ToneQuest: Pancho’s Rig

Of course, the perfect segue would now be to decipher the “special” nature of the original output transformer in Neil Young’s narrow panel tweed Deluxe, providing you with a timeline in which these happy accidents appeared, or better yet, a source for clones of thee special gems via, say, Mercury Magnetics. Sorry… we asked, and while the guys at Mercury had heard the same story about the output transformer in Neil’s Deluxe, we can’t offer any definitive clues to what Larry described as “the most perfect way form.” However, we can immodestly suggest that you snag a TQ Clarksdale [ed. note: built using custom Mercury Magnetics trannys]—a faithful clone of our original 1959 DeArmond 1×12. It’s Neil’s amp in spades and he doesn’t even know it. The first batch of ten have been shipped and a gutsier, louder or more soulful 20 watt 1×12 has never been built. We can’t (and don’t) take credit for the original design—that belongs to an unknown engineer at Rowe Industries in Toledo, Ohio circa 1959—but we can state without any doubt whatsoever that the Clarksdale nails the tone and attitude of the original, and the original is the most impressive 1×12 we have ever heard. It’s got more bottom end and stronger mids than a tweed Deluxe, and where a Deluxe folds up, the Clarksdale roars all the way to “10.” Ain’t no quit in the Clarksdale, and like Neil Young’s Deluxe, a lot of the mojo is found in the DeArmond’s mammoth, original output transformer. Reference www.tonequest.com for more info, pictures and unsolicited comments from your fellow readers who now own Clarksdales.

View PDF Article

© Mercury Magnetics