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Eleven: The Amps

Avid went to great lengths to obtain the world’s most sought-after vintage and modern amps — in their original state — to create the models in Eleven. Here are all of the amps that Eleven emulates along with a bit of their history, where you may have heard their signature tones, and how our models compare to the originals.

'59 Tweed Lux

Based on a 1959 Fender® Deluxe*

With a single 12-inch Jensen speaker and a pair of 6V6 tubes delivering 15 watts, Fender’s “tweed” Deluxe became a recording studio favorite for everyone from ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons to jazz/fusion legend Larry Carlton. In fact, Carlton’s acclaimed solo on Steely Dan’s “Kid Charlemagne” is a Gibson ES-335 (with the guitar’s tone control rolled back) straight into a cranked Fender Deluxe. Read More

With just a simple tone control, ’50s-era Deluxe amps deliver crunchy clean sounds when used with single-coil pickups, and fat leads when driven with humbucking pickups. Even with that dynamic range, its low wattage keeps it totally under control for recording. While not exactly loud enough to cut a gig, Neil Young toured for decades with his beloved ’59 tweed Deluxe, but he had to drag around a personal PA system just so he could hear it over the actual house monitors and PA.

For our model, the knobs range from 0–10 (instead of 1–12 on the original) to better match the other amps in Eleven, and for consistency with automation and control surface controls. Our ’59 Tweed Lux is also “jumped” so you can feed both the Instrument and Mic inputs in parallel. Turning either the Instrument or Mic channel volume to zero will un-jump the channels (though the patch cord will remain onscreen).

* Eleven is not affiliated with, or sponsored or endorsed by, the owners of the Fender or Jensen names. These names are used solely to identify the classic amplifiers and loudspeakers emulated by Eleven. References to artists and bands are for informational purposes only and do not imply endorsement or sponsorship of Eleven by any artist or band.

’59 Tweed Bass

Based on a 1959 Fender® Bassman®*

Originally designed by Leo Fender in 1952 to go along with his new “electric” Precision Bass, the world’s first bass amp, the Fender Bassman, supplied less than 40-watts through a single 15-inch speaker. It was also covered in the same tweed suitcase cloth used on the Fender Deluxe. Always willing to make a design better, Fender eventually felt that using four 10-inch Jensen speakers had a tighter bass response while still keeping the high-end intact. By 1959, the Bassman had closer to 50 watts of power, using two 5881 (military spec 6L6) power tubes, and four inputs (high and low for each channel). Along with controls for Bass, Middle (midrange), and Treble, a negative feedback Presence control also allowed for more tweaking of the high-end frequencies. Read More

Even though the ’59 Bassman was originally designed with bass guitar in mind, it became the holy grail of tone for nearly all of the pioneering country, rock, and blues guitarists of the ’50s and ’60s. Even blues harmonica players consider the Fender Bassman the industry standard when used with a “Green Bullet” microphone. It’s this classic amp’s layout and circuit design that became the blueprint for many others to follow, including amps made in a small shop in England owned by a drummer named Jim Marshall.

Just like Avid’s ’59 Tweed Lux, the ’59 Tweed Bass’ knobs range from 0–10 (instead of 1–12 on the original) to better match the other amp models in Eleven, and for consistency with automation and control surface controls. The Tweed Bass is also “jumped” so you can feed both the Bright and Normal inputs. Though no patch cord is present on screen, turning either the Instrument or Mic channel volume to zero will un-jump the channels.

* Eleven is not affiliated with, or sponsored or endorsed by, the owners of the Fender, Bassman, and Jensen names. These names are used solely to identify the classic amplifiers and loudspeakers emulated by Eleven.
 

'64 Black Panel Lux Vibrato

Based on a 1964 Fender® Deluxe Reverb®, Vibrato Channel*

’64 Black Panel Lux Normal
Based on a 1964 Fender® Deluxe Reverb®, Normal Channel*

For nearly the entire time Leo Fender was designing amps, he always made sure to have a version of the Fender Deluxe. With a single 12-inch Oxford speaker and a pair of 6V6s putting out just over 20 watts, Fender’s Deluxe Reverb became the ultimate small club amp. In the studio, it’s been used to record countless #1 hits in Nashville thanks to “first call” session players such as Brent Mason. Read More

At low volumes its crisp, clean high-end has been favored by Fender Telecaster® country rockers such as Pete Anderson (Dwight Yoakam). But push the amp past 7 with a humbucking pickup, and you’ve got an amazingly dynamic lead tone that’s been used by blues/jazz great Robben Ford and ’80s LA session king Steve Lukather. With his goldtop ’58 Les Paul, Lukather used his Fender Deluxe Reverb to cut the solo on Toto’s hit “Hold The Line.”

