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Robert,
I built an Allen Old Flame head, and got 2 spkr cabs,
WeberVST-1xC15CA, and WeberVST- 2xC10Q, and co-wrote an article on it
for Vacuum Tube Valley: http://www.vacuumtube.com/ about the kit, how
the construction went, the quality of the components (some of the best
in the industry), how well it sounds (GREAT!), and the man behind the
product – David Allen. David is one-of-a-kind; extremely easy to get
along with, ask questions of (and I was constantly on the phone and
e-mail with him), and was open to opinions about his amp, how it sounds
and ways to improve the design or ‘tonal texture’.
I’ve seen, worked on, and played through quite a few amps since the
mid ’60s but the Allen line is one of the best ‘bang-for-the-bucks’
products I’ve ever experienced. I liked the amp so much I bought the
review model, and I have plans to purchase another. I own Fender Super
Reverbs, Twin Reverbs, Bandmaster Reverbs, Vox tube amps, but I prefer
to play (and listen to) my Allen Old Flame.
The Allen amp is in my workshop and every customer that comes in for
amp repair or restoration sits a few feet from it, and most play through
it. It’s versatile with either a single coil Strat or Tele, and
humbuckers. I’ve heard county pedal steels, Blues string benders,
classic rock Les Pauls, Surf Strats, British Invasion Ricks, and Jazz
Archtops pumped through the speakers.
You can either buy it as a kit, or assembled (for a nominal fee from
David Allen). The Allen website is: http://www.iguitar.com/allen/ and
the kit prices are at: http://www.iguitar.com/allen/kitprice.html
I can NOT recommend ANY other amp currently on the market more. The
Allen amps are loosely based on the Fender AB763 design, with the
addition of a 3-knob reverb, a master volume (the ONLY one I’ve ever
seen that works well… AND is one of the main features of this amp),
and 3-knob EQ – bass, mid, treble. The amp only has one channel, and no
tremolo, but most people never use more than one input, and have never
learned a Lonnie Mack, or Duane Eddy song…
One of main things I love about the amp is the bias jacks (and the
accessible bias adjustment knob) in the rear of the amp to set the
output tube idle current bias. You don’t have to take it to an amp
technician to ‘pop the hood’ to have the bias set every time you want
(or need) to change the OP tubes.
I’ve been in contact with quite a few people that have built the
Allen kits, so if you want other opinions I can always forward their
e-mails that were sent to me when I was writing the VTV article.
Again, I can not think of a better amp out there for twice the price
that sounds, looks, and is built better than an Allen. I don’t know
anyone that’s been disappointed with their Allen… -Ron (Uncle
Spot, Inc.)

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