Carol-Ann Triptik 50 Head in Ivory

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$ 3,395.00 

The Carol-Ann Triptik 50 is a three channel, 50 watt design covering an amazing amount of ground.  Alan Phillips designed this circuit from the ground up to be a true player's amp with all the versatility and road-worthy construction he could muster.

Clean? - The clean channel (Channel A) is remarkably clean, with a very nice sparkle and shimmer. This channel also makes for a great pedal platform and it's able to handle a strong signal before breaking up, thus playing very well with most overdrive and distortion pedals. Not at all an easy feat with typical amps of this type. Want some light bluesy crunch out of the clean channel? No problem. You can get some smooth breakup
when the Input Level is increased.

Overdrive? -
The Triptik covers early Marshall classic rock tones to the most aggressive modern metal. It achieves it's gain a little different than other amps. Many like to cascade high numbers of gain stages to produce distortion, and it works, but in the process a considerable amount of your tone and dynamics are lost. That's why typical overdrive is compressed sounding and lacks the punch and response that a clean channel has. Alan generate his overdrive through superior design. He runs each gain stage to its extreme, just keeping them this side of instability. This method preserves your dynamics which drastically improves your ability to cut through the mix. It also helps keep noise to a minimum and emphasizes the harmonic overtones of each note without ever sounding bright or harsh.

Operation of Clean Channel (A) - Start with your input level. The best way to describe this control is to compare it to typical amps with hi and lo inputs. On these type of amps, you'd typically chose the input based on what guitar you are using. A tele, strat, or the like would go into the high input, while a guitar with hotter pickups would go into the lo input. The idea is to get as hot a signal as possible without overdriving the front end. The Triptik has a knob for fine tuning that input level so you can precisely find your desired input level, and not have to choose one of two preset levels the manufacturer deemed appropriate. This is important to achieve the strongest, purest signal for the clean channel. For those guitar players out there familiar with running sound, this control is essentially a carefully designed trim or input gain control. If you're not looking for pristine cleans, crank the INPUT LEVEL to produce a bit of overdrive in the clean channel, and increase the gain in the others. As a rule of thumb, the INPUT LEVEL will typically live in the 12:00 o'clock to 2:00 o'clock region.   The rest of the clean channel then works as expected. Set the INPUT LEVEL, and then you have tone controls and then MASTER-A is your master volume.

Operation of Overdrive Channels (B & C) - The overdrive channels consist of two identical channels (Channel B and Channel C) and each one has a switch that changes the particular channel to either 'Classic' or 'Modern' voicings. The 'classic' voicing produces 70's and 80's Marshall tones with a very wide and complex sound stage with no buzz or brittle high frequencies. The 'Modern' setting has more gain and bottom end for those more modern heavy rhythm, dropped tunings. This channel also makes for a superb liquid lead channel with incredible sustain and harmonic bloom.

Each overdrive channel also has it's own DRIVE control so you can independently set the amount of gain/overdrive for each channel. As well, each overdrive channel has it's own master volume, MASTER-B, and MASTER-C. And if that wasn't enough, the Triptik also has a LEAD MASTER control.

Operation of the Lead Master Control - You can tell Alan has done his share of gigging! The LEAD MASTER is a footswitchable feature that allows you to override the master volume for whatever overdrive channel you are on. Let's say you're on overdriven Channel B. The MASTER-B knob is set at 1:00 o'clock. You can have the LEAD MASTER set at 3:00 o'clock and when you hit the footswitch, the Triptik's volume will jump to the 3:00 o'clock setting. As well, if you have the LEAD MASTER knob set at 9:00 o'clock, the volume will drop down to the 9:00 o'clock setting when you hit the footswitch.

50 watts

Power Tubes:
2 x EL34
Preamp Tubes:
3 x 12AX7, 1 x 5751

Controls: Global Input Level
(affects all channels)

Channel A (clean):
Bass, Middle Treble

Channel B & C (overdriven):
Bass, Middle, Treble

Channel B
Drivel Level & Classic/Modern Switch

Channel C
Drivel Level & Classic/Modern Switch

Independent Master Volumes for A, B, & C

Lead Master Control for B & C
(like a boost of sorts)

Global Presence Control
(affects all channels)
Hand Built & Hand-Wired Construction!

Tube Effects Loop
3 Button Footswitch Included. It controls: Clean/OD, B/C, & Lead Master Boost with LEDs
1 x 8 ohm, 1 x 16 ohm

21" W x 10.25" D x 10" H (minus feet)


This amp will appeal more to the rockers because it has a more familiar grind going on. Guys who play any genre of blues, rock and modern rock to metal styles were the original target, but the clean channel widened it's appeal.

The Triptik started out life inside a gutted '73 Marshall 50W JMP. I had a perfect sounding '73 and I sacrificed it to make the prototype of the Triptik. I did this because the Marshall had such a great Power Amp stage and I wanted to capture that but give it a completely new preamp design that totally ignored the design thats the basis of nearly every 'modified Marshall' amp in existance. I used an approach that run fewer gain stages much harder. It gave me me way more control over the harmic content generated by each stage than any other design I'd seen. So the Marshall became an amp with 2 overdrive channels and no clean channel. The first OD channel was the equivalent of the B/C Triptik channels in 'classic mode' and the second channel was like the Triptiks B/C channel in 'modern mode'.

The fundamental tone of the OD on this amp was to take a Marshall type OD and reduce the treble peaking while increasing the even order harmonic content. Translated this means making it sound wide, not harsh while having enough odd order content that it pokes the mix and blooms into harminic overtones failry easily without being harsh and cutting. My idea of the perfect fundamental rock tone. The one every hears recorded but can never find it. The classic mode reduced the preamp gain and took out some low end, while the modern mode has a tight and punchy low end without getting messed up with the bass guitar. The modern mode is also perfect for singing lead tones without the need for any pedals. This is how I use one. Gain ranges are very wide. It has a very wide dynamic range which makes it a very sensitive amp, but doesn't have masses of compression so it's has an immediate feel that will make an ass out of a shred player who's relied on a ton of gain and compression while flaying from A to B without taking much regard to the path. You hear every note of the journey in this amp.

The clean channel on this amp suprised me to be honest. A lot of headroom due to fact that the first 2 stages used for the clean channel are running to almost maximum efficiency from a 12AX7. Again the common perceptions are EL34's break up quicker than 6L6's. Well if they are given the same signal levels from the same PI then sure that is the case, but I gain staged the amp to ensure OD stated to occur in a specific order and not just everything hitting the rails at once. Consequently, this is arguably the best clean channel I've ever come up with in any amp and is happy with both S/C's and humbuckers.
Personally, I am the most proudest of the Triptik from all the designs.