Fender made both a Deluxe and a Deluxe Reverb at the same time. However, with its bigger cabinet and extra gain stage (which was used to isolate the reverb tank from the preamp), most players preferred the sound of the Deluxe Reverb. After Leo Fender sold his company in 1965 to CBS, the black front panel was eventually phased out and replaced by “silverface” panels. The more desirable early and mid ’60s Fender amplifiers picked up the nickname “blackface” due to their black control panels.

For Eleven, we’ve modeled both channels of this classic blackface-era amp. While both versions of our ’64 Black Panel Lux model include Tremolo (which Fender mislabeled as Vibrato), Normal is a single gain version, while Vibrato adds the additional gain stage like the original.

*Eleven is not affiliated with, or sponsored or endorsed by, the owners of the Fender and Deluxe Reverb names. These names are used solely to identify the classic amplifiers emulated by Eleven. References to artists and bands are for informational purposes only and do not imply endorsement or sponsorship of Eleven by any artist or band.

’66 AC Hi Boost

Based on a 1966 VOX® AC30 Top Boost*

Originally released in 1958, Vox’s AC30 went through a few design changes that would eventually define the sound of British pop/rock in the ’60s. First available by Vox as a modification mounted in the rear of the amp, the “Top Boost” circuit added an extra tube and controls for Treble and Bass. It became so popular that Vox eventually redesigned the control panel and officially added the circuit to the AC30 in 1963. It’s this version of amp with two 12-inch Celestions (also known as 15-watt Blue or Bulldog speakers due to their color and labeling) and a quartet of EL84 tubes delivering 30 watts that helped change the sound of popular music. Read More

While the Beatles are forever linked to the AC30 Top Boost, many other great bands built their sound with it, including Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, REM, Radiohead, and U2. Armed with a Stratocaster that fed into a digital delay, the Edge’s percussive rhythm on tracks such as “Pride (In The Name of Love)” and “Where The Streets Have No Name” showcase the amp’s distinctive high-end chime and glassiness. For lead work, Brian May’s singing solo tones on such Queen classics as “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Killer Queen” have helped make the Vox AC30 one of the most sought-after amps of all time.

For our model, we’ve “jumped” the Normal and Brilliant channels. Tremolo and Cut (presence) are active on both channels. However, just like the original, the Treble and Bass controls are only part of the Brilliant channel, and have no effect on the Normal channel.

* Eleven is not affiliated with, or sponsored or endorsed by, the owners of the Vox, AC30, and Celestion names. These names are used solely to identify the classic amplifiers and loudspeakers emulated by Eleven. References to artists and bands are for informational purposes only and do not imply endorsement or sponsorship of Eleven by any artist or band.

'67 Black Duo

Based on a 1967 Fender® Twin Reverb®*

Without a doubt, Fender’s blackface-era Twin Reverb is considered one of the greatest combo amps ever made. With two 12-inch Jensen speakers and a quartet of 6L6 tubes pushing 80 watts, no concert stage was complete without one. During the ’60s and ’70s, nearly every pro guitar player in every genre of music used a Fender Twin Reverb, from BB King and the Beatles (used on The White Album) to John Fogerty, David Gilmour, and Carlos Santana. It was during the recording of Santana’s 1970 Abraxas record that he used his ’61 Gibson SG and Fender Twin Reverb to track his classic instrumental ballad “Samba Pa Ti.” Read More

One of the main reasons for the amp’s popularity is that it can maintain the classic Fender clean sound even at high volume levels. For some players, such as Eric Johnson who uses two amps in stereo, a Twin Reverb is the only amp that can really keep up with a driven Marshall half stack. Another special feature of the blackface-era Twin Reverb is the inclusion of a Bright switch. For our model, just like the original, as you turn the Volume knob up, the Bright switch has less of an effect. Dial the Volume knob around 3 or 4 with the Bright switch on, and you’ll get that ultra-clean snap that it’s famous for.

* Eleven is not affiliated with, or sponsored or endorsed by, the owners of the Fender and Twin Reverb names. These names are used solely to identify the classic amplifiers emulated by Eleven. References to artists and bands are for informational purposes only and do not imply endorsement or sponsorship of Eleven by any artist or band.

