BY DIMITRI SIDERIADIS
In the music industry, a great sound isn’t always the ticket to surefire stardom. Many
artists toil and flirt with success, only to get
just a tantalizing taste of glory before the fickle public moves on. If they’re lucky, their work
endures on its own merits and is rediscovered
when nostalgia or taste catch up again.
The same fates can also befall the gear
behind the musician. Take the Dean
Markley CD60 for example. The original
CD60, released by Dean Markley in the
mid-’80s, was the subject of a loyal follow-
ing that included high-profile artists like
Alex Lifeson, Andy Summers, and Eric
Clapton. When anything related to lead
tones from the ’80s fell out of vogue, the
amp faded into relative obscurity. But as
this latest incarnation of Dean Markley’s
60-watt, 6L6-driven combo demonstrates,
its circuit is capable of much more than
’80s retroisms, and it impresses with a huge
range of rich, singing sounds.
Shapes of Things
Manufactured by Dean Markley Electronics,
the reissue of the all-tube CD60 is a faithful clone of the original. That said, it packs
in a few modern updates, including digital
reverb, a variable-level effects loop, and
PA-in and pre-out jacks.
Three 12AX7 preamp tubes and two
6L6s power the action under the hood by
driving a single, Celestion 12" speaker. The
cabinet is rather heavy at 42 pounds, but
it feels solid as granite. And though few
would call the CD60 classic looking, it has
an understated and utilitarian vibe about it.
It’s a smart, user-friendly amp that can be
maneuvered from a control panel that’s surprisingly uncluttered and easy-to-read.
to hear audio clips of the amp at
Clean and drive voicings