Jackson Ampworks Bakersfield Head - ANY COLOR!
- DETAILED SPECS
Jackson Ampworks Custom Shop Orders
In order to offer so many different color options without the long lead times normally associated with custom built amps Humbucker Music has partnered with Jackson Ampworks in a unique and exciting way.
In anticipation of your order Jackson has already built and bench tested chassis for each of their models and have them at their shop in Keller, Texas. They have constructed the cabinet enclosures, however have they don't cover the enclosures until your order is placed. The moment we receive an order from you we will pass along the details to the techs at Jackson Ampworks and they will cover your amp in the tolex color of your choice and ship the amp directly to you from their shop. This normally takes right around 2 business days. We are super excited about this partnership. Not only does this offer you the opportunity to choose between a huge variety of color options, but it also guarantees that you are receiving the most factory fresh amp possible!
Jackson Ampworks Bakersfield Amp
120 Watt, 6L6-GC with Half Power Switch
Weighing in at a whopping 120 watts, the Jackson Ampworks Bakersfield takes the Twin Reverb clean platform to a new level by mixing it with Dumble vibes and EQ style while introducing some new analog goodies under it's small but most powerful hood. This clean platform amp includes all of a Twins power and more but with techniques derived from Dumble circuits over the years. The EQ section of the Bakersfield is more aggressive than the traditional tone stack that you would find on a Fender amp. You can really sculpt each aspect of your tone with this style of EQ, (Even introducing plenty of Tweed tone into the sound from the Tweed knob) and with this much power, nothing slides or falls short of what you're going after. Speaking of this much power, a half power switch is located on the back of the amplifier to help tame some of it's almighty output, allowing you to pair it with many of your favorite speakers. Jackson has added a 3-knob Reverb that can control either a digital and/or spring reverb (Spring Reverb in Combo or in Cab only) and they have incorporated their own Patent Pending Tap Tempo Bias Tremolo Circuit into the Bakersfield and the Fullerton both. All of this with a host of other analog features that can be controlled digitally by the Continuum Controller Pedal* brings this American powerhouse of an amp up to date for the modern gigging guitarist and is a true standout in any style of music!
Through the separate Continuum Controller, you can choose between 7 waveform shapes within the Tremolo circuit by using the 7 position rotary switch. Those waveforms are, Lumps, Sweep, Sine, Triangle, Square, Ramp Down & Ramp Up. It also has a 6 position rotary switch allowing you to select the ratio or the multiplier of the Tap footswitch. Those ratios are, Half Notes, Quarter Notes, Quarter Note Triplets, Eighth Notes, Eighth Note Triplets and Sixteenth Notes.
*Continuum Controller sold separate
Specs & Features:
60W - 2 x 6L6-GC - Fixed Bias
120W - 4 x 6L6-GC - Fixed Bias
- PreAmp Tubes: 4 x 12AX7, 1 x 12AT7
- Rectifier: Solid State
- Input Impedance: 1MΩ
Head Cabinet - 35lbs
1x12 Combo - 50lbs
Head Size: 14" x 8.5" x 8.25"
Head Size (Boxed): 19.5" x 13.5" x 14"
1x12 Combo Size: 18.5" x 10.5" x 17.5"
1x12 Combo Size (Boxed): 22.5" x 14.5" x 21.5"
- Line Voltage: 120VAC or 240VAC (Switchable via Back Panel)
When the team and I set out to design the Bakersfield, we wanted to create a high power, 6L6 style, American voiced amp that would marry the best elements of the Twin Reverb and the Dumble Steel String Singer. Not a clone of anything, the Bakersfield is a more sophisticated version of the Twin Reverb and brings with it many of the refinements found in Dumble circuits over the years. When asked to describe the tone of the Bakersfield, the best way I have found to describe it is this. If the Twin Reverb is a t-shirt and jeans, then the Bakersfield is a suit and tie. In short the Bakersfield is a very sophisticated and refined version of one of the most legendary clean amps ever created.
Having grown up playing and gigging with a Twin Reverb, I was very familiar with its core tone and was well aware of some of its shortcomings. For many players, while the Twin Reverb is VERY clean, it can easily sound sterile as the preamp is a little too clean especially for players who prefer lower output single coil guitars. This sterile tone along with highs that are often described as "brittle" have been the cause of many players love/hate relationship with the amp over the years.
To remedy this, we have incorporated several techniques used in Dumble amps that specifically tame the extreme high-end frequency response and reduce preamp gain levels while enhancing harmonic richness and sustain. We took the core sound of the Twin Reverb, brought focus to the low-end, smoothed out the mids and eliminated the "ice pick" highs that you can get with many Twin Reverbs.
