NAMM 2005: Hand-wired in Essex, England, and hand-covered in striking blonde Tolex, Ashdown’s new Essex Blonde guitar combos were created in the pursuit of classic, vintage tone.
Two models, 8 and 15 Watts, each feature oversized, locally-wound transformers, matched tube sets and reverb trays. The use of polished gold corners, hand-engraved front panels, chicken head knobs and enamel badging mean that the Essex Blondes also look every bit as luxurious as they sound.
The 8 Watt combo uses an all-tube passive preamp, with a mono tube in the power section allowing the guitarist to experiment with the different output tubes without the need to bias. Controls are pure and simple — just Treble, Mid, Bass, Gain, Reverb Level and Output — and power is delivered via a single 10″ Jensen speaker.
The 15 Watt model features a duet of 6V6 output tubes, with a Voice control re-configuring the preamp tubes in a number of switchable settings to select a variety of tones from bright and British, through to thick and US. Additional controls include Treble, Mid, Bass, Reverb Level and Volume, and the amplifier is partnered with a Celestion Vintage 30 speaker.
For more information, visit the Ashdown site.