BY STEVE OUIMETTE
Anacon Technology’s Aleksander Niemand is a restless and very busy
man. When he’s not tinkering in his workshop in Gothenburg, Sweden, he’s chiming
in on amp discussion forums. But, by now,
most probably know him for the Zagray!
amp, which was unveiled in its prototype
stage at the 2010 New York Amp Show.
The Zagray! experienced a very public birth. The much-discussed 23-watt,
7591-powered head went through a variety
of well-documented circuit tweaks and redesigns before it was ready to ship. So when
the amp arrived, I already knew a lot about
the Zagray!’s development and designer—
enough to have me twitching at the chance
to check it out in my own studio.
The Zagray! is a cool, unique marriage of
modern and industrial design, Art Deco
motifs, and a Scandinavian wood-and-steel aesthetic that looks like an antique
radio scrambled up in a future-bound time
machine. The chassis is built of powder-coated steel, a steel cage keeps the tubes
ventilated well, and rolling, wood handles
are handy, comfortable, and lend a touch
of country craft. If desired, it can be fitted
with optional flanges so it will fit into a
into a standard 19" 5U rack.
A peek through the steel cage reveals a
12AY7 and four 12AX7 preamp tubes, two
7591 power tubes (a favorite of Gibson
and Ampeg designers in the ’60s) and two
toroidal transformers. The circuit is laid out
on two double-sided PCBs, and switches,
pots, and tubes are mounted to the chassis
and handwired to the board.
Dual 7591 power tubes
Midrange shaping section