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NAMM 2013: Budda Alex Skolnick signature amp announced

Testament guitar legend unveils AS Preceptor

NAMM 2013: Here's a nice surprise, Budda Amplification has announced the AS Preceptor - a three channel, high-gain head and signature model for Testament guitar legend Alex Skolnick.

Budda has a incredibly solid reputation for quality, so it makes sense that a demanding player like Skolnick has opted to work with the firm. It's a three channel model, which has obviously been designed to meet the needs of Skolnick's ever-evolving playing style (whether it be thrash metal, jazz, world music).

Interesting features include MIDI controlled channel switching, a trio of independent channels - including a monster 120 watt, EL-34-driven power stage, and a seven 12AX7 valve-driven preamp - and nine storable presets. It's essentially valve nirvana...

PRESS RELEASE: January 24, 2013 - Today Budda Amplification announces the release of its new AS Preceptor™ Alex Skolnick signature guitar amplifier. This 3-channel amp marries exceptional tonal quality and versatility with superb build construction and unique styling.

Perhaps best known as the guitarist for the multi-platinum band Testament, Skolnick is a stylistically versatile player, performing in a variety of other projects including his jazz trio, The Alex Skolnick Trio, and a forthcoming world music project, Planetary Coalition. The new Budda AS Preceptor suits his demanding tonal requirements.

Skolnick shares, "For years, I've dreamed of an amp that brought together the quality of a fine vintage amp with modern hi gain technology, user friendliness, reliability and diversity; an amp not locked into classic tones, easily allowing guitarists to hone in on their own sound and that players of any genre could appreciate. After much collaboration between myself and the amazing team at Budda Amplification, I'm happy to say it's finally here: the Budda AS Preceptor is that amp."

The epitome of authentic tone and modern sophistication, the Budda AS Preceptor was crafted to both Budda and Skolnick's exacting standards, resulting in an amplifier that can range from searing to pristine and everything in-between.

With three completely independent channels, a 120-Watt power section driven by four EL-34 tubes, and a preamp consisting of seven dual triode 12AX7 tubes, the AS Preceptor also features dual 5U4 rectifier tubes and a solid-state rectifier.

Budda's patent-pending PowerPan™ variable rectification control allows players to open uncharted tone territory by selecting tube rectification, diode rectification or anywhere between the two.

All three of the AS Preceptor's independent channels - Clean, Rhythm and Lead - include separate three-band EQ, Reverb, Resonance, Presence, and true bypass effects loop with send and return levels. Each channel also features OVER-BOOST™, a stompbox-style lead boost that engages an additional tube-driven gain circuit to give players a supercharged boost. The effects loop on channel 2 can also be used as a global loop for incredible versatility in effects routing.

The included nine-button foot controller switches all three channels digitally via MIDI, effects loops and OVER-BOOST functions, as well as Master Reverb and Master Boost, which is a second Master Volume control that can be used to boost the overall volume of the amp.

The AS Preceptor also features a half-power switch for operating the amplifier in either 60- or 120-watt mode. With a back panel that features an amplifier chain section with power-amp inputs and a slave output, impedance selector and MIDI input and output for use in MIDI-switching rigs, this amp is at home as the centerpiece of a larger system.

Budda AS Preceptor features:

  • 120 Watts into 16, 8 or 4 ohms with half-power switch
  • 3 channels: clean, rhythm and lead
  • Five 12AX7 preamp tubes used in three completely independent channels
  • One 12AX7 tube used in tube-driven stomp box style OVER-BOOST circuit
  • One 12AX7 tube used as the phase splitter driving the power amp
  • Four EL-34 power amp tubes and convertible to use four 6L6GC tubes
  • LED indication of correct output tube biasing
  • Two 5U4 rectifier tubes convertible to use 5AR4/GZ34 tubes
  • Unique PowerPan™ control allows panning between solid state and tube rectification
  • Power amp can use 6L6GC or EL-34 tubes (plus KT66, KT88, 5881 and 6CA7 with re-biasing)
  • Rectifier can use 5U4, 5AR4 or GZ34 tubes
  • Full / Half Power switch
  • Independent preamp EQ (Bass, Mid, Treble), Presence and Resonance controls per channel
  • Silent LDR MIDI controlled channel switching
  • High quality audio grade resistors and poly caps throughout
  • Three effects loops with independent Send and Mix controls and Channel or Global options
  • Real spring reverb with separate Reverb level control per channel
  • Footswitchable Master Boost with user defined boost level
  • Slave Out and Preamp Out/Power Amp In link jacks
  • Massive custom designed output transformer
  • Overboost stompbox style lead boost on each channel
  • Slave output/Power amp input
  • Cabinet impedance switch (4, 8 or 16 Ohms)
  • Heavy duty Power and Standby toggle switches
  • High and low level 1/4" inputs
  • Ceramic tube sockets
  • Specially designed 10-button multi-function foot controller (included)
  • Stores 9 custom presets, and provides extensive MIDI control for automation
  • Features, specifications and pricing are subject to change without notice.

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