Keep reading below as we go through every feature of the Bakersfield and learn the story of how the Bakersfield became our tribute to two of the greatest amplifier designers of all time, Leo Fender and Howard Dumble.
POWER TO SPARE
The Twin Reverb with its 85W of power, has for over 50 years been the standard by which clean tone is measured and I'm very proud to say that through careful design of the power supply and output stage we have measured over 120W of power coming from the Bakersfield! This increased power, along with our custom wound 200W output transformer, will deliver more volume, headroom and low end punch than you've ever heard from a Twin Reverb! Low notes that typically can "flub out" on a Twin will remain crisp, tight and focused as the extra wattage works to deliver your tone with unparalleled clarity and definition. We have also included a Half Power Switch on the back of the amplifier so you can adjust the output power from 120W down to 60W.
BAKERSFIELD POWER OUTPUT
To improve on the single knob reverb of the Twin Reverb, we expanded it to a full featured Three Knob Spring Reverb like you'd find on an outboard reverb unit! With the Bakersfield it's like you have an outboard spring reverb unit integrated into the amp! The Bakersfield reverb has three controls; Reverb Send (R.SND), Reverb Tone (R.TONE) and Reverb Return (R.RTN). The Reverb Send allows you to set how hard the reverb tank is being driven by the preamp. Lower settings of the Reverb Send control will give a more subtle sounding reverb while higher settings will give a more pronounced or "surf" style of reverb. The Reverb Tone control allows you to adjust the tone of the reverb from very warm and plate-like in the lower settings, to very bright and crisp (like you'd hear in some of Eric Johnson's earlier recordings) in the higher settings. Finally the Reverb Return control adjusts the amount of reverberated signal that is mixed back into your dry signal. Experiment with various ratios of Reverb Send to Reverb Return and you'll find a host of new reverb tones waiting in there!
The Reverb feature of the Bakersfield is the first logical place to introduce the Continuum Controller, our optional Reverb/Tap Tempo Tremolo Controller. We'll get to the Tremolo functions of the Continuum Controller later, but this unit is a foot controller that allows control over the Reverb Return level by way of its REVERB control as well as providing a remote ON/OFF for the Reverb. You'll notice that when you activate the Reverb footswitch on the Continuum Controller that the indicator light on the front panel switches from White to Blue. Furthermore, the Reverb Return level can also be adjusted by plugging an expression pedal into the 1/4" jack on the back of the Continuum Controller labeled REVERB. For the first time ever, you can now adjust the spring reverb on your amp remotely using the Continuum Controller as well as have instantaneous control over it using an expression pedal! TIP! Try using the expression pedal to add extra reverb to parts of the song you want to stand out more or during solos to make certain notes jump out! Note: When the Continuum Controller is plugged into the Bakersfield, the Reverb Return (R.RTN) control on the front of the amplifier is inactive as the Continuum Controller takes priority.
The primary reverb on the Bakersfield is a tube driven spring reverb. The reason we say primary is because there is a second (optional) reverb source hidden inside the amp. Because our head cabinets for our amplifiers are relatively small, there is not enough space in the head cabinet to house both the amplifier chassis and the spring reverb tank without injecting hum and noise into the tank from the amplifiers transformers. It is for this reason that the Bakersfield will most commonly be sold as either a combo with the spring reverb tank mounted in the bottom of the cabinet or as a head and cabinet with the spring reverb tank mounted in the bottom of the cabinet. In the head and cabinet configuration, the cabinet will house the spring reverb tank and a stereo cable will run from the back of the amplifier to the spring reverb tank jack located on the rear panel of the speaker cabinet. Mounting the reverb tank remotely guarantees that the spring reverb tank is far enough away from the transformers in the amplifier that noise and hum will never be an issue. Another benefit of mounting the spring reverb tank remotely is that it gives us the physical space to use a long spring tank instead of a short spring tank which from our testing sounds much more natural. In the event that you own your own speaker cabinet and just want to buy a Bakersfield head, we have included the option to install a studio grade Digital Reverb module on the main circuit board of the Bakersfield. This Digital Reverb module sounds very warm and realistic unlike most reverb pedals that use the Belton style "bricks". The advantage of the Digital Reverb module is that it is impervious to noise pickup from the transformers and allows you to have a full featured three knob reverb along with remote control and expression from the Continuum Controller. The Digital Reverb module comes standard with the Bakersfield when just a head is ordered and is considered an upgrade when a combo or head cabinet is ordered which already have the spring reverb tank installed. TIP! The Bakersfield has a relay that will switch from the spring reverb tank to the digital reverb module when the stereo cable that runs from the amplifier to the combo or speaker cabinet is disconnected! By having both the spring reverb and the Digital Reverb module installed you can select between analog spring reverb or digital reverb by simply connecting/disconnecting the stereo cable!
