Working with the Twinolux’s volume at about
30 percent and the tone controls at noon, the
bridge pickup on the Stratocaster was pretty
trebly and even a little thin for 1st-position
chords. It’s not a bad setup for playing mellow blues shuffles, Prince-style funk vamps, or
Slowhand’s own patented “Lay Down Sally”
muted-and-popping rhythm style. But to really
make a Stratocaster work for more rocking and
bluesy stuff, you have to kick up the Bass and
bring the Treble down to about 25 percent.
What you lose in high-end definition, you
can add with a nudge of the Presence control,
which can also lend a little more body and
color to the amp’s essentially compressed voice.
The hotter output and rounder, almost
P-90-like qualities of the Jaguar’s pickups
were a better fit. And with an overdrive
pedal in between the Jag and Twinolux, I got
a clearer picture of how accommodating this
amp really is—the Twinolux does a remarkable job of communicating the personality
of guitar and effects, and it really seemed to
love the kick in the pants it received from
my battered Tube Screamer without sacrificing an ounce of its own flavor.
The most natural sounding pairing for
the Twinolux was the humbucker-equipped
Telecaster, which seems to tame the amp’s
treblier tendencies and works well with its
natural compression. The neck humbucker in
particular is especially well suited to the amp’s
wide-open, high-volume settings. Here again,
the Twinolux benefits from conservative use of
treble and generously applied bass. But explor-
ing higher volumes with a wide-open hum-
with your touch will open up a world of
dynamics. This is where the presence control
comes in handy too, and you can lend more
harmonic balance and space to a very muscu-
lar basic tone with a boost in the Presence.
Exploring higher volumes with a wide-
open humbucker seems to enliven every
last shade in the Twinolux’s tone palette.
bucker seems to enliven every last shade in
the Twinolux’s tone palette. The amp will stay
sparklingly clean (and plenty loud for a rockin’
drums/bass/keyboard combo) up to about 30
to 40 percent of full volume. After that, the
Twinolux doesn’t really get louder, just more
compressed and overdriven. But each increase
up to full blast adds another hue to the amp’s
crunchy and singing voice, and a little finesse
Twinolux—a beautiful, round and husky vio-
lin tone that will transport you straight to the
domain of Ulysses—or beyond if you put a
Tone Bender or Fuzz Face out in front and roll
off your guitar tone. Even at its most aggressive
settings, this amp still loves fuzz and overdrive.
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