NAMM 2012: Vox TB18C1 guitar amp

The TB18C1 is closely based on a prototype hand-built by Tony Bruno.
The TB18C1 is closely based on a prototype hand-built by Tony Bruno.

NAMM 2012 PRESS RELEASE: Vox continues its collaboration with legendary American boutique amp designer Tony Bruno, exploring new tonal territory with the Vox Bruno TB18C1 guitar amplifier.

About Tony Bruno

Tony Bruno is a highly respected and sought after boutique amp designer from the USA. He has hand-built over 1000 guitar amplifiers during his career, which are regarded as some of the finest-sounding in the world.

A long-time friend of Vox Amplification, Tony Bruno's unparalleled knowledge of boutique amplifier design has been called upon by Vox in the past, on projects including the 2002 hand-wired AC30, the Vox Night Train, the latest range of AC30 and AC15 Custom series amps, and also the new AC30 & AC15 Hand Wired amplifiers. The TB18C1 joins the TB35C1 and TB35C2 in the Vox Bruno Series of amps.

The Vox Bruno story

After establishing a strong working relationship we decided to do a full collaboration and allow Tony to design a circuit that we would put into mass production. This was a first for both Vox Amplification and Tony Bruno.

So, making use of Tony Bruno's expertise of American-style boutique amplifiers and Vox Amplification's resources and development team, we set sail on the seas of tone, into uncharted waters to bring boutique sound and quality to the masses.

First, Tony personally hand-built a prototype to his uncompromising standards, that we would use as a benchmark and continually reference throughout the project. After evaluating Tony's amp we at Vox R&D made a replica of the unit using a PCB design instead of Tony's usual handwired method.

We then unleashed Tony onto the new sample and allowed him to modify and add new features to the unit. After many rigorous voicing sessions with Tony it was agreed we had something that not only shared the same excellent tonal quality of the original unit, but also included features that would otherwise be impossible to create without the use of modern development and production resources.

The TB18C1 amplifier is the result of an uncompromising collaboration between Vox Amplification and Tony Bruno. Enjoy!

Amplifier Overview

Despite its British Vox pedigree, the TB18C1 has a decidedly American feel, thanks to Tony's influence and design. The amp chassis features a pair of 6V6 power tubes, known for their smooth and clean high end, creamy mids, big bass, and for their rich 'breakup' when overdriven.

The preamp stage is driven by two 12AX7 preamp tubes. The single-channel preamp offers both High and Low level inputs, as well as Volume, Bass, Middle and Treble controls.

External speaker jacks and extension cabinet jacks are standard equipment. The TB18C1 features a 12-inch Celestion G12-65 loudspeaker mounted into a rugged plywood cabinet.

User-friendly features

In Tony's design for the TB18C1 amplifier he included a number of features to enable the user to tweak their tone to perfection, in any situation:

Mid Boost Switch

The Mid Boost switch is a mid/gain boost. This specially-voiced mod is ideal for players wanting to boost their solos or leads.

Leaving this switch permanently activated dramatically changes the sound of the TB18C1 and allows the search for excellent tone to extend even further!

Dark Switch

This circuit further tweaks the TB18C1 amp's tonal diversity. When the Dark switch is engaged, the high frequencies are dramatically cut; this makes the amp feel like a completely different beast!

Amplifier Highlights:

  • Boutique circuit design by Tony Bruno
  • Vintage American tone
  • High-quality reverb
  • Mid Boost switch
  • Dark switch dramatically cuts the high end for a
  • deeper tone
  • Effects Loop
  • Plywood cabinet construction
  • Celestion G12-65 speaker
  • Custom-made premium transformers
  • 12AX7 (x2) preamp tubes
  • 6V6 (x2) power tubes
  • 18 Watts RMS

Price: £600 RRP inc VATAvailability: March/April 2012

Information taken from official press release, for more visit Vox.

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