Lastly, there is one more feature in the reverb circuit that you can use to great advantage. If you disconnect the stereo cable that runs to the speaker cabinet and connect an insert cable in its place, you can use the SEND and RETURN of the insert cable to plug into the input and output of any kind of reverb or time based effects. The SEND signal is a very low impedance transformer isolated signal so you should have no issues with loading or signal degradation. What you now have at your disposal is a side chain reverb loop complete with Send, Tone and Return controls as well as the remote control and expression features found in the Continuum Controller! Another first for the industry! You can get very creative with this feature! Imagine running a delay pedal like the Strymon Timeline in this loop and being able to blend that signal back into your dry signal so you'd have delays and time based effects available at your feet while playing!
We are beyond proud of the Reverb we have designed into the Bakersfield and feel that it is a worthy successor to the legendary reverb that Leo developed over 50 years ago.
TAP TEMPO BIAS TREMOLO
In the world of amplifier tremolos, there are three main types and each type has its own sound. The first type is called "bias tremolo" and was the first tremolo type to be used in guitar amplifiers. Bias tremolo is characterized by having a swampy, organic and raw tonality that most people agree has a ton of vibe to it, which is why we have chosen this type for use in the Bakersfield. The second tremolo type is called "optical tremolo" which is characterized by being very staccato and choppy. This is the type of tremolo found in the Twin Reverb. Lastly the third type is called "harmonic tremolo" and is the most advanced of all the tremolos and produces a sound that to many ears has more in common with a UniVibe than a tremolo.
When used with the optional Continuum Controller, the Bakersfield and the Fullerton are the first amplifiers ever made that feature Tap Tempo Bias Tremolo! This type of tremolo is unique among the three types of tremolo in that it is the only one that uses a Digital Low Frequency Oscillator (LFO) to turn the output tubes on and off with the rise of fall of the LFO thereby creating the tremolo effect.
The Continuum Controller features 7 waveform shapes to let you select which style of LFO you want and is selectable using the 7 position rotary switch. From left to right those waveforms are, Lumps, Sweep, Sine, Triangle, Square, Ramp Down, Ramp Up. You'll find that each waveform will produce a different feel so experiment to find which waveform best suits the feel of the song you are playing. For instance, the Square wave is very staccato and can be heard on songs such as The Smiths and How Soon Is Now. The Sine wave on the other hand is a smoother sounding waveform and is characteristic of this tone you'd hear on Creedence's and Born On The Bayou.
The Continuum Controller also has a 6 position rotary switch allows you to select the ratio or multiplier of the Tap footswitch. From left to right those ratios are, Half Notes, Quarter Notes, Quarter Note Triplets, Eighth Notes, Eighth Note Triplets and Sixteenth Notes. For instance if you tap quarter notes on the Tap footswitch and have the Ratio control set to Eighth Notes, the tremolo speed with be exactly twice as fast as the tempo you just tapped and likewise if the Ratio control is set to Sixteenth Notes the tremolo speed will be exactly 4 times as fast as the tempo you just tapped.
In addition to the tapping the Tap footswitch to set the tempo of the tremolo, the Continuum Controller has a Speed knob that you can set manually. The Speed control also has a dedicated expression jack on the back panel so you can ramp your tremolo speed up and down as you play for Leslie Organ type accents. Also on the rear panel or the Continuum Controller is an expression jack labeled Tap. This jack is a bi-directional Tap In/Out and can send a tap signal to other devices or receive a tap signal from other devices. This becomes very convenient when you have multiple time based effects on your pedalboard and you only want to tap one button to sync all of them to the beat of the song.
Finally the Continuum Controller has Depth control which allows you to set the mix of dry signal to tremolo signal. Use this control to dial in a very subtle tremolo in the lower positions or a very distinct tremolo in the upper position. Note: Notice that the Depth control adjusts the intensity of the indicator on the front panel of the amplifier. When the tremolo is switched to the ON position using the Tremolo footswitch, the indicator light on the front panel of the amplifier wills start flashing in time with the LFO. The higher the position of the Depth control, the more distinct the flashing will become. Note that the indicator light will pulse with same shape as the waveform that has been selected! The Depth control also has a dedicated expression jack on the back panel so you can fade in your tremolo signal for seamless dynamic changes.
