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Does the Blackbird sound like an American or British tube amp?

The short answer is “Yes”. This isn’t meant to be funny, it’s just that how do you define an American or British amp sound, let alone design a pedal to replicate it? For a start there’s a huge amount of variation in the designs of guitar amplifiers within America or in Britain. Differences such as circuit topologies, that is, is the amp class A or class AB. Differences in tube types, triodes, tetrodes and pentodes. Different size and type of loudspeakers and output transformers. There are literally dozens of variables even within amps from just one given manufacturer, let alone another manufacturer in another country.

Then there are American and British amp manufacturers that build amps of very similar design. For instance Jim Marshall based his early amps on Leo Fender’s Bassman amp design which he originally derived from the RCA Receiving Tube Manual. These amps are electronically identical and have more in common than, say a Fender ‘Champ’ and Fender ‘Twin Reverb’ amp. And they have more in common than a Vox AC30 and Laney head. So where does this essence of British or American tone reside? There’s nothing unique in the circuitry of all British (or American amps) that defines their sound. Could it be this classifcation of amp tone into British and American is just marketing flim-flam? More in-depth information on amplifier tone can be found on the Tales From the Tone Lounge website.