’69 Plexiglas – 100W

Based on a 1969 Marshall® 1959 100-Watt Super Lead Head*

In 1963, Fender amps were expensive and hard to find in England. But there was one small store named Marshall’s Music in a London suburb that stocked a few. The shop was owned by drum teacher Jim Marshall, whose students included Mitch Mitchell (The Jimi Hendrix Experience) and Keith Moon (The Who). The shop’s amp repairman, Ken Bran, thought they could build the same kind of amps as Fender, but using domestic part supplies. Within two years, Marshall needed a bigger factory, and his amps were gaining favor among a new crop of local guitar players. A young Eric Clapton bought his first Marshall combo for his new gig with John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers. Read More

It was a volume-hungry Pete Townsend who eventually asked Jim to make a 100-watt head and 8x12 cabinet. It didn’t take long before The Who’s roadies protested, and the cabinet was split in half. Now with two 4x12 cabinets loaded with “greenback” Celestions, and a 100-watt head, the Marshall stack was born and ready to usher in the era of the Guitar God. When James Marshall Hendrix landed in England, he thought it was fate having the same name as Marshall’s owner, and left the store with a brand new 100-watt Super Lead stack.

This era of Marshall’s amps had a plastic gold front panel. By the end of 1969, they switched to metal, thus making the “Plexi” heads highly collectable. Some of the greatest rock riffs and solos got their tone from the Plexi, including “Sunshine of Your Love,” “Voodoo Child,” “Cliffs of Dover,” and every single guitar sound on the first two Van Halen records, including “Eruption.”

For our model, we’ve based it on the legendary 100-watt 1968/69 version, which also has the “lay down” transformers favored by Eddie Van Halen. We’ve also “jumped” both channels like Eric Johnson’s setup.

* Eleven is not affiliated with, or sponsored or endorsed by, the owners of the Marshall and Celestion names. These names are used solely to identify the classic amplifiers and loudspeakers emulated by Eleven. References to artists and bands are for informational purposes only and do not imply endorsement or sponsorship of Eleven by any artist or band.

’82 Lead 800 – 100W

Based on a 1982 Marshall JCM800 2203 100-Watt Head*

By 1982, Jim Charles Marshall finally ended a bad distribution deal, which kept the company financially strapped for over a decade. He decided to trim the amp line down and focus on his new flagship amp, the JCM800. Named after the license plate on his car (which was just his initials and a plate number), the JCM800 delivered massive distorted rhythm sounds thanks to its cascaded preamp design, a quartet of EL34 tubes, and the addition of a master volume. Read More

Unlike the Marshall heads of the ’60s, which needed to be on 10 to achieve an overdrive sound, a JCM800 could conjure up real distortion at any volume level, and that made it very popular in the burgeoning heavy metal scene. From Judas Priest to Iron Maiden and Slayer, no metal band would go on onstage without a wall of JCM800 stacks. It absolutely dominated the ’80s rock and metal scene. In later years, Jane’s Addiction’s Dave Navarro and Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello used JCM800 series amps to redefine the sound of metal-inspired rock.

* Eleven is not affiliated with, or sponsored or endorsed by, the owners of the Marshall and JCM800 names. These names are used solely to identify the classic amplifiers emulated by Eleven. References to artists and bands are for informational purposes only and do not imply endorsement or sponsorship of Eleven by any artist or band.

’85 M-2 Lead

Based on a 1985 Mesa/Boogie® Mark IIc+, Drive Channel*

Mesa Engineering was originally started by amp repairman Randall Smith so he could buy supplies for his other job, rebuilding Mercedes engines. It was this “hot rod” mentality that lead Smith to take a small Fender Princeton and turn it into a 50-watt monster, complete with a JBL 12-inch speaker. In 1970, while repairing amps in his shop at Prune Music in Berkeley, CA, Smith left what he thought of as a practical joke in the storefront. When local guitar hotshot Carlos Santana heard it, he was blown away and said, “Man, this thing really boogies!” At that moment, the Mesa/Boogie amplifier was born. Read More

Over the years, Smith continued to improve his designs to include features such as switchable channels, effects loops, a slave out, 5-band EQ, and a power tube mode called Simul-Class. Different output power levels could be achieved by tweaking the Simul-Class rear switches to run the amp in Class A with a pair of EL34s, or in conjunction with a pair of Class A/B 6L6s. All of those features helped make the final design of the Mark IIc+ one of the most desired amps Mesa/Boogie ever made.

The Mark IIc+ can be heard on everything from the progressive rock solos of Dream Theater’s John Petrucci to the super chunky rhythm sounds of Metallica’s James Hetfield. Used during the sessions for And Justice For All and Master of Puppets, Hetfield always had the amp’s graphic EQ set up in a “V” curve to maintain a tight bass sound, while getting rid of any unnecessary midrange boominess.

We’ve based our model on the Lead channel with the Fat, Bright, and Gain Boost options on. We even modeled the classic “V” EQ curve!

* Eleven is not affiliated with, or sponsored or endorsed by, the owners of the Mesa/Boogie and Mark IIc+ names. These names are used solely to identify the classic amplifiers emulated by Eleven. References to artists and bands are for informational purposes only and do not imply endorsement or sponsorship of Eleven by any artist or band.

