In the world of rock tone, the “Marshall sound” is truly all-encompassing. It’s the stuff guitar-god dreams are made from, and both the sweetest and most aggressive way of getting your message across. And in far too many cases, these days it’s also just way too loud for most of us to use in any practical gig or studio situation.
Enter the BlackOut British amplifier, Mojotone’s entirely new and yet utterly simple approach to achieving that legendary British guitar tone in a portable and club-friendly package, which nevertheless drips with dynamic, compelling, expressive, hand-wired, Brit-inspired tube tone. From the team that brought you the popular BlackOut Tweed Select, the BlackOut British cuts straight to the heart of rock ‘n’ roll circa London ’67, and ports it forward to your diverse and demanding playing requirements circa 2020.
After the guitar world went wild for the sounds of the JTM45 and Plexi in the late ’60s and early ’70s, plenty of guitarists discovered you could achieve that classic crunchy, singing, dynamic Marshall tone in a much more portable and decibel-friendly package via the so-called “18-watters," officially known as Models 1958, 1973, 1974 which were made between 1965-’67. Everyone from Gary Moore to the Pretenders to AC/DC and many, many more discovered the juicy goodness of these smaller, 18-watt dual-EL84 Marshall heads and combos, and they became a secret studio weapon for countless artists.
As much as we dig the 5E3 circuit that inspired the BlackOut Tweed, we here at Mojotone have long had a soft spot for the delectable 18-watters and, on the heels of that first special BlackOut project, we wanted to indulge our love of this British twist on the club-sized amp. While original-spec 18-watters can sound great, however, the Mojotone amp team decided to make the Blackout British the 18-watter to end all 18-watters; thus the mod-fest ensued.
We started by replacing the often-ignored (and, frankly, not great sounding) tremolo with a classic British three-knob tone stack driven by its own ECC83 (aka 12AX7) preamp tube. We fed this with a single-input lead channel derived from the JCM800/2204 platform for a mean, hot-rodded gain sound. The team also integrated a master volume control so this monstrous sound can be harnessed and used in any size room. The normal (clean) channel stays truer to 18-watt form with just a volume and tone control, along with Hi and Lo inputs.
Departing from tradition, the team coupled this front end to a dual-6V6 output stage in place of the usual EL84s. This tube complement provides ample power and an abundance of headroom. It has gives the amp more bottom end than your average EL84 output stage and an impressive ability to sound like “baby EL34s." The results, on the dirty channel, are heard in screaming lead tones perfect for everything from dirty grunge all the way to saturated hair-metal sustain!
To top it all off, this hot-rodded rock 'n' roll machine is housed in a classic 18-Watt British Style Head Shell and covered in the Mojotone BlackOut Tweed with the Mojotone BlackOut Grill Cloth for a distinctively classy-looking amplifier that will knock your socks off.