Friday, August 14, 2009

Ceriatone Overtone Special | Dumble In Disguise?

I was turned on to Ceriatone amps a couple of days ago by a musician friend. He's from the older school 'Fender is king' generation and he was hipping me to this amp builder in Malaysia who made brilliant Fender copies. And at less than two-thirds the price.

A quick Google search revealed this:

Interesting. A Malaysian amp builder going toe-to-toe with Marshall and Fender, not to mention the big boys of boutique American amps -- Fuchs, Trainwreck, Matchless. And yes... even Mr Dumble.
Granted, Ceriatone is still at the 'copy' stage. But remember Peavey's Fender tweed-style design on their Classic series amps (complete with chickenhead knobs) of a few years ago? Peavey resurrected tweed when Fender had put it to bed. It was good marketing and a good way to get noticed.

Check out the Dumble-like font on the Ceriatone Overtone Special at right -- it sort of reads like 'Overdrive Special' from five feet away. Surely to be a nifty conversation piece for the owner.

But fortunately the similarities are not merely cosmetic. Ceriatone has also added new, useful features to the original amp design, giving the user more tonal options and flexibility.

And listening to Jack Zucker's clip above, it sounds great.

Based on Zucker's description, the front panel controls from left to right are:

FET input jack
Normal input jack
Input control
Bright switch
Deep switch
Jazz/Rock switch
Level control for overdrive
Ratio control for the overdrive, for controlling relative volumes for lead and rhythm sounds
Master volume control
Presence control

On the back panel:

Mid-Boost switch that defeats the tone controls (for manual switching)
Lead and Rhythm switch (for manual switching)
Footswitch jack for controlling Rhythm/Lead and Mid-Boost controls
Passive effects loop

I'm real curious to try one of these out for myself.

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