The Britain series of amps starting with the 2.0 through the 4.0 are certainly what put Jackson Ampworks on the map and I’m very pleased to say that today we are releasing the next incarnation of the Britain line; the Britain 30.
Let me introduce this amp by answering some questions that are likely to come up.
Are you discontinuing the Britain 4.0?
Never. The Britain 4.0 is an incredible amp that does what no other amp on the market does and it does it all very well. The Britain 4.0 is a flagship amp for us that embodies the level of engineering and tone that we are proud to bring to the market. The Britain 4.0 will ALWAYS be a part of our product line.
Why the Britain 30?
With the release of the NewCastle 30 and the Scarlett 30, I had developed a Power Scaling design that I was happy with and of course my next thought was, “wouldn’t it be cool if we put Power Scaling on the Britain?” Well honestly it would be cool but there’s no room for it and with all the fixed bias and cathode bias switching in place it would be a complete nightmare to implement. So the most logical solution was to design the Britain 30 from the ground up with Power Scaling in mind.
I chose the 30W Mode of the Britain 4.0 as the framework from which to work as personally it’s my favorite power mode on the Britain 4.0 and 4x EL84’s in Class A is THE iconic British guitar tone.
How similar is the Britain 30 to the 30W Mode of the Britain 4.0?
Exactly. Part for part in fact. When the Britain 4.0 was released it set the bar for how an amp that aspires to be “all things British” should sound and the Britain 30 continues in that same legacy. The same schematic, parts and components that are found in the Britain 4.0 are found in the Britain 30 to ensure that the amps sounds alike and we are giving our customers the best tonal experience possible.
What is new in the Britain 30?
– Front Panel Changes
At first glance you’ll notice that we have updated the front panel of the Britain 30 to give room for 3 additional controls; the Tone, Power and Power Scaling Bypass Switch. To make room for these new controls we have stacked the Treble and Bass controls for each channel vertically to maximize front panels space and also maintain a logical grouping of the controls.
We have added what we call a Master Tone control to the front panel that acts as a global hi-cut for the entire amp regardless of which channel is being used.
In addition to the Tone control we added a Power control that adjusts the Power Scaling in the amp. The Power Scaling in the Britain 30 allows the user to adjust the high voltage being fed to the power tubes from 350V+ down to 35V consequently adjusting the output power of the amp from 30W down to 1/8W. This control is one of the most important features of the amp and allows the player to adjust the output volume of the amp to suit any size stage environment.
Finally we have added a Power Scaling bypass switch that allows the player to completely bypass the Power Scaling feature and return the Britain 30 to the stock performance found in the Britain 4.0. In any system, especially those having to do with audio sources, every component in the circuit has an effect on the final tone produced by the system. During the development of the Britain 30 we found that if we bypassed the Power Scaling circuit we got a marginal increase in clarity and dynamic response from the amp. Subjectively we are talking about a 1% boost in tone but that last 1% is where we live and die as a boutique amplifier manufacturer. After implementing this bypass switch on the prototype model and determining that I could in fact hear and feel a difference in the amp I called in several musicians and producers to give this new feature a listen and they all agreed that it was a feature worthy of appearing in the production units.
– Back Panel Changes
We have taken advantage of the additional space afforded to us by the absence of additional power modes found in the Britain 4.0 and have simplified the FX Loops on the back panel. Instead of having to use an insert cable for each channels send and return, the Britain 30 now offers independent send and return jacks for each channel that will work with any standard 1/4″ guitar cord etc.
So now you know what we have been hard at work on for the last few months. As you know, we are a small company but it bears repeating that we put 100% of ourselves into our products and we sweat the little stuff, even if it’s a little switch that will give you that extra 1% of tone just to make sure that you are getting the best amplifier possible.
Be looking for a new release the 1st quarter of 2014….