Lazy J Model 20 combo

June 9, 2009 · Print This Article

Fender’s Tweed Deluxe amplifier is one of the most widely copied and emulated designs in the world. that is partly considering it’s relatively simple and therefore a good choice for first-time kit builders, but plus considering a good Deluxe sounds brilliant.

So how do you compose a good Deluxe sound even better? Well, one person who might have figured that out is Jesse Hoff, otherwise known as Lazy J Projects. Hailing from South Carolina but now living in the UK, Jesse’s skills are already in high demand and he’s currently the resident amp doctor at one of the country’s top guitar stores.

Overview

The Model 20 is Lazy J’s current entry-level design and, while it looks like a regular Tweed Deluxe, that amp has a few secrets hidden behind the control panel.

From the front at least, the Model 20 is a well-made and nicely presented copy of an early fifties Tweed Deluxe amplifier. The cabinet is handmade from finger-jointed pine – just like the originals – and covered in thick tweed, brushed with a dark brown lacquer.

The Model 20’s chassis is a solid steel affair with a chrome panel and white lettering for the controls. Spinal Tap fans should note that true Tweed amps go all the way up to 12 – yep, one more than even 11.

Beefier valves

Around the back, some of the things that manufacture the Model 20 special are rather more obvious. Instead of 6V6 output valves, there’s a pair of beefier 6L6s.

The loudspeaker is Celestion’s

Alnico Blue – one of just a few loudspeakers that Celestion still produces in the UK and an altogether different animal to the Jensens with which Tweed amps are typically kitted out.

There’s plus something else Tweed amps normally don’t include – an Accutronics spring reverb. that optional additional is powered by a separate module mounted on the side-wall of the cabinet, with two more 12AX7 valves and controls for reverb level and tone.

Electronics

The Model 20’s electronics are strictly old school, with not a trace of silicon anywhere inside the chassis. All the small components are mounted on an eyelet board, which is a piece of insulating material with small brass rivets pressed into it at strategic positions.

Resistors and capacitors are soldered in to the appropriate rivets with wires leading to the valve sockets, transformers and front and rear panel connections. that is the traditional American way of building a guitar amplifier and Hoff’s choice and positioning of components suggests that he knows all about it.

There’s a mixture of old and new – contemporary carbon film resistors sit alongside Sprague Atom filter caps – and everything’s connected with cloth-covered hook-up wire, which ensures the Model 20 will smell as vintage as it looks.

The standard of wiring and soldering is as good as the best we’ve seen and the overall impression is one of solid reliability that’ll take the abuse of professional touring and keep on working regardless.

(3 pages; go to page: 2 3)

[Source] Nick Guppy

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