Bonamassa first unveiled the project in April 2022, posting a demo video to his Instagram account and sharing some of the details of the amplifier. Now, after what has been a five-year process, the amp is finished, its release imminent.
Bonamassa does reveal any specifics but the amp looks ready. Bonamassa sounds ready for it. And we sure are all ready to see it live in the Tweed.
The ’48 Dual Professional JB Edition is a 26-watt 2x10 combo amp , and a clearly has been a labour of love for Bonamassa and the Fender team, with a host of period-correct specs augmented by some signature updates.
It has the classic split grille design, with vertical chrome strip, Tweed covering and brown mohair style grille clothe. The Fender badge is mounted on the cabinet in the old-school block type logo. The control panel and inputs are mounted on the top of the amp.
When he first unveiled it, Bonamassa promised vintage amp cork sniffers they were in for a treat. “We’re anoraks, we’ve recreated the original font and look of the original tube chart [in the back of the amp],” he said.
Bonamassa did however swap out the original Jensen PM10-C Alnico speakers out for an all-new speaker design from Celestion. The British speaker company was only too happy to downsize Bonamassa’s signature drivers from 12” to 10” for the project.
“Now they are 35-watt, Joe B-branded Celestion ceramic speakers which I found sound good in the amp,” said Bonamassa. “I prefer them to the Alnicos, but that’s just my preference – I’m just one man.”
Exactly, there are no rules, especially when the amp is taking your name. Other features are more practical, such as the cage guard around the tubes – a prophylactic measure that makes sense when you consider how hot a vacuum tube runs. “You cannot trust human beings not to grab a molten, 600-degree bulb of glass!” said Bonamassa.
Bonamassa is having something of a social media moratorium after an online contretemps, with all future posts coming from his team, but it has not slowed his willingness to tease the odd gear release.
Last month, he posted a video from Nashville that suggested he was working with IK Multimedia in creating a digital model of his live rig. The blues guitar superstar is presently on tour in the US, playing the Clay Center in Charleston, West Virginia, tomorrow night (15 February). See Joe Bonamassa for dates.