The Club Master
The Nolatone Club Master
was designed with pedals in mind. It's simple with a voice that's perfectly balanced. The controls work smoothly and reaching down to tweak one of them is never a mistake, but you may find you don't tweak them much. Quick and easy to dial up what you want, then it's just you and your music. Simple, artful
This all makes the Club Master a great pallete on which to paint your sonic masterpiece. The nuances of your guitars, pickups, and hands shine through. When you switch in your pedals, they behave and do what you expect them to do, and you hear the nuance of those too!
This simple circuit uses the reliable pentode input tube stage, controlled by a simple yet effective volume and tone circuit with a mini switch to give you the choice of a lean or thick low end. The result is a more dynamic response with a consistent, gradual ramp up in volume and distortion unlike, for example, the classic Tweed Deluxe, which won't get much louder after noon on the volume dial! And thanks to the ultra effective master volume circuit we use, you will enjoy a gradual ramp up in output volume.
Note, this amp is not high gain so if you want to get singing sustaining distortion at bedroom levels with the master volume turned down low you will need a distortion pedal to achive that. The master volume was included in this circuit for the purpose of reducing volume when full volume is too loud.
The gradual increase in distortion as you dial the volume up gives you a LOT of range to set just the right level to use with your dirt boxes. Whether you want to start with squeaky clean, slightly hairy, all the way up to full out crunch, you can effortlessly find just that right spot. And if you're an old school type who likes to crank the amp all the way up and ride the guitar volume, the Club Master won't disappoint. As with all Nolatone designs, number one priority is, it MUST sound and feel great on plugging a guitar straight in!
About the Cabinet: It's VERY Special...
Several models in the Nolatone line share the same small combo cabinet. I've shipped many a Rotten Johnny, Wicked Johnny, Junebug, and others in this tidy compact little combo cabinet, and though many people have marveled at how big it sounds, and I've always loved the sound of it, it wasn't until I developed the Club Master that I really realized how special this cabinet really is...
In the process of developing the Club Master I did more A/B listening than with any other design I've done before because I wanted to make sure it was delivering what no other amp it's size could in terms of tone, projection, and pedal compatability. This process involved comparing the Club Master to many of the currently popular amps.
A great example, there are several popular boutique amps based on the Princeton Reverb. That seems to be a really popular platform these days as less and less volume is being allowed. Most of these use a stock, off-the-shelf Princeton Reverb cabinet like those from Mojotone.com or any other cabinet supplier. What I discovered is the Club Master sounds much larger and more dimensional than those amps. Many do sound great, not taking anything away from them or their builders, but sit the Club Master next to one and you might be shocked! The Club Master is a great sounding amp with great headroom for it's modest power rating, but a big part of that bigger sound is my cabinet!
Most of the stock cabinets are shallow in comparison to the 11" at the base slanting to 10" at the top of the Club Master cabinet. That depth, and the use of finger jointed solid pine make the cabinet sound deceptively HUGE, very resonant, and dimensional, in spite of the fact that the width and height are only the size of a Fender Blues Junior! Compact, easy to carry, light weight (Pine is lighter than plywood or MDF), and HUGE sounding!
Line a Club Master up next to some of the other offerings in it's price range. You may be shocked! Because it's custom, it's more costly to produce, but it's well worth it, because the most important feature ANY amp can have is GREAT tone, and that cabinet definately adds value to that feature!
The Club Master indeed is simple and, by design, has minimal features, but the most important feature of all is included in abundance: TONE!
Plug into a Nolatone Club Master. Your pedals will love it, and you'll love them right back!