633 Amp mkII quick review

Ok folks, here’s a pic of and some observations on the latest prototype I’ve been testing out.  It’s been an absolute blast, though maybe better not ask the neighbours for their views on its ca.36 watts.

633 17-8It has several different features from the two I tested some months ago.  At my request, the tremolo has gone and its two controls have been replaced by ‘more’ and ‘reverb ‘dwell’.  Dwell affects the drive into the reverb circuit, and I find I don’t use it that much, I just preset it at about 9 o’clock and use tone and level to control the ‘verb.

‘More’ controls the level of the second, foot switchable channel.  The combination of level, more and headroom give limitless permutations of clean, shimmer, grainy and singing lead.  There’s no perceptible transition at all, just the smoothest transition into overdrive I’ve ever played, so for my playing style it’s fantastic.

I really think designer Cliff brown is on to something here.  Once again, this is an amp I can’t put to down. It even takes ‘difficult’ guitars like the Rick 360/12 and Gretsch Duo Jet in its stride.

The dedicated foot control has switches for trem and ‘verb which are currently redundant on this test rig.  It’s there only to switch between channels, but it also contains a very nice overdrive which adds yet another flavour to both the amp’s channels.

This particular prototype also had some low-end boost dialled in for another customer, and I find that muddies the detail a bit, but I gather it will be easy to take the eq from the earlier Safire I liked so much and combine it with this two-channel/’more’ setup.

Both amp and speaker cabs are finished in stained plywood which look fine but are really just housings for prototypes.  The 1×12 cab houses an Eminence red-frame ‘The Governor’ speaker which sounds really good, but doubtless there will be hours of further fun deciding which driver to settle on!

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