Mercury Magnetics Trannies and Choke

Many of you are already familiar with our resident amp tech, studio owner/engineer and advisory board member Jeff Bakos. In his spare time, Jeff occasionally builds amps for clients on request, and lately he’s been asked to build… you guessed it – small little biters. Since his personal GA-5 has been featured so often on various recording projects, Jeff toyed with the idea of recreating the Gibson GA-5 Skylark for a minute, but given the fact that vintage GA-5s remain fairly plentiful, he ultimately decided to design his own simple take on a smallish amp – the 8 Ball. Housed in a Mojo Champ cabinet, the 8 Ball is built with one of our favorite tens, the Eminence Legend Alnico 1058 (that’s a hint), Mercury Magnetics trannies and choke, and premium components, including Sozo coupling caps. With the bigger Mercury Princeton transformer set, the single 6V6 / 12AX7 / 5Y3 design is capable of producing 10 watts of power. Features include dual inputs, volume and tone controls, a front panel line out jack, and a “vintage” / ”modern” toggle switch also conveniently mounted on the front panel.

The “vintage” setting produces pristine Fendery clean tones up to 12 o’clock on the volume control, gradually followed by a progressively thicker growl with intense distortion and sustain. In this setting, the 8 Ball surpasses all the other small amps we’ve reviewed in terms of practical versatility with stronger, louder clean tones and a more gradual It’s back! We are now resuming limited production of our meticulous recreation of the original 1959 DeArmond R15 1×12 amp. You may recall that we initially produced a limited number of TQ Clarksdale amps in 2006, before our supplier for the original chassis informed us that small runs would no longer be possible. We’ve found a new supplier, and the TQ Clarksdale “DeArmonds” will be built again by Jeff Bakos with our original specs – pin cabinet construction and design identical to the original, original Mercury Magnetics Tone Clone transformer set cloned from our original ’59 DeArmond, hand-wired chassis, premium components including Sozo caps, Celestion G12H 70th Anniversary speaker, premium JJ and Tung-Sol tubes, Evidence Audio speaker cable, custom gold grill cloth and blonde Tolex covering. This 22 watt design represents one of the rarest and most toneful combos ever built. The original 1959 DeArmond 1x12s were built for just one year in Toledo, OH, and a clean example recently sold on eBay for $7000. In 2006 Jeff Bakos meticulously blue-printed our original DeArmond, Mojo created CAD drawings from the original cabinet design, and we sent the transformers to Mercury Magnetics to be cloned. The result is a phenomenal 1×12 that will generally kick any tweed Deluxe straight to the curb with a bigger, bolder voice and lush, musical distortion cranked. The 4-input, cathode-biased Clarksdale can be operated with dual 6V6s and 5Y3 rectifier for optimum burn, or a pair of 6L6s and 5AR4 for slightly more power and clean headroom. Blonde Tolex only, simply because it’s the coolest color…

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Amp Transformers, Output Transformers & Chokes

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