Finally as we were working through the Continuum Controller we had the idea that wouldn't it be great if we could take the LFO from the Tremolo circuit and apply it to the Reverb signal. Well we did just that and results are outstanding! This feature which we are calling Modulated Reverb, is accessed by flipping the toggle switch located in the middle of the Continuum Controller upward. In this position the LFO is no longer turning the output tubes On/Off with the rise and fall of the LFO but rather doing the same thing to the Reverb signal. So imagine if you will that your dry signal is remaining constant but now your reverb is ramping up and down with the speed and shape of the LFO! It sounds like you are playing with two amps, one set for dry (no reverb) and the other set super wet with the tremolo active! You can also select the waveform you'd like to apply to the Modulated Reverb by selecting any of the 7 positions on the Wave control.
We have been working for over a year to perfect the world's first tap tempo bias tremolo and we feel that the hard work has really paid off. There's never been an amp made that is like the Bakersfield and we hope that once you get a chance to hear it and play it that you'll agree!
To make the Bakersfield more flexible, we did away with the traditional Treble, Middle and Bass controls that you'd find in a Fender style amp and instead included a more Dumble style tone control network. You'll find that these tone controls are much more aggressive than a traditional Fender style and will give you much more authority in sculpting your tone. In addition to the tone controls, we have intentionally voiced the amp to have a more velvety soft high end like you'd hear in a Dumble style amp. This voicing works to eliminate the "ice pick" highs that often occur when playing a single coil equipped guitar through a Twin Reverb or similar amp.
If you're familiar with most Fender amps, they have a bright switch which is used to boost the high frequencies in the amp. Well the issue with most bright switches that I've encountered in the past is that the amp is either too dark without the bright switch or its too bright with it on. To solve this dilemma, we have permanently wired in a bright cap (the bright switch enables/disables this cap) and included a master Tone control for the Bakersfield. With the bright cap in place the amp can be very bright with the Tone knob set fully clockwise and very dark with it set counter-clockwise or anywhere in between. The addition of the master Tone control allows you to dial in the level of highs you want and tailor your sound for each guitar you play.
To round out the feature set on what is traditionally considered a clean platform, we created a new feature called the Tweed control. The Tweed control is a variable tone stack bypass that lifts the EQ network so that you get back all the gain you lost by going through the EQ controls. When set fully counter-clockwise, the boost is deactivated and the amp is very clean and spanky like you'd expect an American style amp to be. As you roll the Tweed knob up you'll notice that you have more preamp gain to play with and the notes getting a little hair on them. The higher you go on the Tweed control the more aggressive the boost until you're all the way up on the Tweed control and you find yourself holding a tiger by the tail! When the Tweed control is wide open you'll have more than enough gain for soloing and one of the best crunch rhythm sounds you've ever heard! We guarantee you've never heard a Princeton sound like this before! To make the Tweed control useful as a solo boost, we have designed in a foot-switchable relay that will switch you from fully off to wherever you have the Tweed control set! This makes for an incredible solo boost or is useful for times when you want to punch out of the mix for signature parts! Note: When the included footswitch is plugged in and boost is selected, the indicator on the front panel of the amplifier will turn Red to indicate that the Tweed control is active.
There's a couple of "easter eggs" in the Bakersfield that you might not know about if you didn't know to look so I'll address them here.
The Digital Reverb module has a total of 8 programs that you can access for different types of reverbs and delays. We have the unit set at the program that we think sounds the best and have it dialed in for that sound but in case you want to experiment here is the information you'd need. WARNING! Be smart. Don't mess with these switches when the amp is plugged in. There's close to 500V inside the amp and that is way beyond fatal if you get across it. You've been warned!
Internal DIP Switch Controls:
|Program #||Name||Switch Positions 1-2-3|
|0||Reverb 1||000 (OFF-OFF-OFF)|
|1||Reverb 2||100 (ON-OFF-OFF)|
|2||Plate 1||010 (OFF-ON-OFF)|
|3||Plate 2||110 (ON-ON-OFF)|
|4||Reverse Reverb||001 (OFF-OFF-ON)|
|5||Spring Reverb||101 (ON-OFF-ON)|
|7||Modulated Delay||111 (ON-ON-ON)|
While we were working through the board design for the Bakersfield is was brought to our attention that not everyone would want to have a flashing indicator on the front of their amp that pulsed in time with the LFO. For those who would prefer to see a solid color indicator regardless of the Tremolo being On/Off, we have included a couple of little DIP switches inside the amp that will allow you to turn this feature off. There's a legend printed on the circuit board that will show you which position to put the switches in for a solid or flashing LED.
The Bakersfield has been the most challenging amp we have ever undertaken and features technology never before seen in any guitar amplifier. There are many novel and patented technologies that we have had to developed over the past year to bring the Bakersfield to fruition and I feel the end result more than outweighs the cost as well as the blood sweat and tears the entire team has shed in getting this product ready for market. We very much hope you will get a chance to try out the Bakersfield for yourself.