The 22 Tango was my first design, a quest to get the most volume and headroom possible form a pair of 6V6 output tubes. Using a high plate voltage and the huge Mercury Magnetics Radio Spares output transformer (designed for an amp with twice the power), the 22 Tango achieved surprising volume levels with sweet swirly cleans and when pushed, it could get down right rowdy! It really got people's attention, so much so that it was featured in Guitar Player Magazine in 2009 thanks to all the buzz it created.
As time went by, I'd developed new models and at times my imagination go the best of me causing overlap in some of the new designs. Many people tend to want the latest thing, so to try and gain some clarity I ended up phasing out the 22 Tango in favor of the newer models I was creating. The newer models were more refined by knowledge I'd gained over the course of designing several different amps. The 22 Tango is a bit of a wild ride. In the hands of the right player it is glorious, but it can make a fool of you if you don't know how to stroke it the right way!
Fast forward to 2019, I'm preparing for the Boston Amp, deciding what I'm going to take to show. I took a hard look at my product line, chock full of models that I love for various reasons, but frankly, my product line was chaos. I needed to simplify it so people can make a clear choice without needing bourbon or therapy. I wanted to simplify it such that I could represent the entire line a the Boston Amp Show. And that's just what I did.
With the lineup I have clearly defined offerings in the Marshall and Vox categories, the Club Master which is fairly unique to Nolatone but leans into the Fender Tweed camp for a pedal platform, and the Rotten Johnny which is totally unique Nolatone original design (before I had about 6 "Nolatone original" designs, so GREATLY simplified!). I've recently developed a reverb circuit for the Club Master Reverb, so now I have a clear opening for a black face Fender style amp. Time to give 22 Tango a facelift!
So I sat down and applied the volumes I've learned in 10 years of developing multiple amp designs (far more than any sane person would have developed in that time!), and I reworked the 22 Tango circuit to give it better balance across highs to lows, more headroom before breakup, and just a better behavior across the board...and...SPRING REVERB!
The result is a huge sounding clean monster with sweet breakup when pushed. I use the same pentode circuit described in the Club Master and Chimey Limey 1960 channel, which delivers enough signal amplification than I only need one extra gain stage to give enough drive to push the output tubes to produce great punch and girth. A black face Fender circuit requires 3 gain stages for this. This gives the 22 Tango enhanced dynamics and pedal compatability. The tone circuit is voiced to be slightly less scooped as well which will allow the 22 Tango to work better in live settings.
So, the 22 Tango was the first, and now it's BACK. BIG TIME! To those of you who are original 22 Tango owners, if you like what youre reading here, I'm offering a retrofit. Conctact me for pricing and details.