’92 Treadplate Modern

Based on a 1992 Mesa/Boogie® Dual Rectifier® Head,
Channel 3: Modern High Gain*

’92 Treadplate Vintage
Based on a 1992 Mesa/Boogie® Dual
Rectifier® Head, Channel 2: Vintage High Gain*

Released in 1989, Mesa/Boogie’s Dual Rectifier seemed cooler than a high-performance racecar. With more tone-tweaking options and distortion than any Boogie before it, the amp became the industry standard for players looking to achieve a massive sound. It first gained exposure at the end of the grunge period with bands like Alice in Chains and Soundgarden. But the Dual Rectifier would find its greatest fame in the Nu Metal scene with Korn, Limp Bizkit, and Linkin Park. The Dual Rectifier has also become a favorite of bands such as Creed, and more recently the Foo Fighters. Read More

With the ability to run on either 6L6 or EL34 tubes, the Dual Rectifier was named for its ability to select between either tube or silicon diode rectifier circuits. On top of that, an AC power selection switch offered a Bold or a Spongy option, which would drop the voltage like a Variac for a more “brown” sound.

For our ’92 Treadplate, we modeled two different channels and selected the appropriate rectifier and AC power switch setting. For Treadplate Modern, we set it on the Red channel using 6L6s, a silicon rectifier, and the Bold power setting for a tight, aggressive tone. For Treadplate Vintage, we modeled the Orange channel with 6L6s, a tube rectifier, and the Spongy power setting for a more fluid lead tone.

* Eleven is not affiliated with, or sponsored or endorsed by, the owners of the Mesa/Boogie and Dual Rectifier names. These names are used solely to identify the classic amplifiers emulated by Eleven. References to artists and bands are for informational purposes only and do not imply endorsement or sponsorship of Eleven by any artist or band.

'89 SL-100 Drive

Based on a 1989 Soldano SLO-100 Super
Lead Overdrive Head, Overdrive Channel*

’89 SL-100 Crunch
Based on a 1989 Soldano SLO-100 Super Lead
Overdrive Head, Crunch Channel*

’89 SL-100 Clean
Originally from Seattle, Michael Soldano moved to Los Angeles and officially founded Soldano Custom Amplification in 1987 on April Fool’s Day. Soldano quickly got a reputation for doing high-gain mods to old Marshall heads. His goal was to add lots of gain without losing definition or clarity. This led to the creation of his own 100-watt amp called the Super Lead Overdrive. Built like a tank, and sporting a chromed chassis and transformers, some of the first SLO-100 heads were quickly purchased by Mark Knopfler, Steve Lukather, Lou Reed, Steve Stevens, and Aerosmith’s Brad Whitford. Known for its singing sustain and clear articulation, the SLO-100 also became Eric Clapton’s favorite stage and studio amp through most of the ’90s. Read More

For our ’89 SL-100, we modeled three different channels. Clean and Crunch both have the Bright/Normal switch of a stock SLO-100. For Drive, we modeled Warren Haynes’ (The Allman Brothers) Soldano’s bright switch mod. Set to Normal, the amp is stock. With Mod engaged, the treble boost that would normally happen at lower gain settings is removed, which leads to a rounder, thicker sound. The Mod circuit has progressively less effect as the gain is raised, and no effect when the preamp is set to 10.

*Eleven is not affiliated with, or sponsored or endorsed by, the owners of the Soldano and SLO-100 names. These names are used solely to identify the classic amplifiers emulated by Eleven. References to artists and bands are for informational purposes only and do not imply endorsement or sponsorship of Eleven by any artist or band.

DC Modern Overdrive

Custom Modern Overdrive

If you’re looking for a unique tone that blends the classic growl of a 100-watt Marshall with more low-end girth, give our DC Modern Overdrive a try. Based on the JCM800, we added loads of extra gain and a carefully tweaked tone stack for a little extra thump! Plus, there’s a Bright switch and a Fender*-style Tremolo. Use a humbucker in the bridge position and you’ll have a tone that can shred with the best of them. Read More

* Eleven is not affiliated with, or sponsored or endorsed by, the owners of the Marshall or Fender names. These names are used solely to identify the classic amplifiers emulated by Eleven.
 

DC Vintage Crunch

Custom Vintage Crunch

For our DC Vintage Crunch model, we blended the two most popular versions of the Fender Deluxe* into one killer amp. Based on the tweed-era Deluxe, we added more gain and a Bright switch. To make it even more versatile, we added the blackface-era tone stack and tremolo. Using single-coil pickups, you can achieve glassy clean sounds and punchy leads with ease. Read More

* Eleven is not affiliated with, or sponsored or endorsed by, the owners of the Fender name. This name is used solely to identify the classic amplifiers emulated by Eleven.

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