate ADD which I'm presently using. There really is something magical about the simplicity of amps with a single volume & tone.
Going back through this thread, I found this post. This is the amp I just bought, which means it’s changed hands a few times, because the guy I bought it from got it here, presumably from you.

The crazy thing is it is nearly mint. A tiny gouge in the tolex on the front that you’d never notice. I want to thank you and Jon and the original owner for taking good care of this one.

 
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Gallery

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,521
So my Oldfield Club D'Lux got a playmate today. This amp is absolutely amazing, and I haven't even really scratched the surface. Spent some time when I got home playing it at low volume, and my family is pleased (they're used to things being really loud around here).



Congrats!

You got the Gallery Edition!

Brown tolex and Oxblood/Gold Stripe grill cloth. I was the first to order that combo (I own DB #7) and I told Ron I would license my name to him to call it the Gallery Edition.

You just need to drop a Scumback M75 in there to complete the specs of the Down Brownie Gallery Signature Edition.

I'm joking by the way... kind of. :rotflmao


 
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David Garner

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
6,001
Congrats!

You got the Gallery Edition!

Brown tolex and Oxblood/Gold Stripe grill cloth. I was the first to order that combo (I own DB #7) and I told Ron I would license my name to him to call it the Gallery Edition.

You just need to drop a Scumback M75 in there to complete the specs of the Down Brownie Gallery Signature Edition.

I'm joking by the way... kind of. :rotflmao


I just assumed it was the "normal" configuration -- I'm proud to have the Gallery edition. You have certainly done as much as anyone other than Ron to promote this amp. It's a good look for sure -- I love it.
 

JK1965

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,147
I just assumed it was the "normal" configuration -- I'm proud to have the Gallery edition. You have certainly done as much as anyone other than Ron to promote this amp. It's a good look for sure -- I love it.
Yeah the standard is the wheat grill cloth. The “Gallery” edition is chocolate for lack of better description. I saw his in person and it’s a very brown amp. Definitely a cool look!
 

David Garner

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
6,001
I just unwound the master volume on this for the first time. This amp is amazing. First, at very high volume, it's still quieter than my Deluxe Reverb, probably because of the inefficient speaker in the DB (at least I'm assuming it's less efficient -- it sure sounds like it). On a db meter, the highest I got was around 96 db other than 1 or 2 100 db peaks. I didn't play it long at that volume for obvious reasons, but it hung around 93 db or so for the most part. The DR can get up well over 100 db even on 4-5 with an overdrive in front, and is painfully loud. This was with the master volume about 2/3 of the way up. I put it at full for a bit and realized it attenuates perfectly at 2/3, so no need to crank the master at all. Outstanding implementation here.

The other thing is, I love the Brown channel now. Before, it seemed to be muddy and flubby compared to the Brit channel. Now, the Brit channel seems strident by comparison. I love having both, especially jumpering them at lower MV settings, but when I can dial it up, the Brown channel is where the money is.

The Strat is as great as the Les Paul, much better when turned up. I can switch between them with minimal adjustment on the guitar itself, and I don't touch the amp. At lower volumes, I tend to want to futz with the channels to accommodate the Strat because it sounds thinner on the preferred setting for the LP. But when it's turned up, man, it's no issue swapping between them.

Finally, in the other thread (I think -- maybe it was this one), someone said when you dial back the guitar volume, it gets more muddy than other amps. This hasn't really been my experience, but certainly with the master volume up over halfway, this is not an issue at all for me. I can go from beautiful, chimey cleans to heavy grind with a twist of the volume knob. The cleans are a hair quieter, but that is true of every amp I own, and it works well in a live setting because usually you want the clean parts to be quieter. If I want dedicated and louder cleans, I'll just tap in the Strat.

@Ron W has really outdone himself with this amp. I'm still honeymooning, but honestly this is the best guitar-related purchase I've ever made. The only reason I'm considering keeping my Ceriatone 18 Watt is it has an EF86 channel that sounds very Vox-ish, and I sold my AC30 because it's too big, too heavy and too loud (I replaced it and my Mesa Express with the Down Brownie). Otherwise, I'd sell it to fund a Penguin.

And funds permitting and honeymoon period not ending, I may yet do that anyway.
 
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