I’ve only owned two Kay tube amps, and they were both keepers. One was a pretty standard (for its era) dual 6V6 with tremolo (a really rich and deep tremolo). It had a tone pretty close to the Silvertone 1482, its Dano-made Airline counterpart, the rare 1964 Ampeg Reverberocket with 6V6’s (wow, what an amp!) Lectrolab 600B (though this is the best of the bunch, IMO) and any number of other cheapie versions/variations of a Tweed Deluxe.
I wasn’t in the market for any more amps, but how could I pass up this Lafayette LA-75? A buddy of mine (thanks Rob S.!) sent me an email, letting me know that this baby was on ebay for a really good price and that I should snatch it up. “If you love the (Valco-made) Harmony 415,” he said, knowing it was one of my favorites, “you’ll love this one. Similar output and tone, only out of one 12” instead of two.” And he was right—and then some. I do love the duel EL84 Valco/Harmony 415, but I think I like this little sleeper even more.
In addition to my monthly rants and raves here in Guitarticles, I also donate some experience and opinions in the design and development of many EASTWOOD guitar models. So, last month Mike Robinson of Eastwood Guitars sent me a prototype of his new Airline 18-Watt Handwired Combo Amp for review. The AMP is scheduled for release in October. Despite UPS’ efforts to the contrary, it arrived in perfect condition with a black – almost “bedliner” looking covering – a different take from the usual Tolex treatment. This material is very tough and cleans up nicely. The Airline sported an Emminence Red Coat speaker which looks to me to be a copy of a Celestion Vintage 30, which by the way is one of my favorite speakers.
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