Carol-Ann 10TH ANNIVERSARY LIMITED
The Carol-Ann 10th Anniversary Amp is a nod to the first Carol-Ann amp that Alan Phillips built here in the states. 10 years of expertise and development have gone into the design and build of this amp, and only 10 of these amps will be produced and sold in the world!
The 10th Anniversary is designed to be an amp that allows guitar players to really dial-in and fine tune their overdriven tone. It's a single channel, 50 watt, EL34 based circuit that features a full 3 band EQ with Presence and Master Volume controls. In addition, Alan has incorporated his "Feel" control (also used on the Satin). As with the Satin, the 10th Anniversary's Feel control allows you to adjust the overall feel of the amp from super smooth to a more aggressive response. This amp can dial in British Plexi style tones and cranked up you can achieve Tucana 3 style overdriven tones! Maxed out this amp can push right into Triptik levels on gain!
Some of your may be wondering where the Clean Channel is on this amp. Well, it's built right into the Volume control on your guitar. The 10th Anniversary makes use of a lot of preamp gain and is thus very responsive to your guitar's volume control essentially turning it into a gain knob! The Volume control on the amp is more of a gain control, but keeping to Alan's original design, calling this knob the Volume just seemed appropriate.
The Carol-Ann 10th Anniversary also feature two switches on the front panel: Sparkle and Hot. The "Sparkle" switch adds sparkley highs to your tone and operates the same throughout the full range of the Volume control. With many amps, when you have a bright cap in your circuit, the highs roll off as you increase the signal. Not the case with the 10th Anniversary, it's very effective when cleaning up the amp when using the guitar volume. The "Hot" switch acts similarly to the Hi/Lo inputs on other amps, but gives you the ease of alternating between them at the flip of a switch. In the hot position more gain and tighter more prominent low end is achieved.
With all the controls you can dial in a huge range of overdriven tones, and even get some great cleans as well!
- Power: 50 Watts
- Power Tubes: 2 x EL34
- Preamp Tubes: 3 x 12AX7
- Rectification: Solid State Rectified
- Effects Loop: Tube Buffered Effects Loop (Tube: 1 x 5751)
- Controls: Volume, Treble, Middle, Bass, Master, Presence, Feel
- Switches: Sparkle, Hot
- Outputs: 8 & 16 Ohms
- Limited to only 10 heads worldwide
Back in 2002, I had just moved to US from England and was waiting for all my worldly possessions to follow me, which would take up to 5 months to be shipped across the Atlantic as part of a container ship cargo.
Within 6 weeks of being in the US, I already found myself joining a local rock cover band. I had been playing in bands since 1985 and just couldn't stand not playing. While I had my guitar and a couple of effects, all my amplifiers and speaker cabinets were living in a container somewhere on Heysham dock in England. I could either buy an amp in the US or just build myself one. I had been repairing and building amps for many years in the UK, so it was no big deal to build one....apart from the fact I had no clue where to buy parts in the US and had very little in the way of tools or space to build it.
I did still however managed to build one, although it cost way more than it should have done and took up precious space on the dining room table whilst under construction much to the dismay of my wife at the time. In order to try to offset the fact the project cost way more money than I had originally anticipated and the construction took up the dining table for a week or more I decided to name the amp after my wife, hence the name "Carol-Ann". I still got in trouble anyway....but maybe not as bad as it could have been. The business was formed in 2005 with the same name. However, even though Carol and I are no longer together, the name stuck and she insisted I kept the name. She is still a very good friend and supporter of my work to this day.
I had come from a long history of modifying British amps, so it was inevitable this first amp in US would take up that format. It was essentially a Plexi and modified JCM800 wrapped in to one amp with a number of twists like a tube buffered efx loop and a different master volume circuit. I still use this very same amp for gigs today on occasion and always carry it with me as a back up. It's looking a little worse for wear these days, but sounds better than ever.