Silktone "The Silktone Amp"- KT66 Hand wired Combo Amp
Model: The Silktone Amp
The Silktone is a gorgeous 12-watt handwired combo with a single 12" speaker, powered by a single KT66 power tube. In other words, it’s that rare bird: an honest-to-goodness class A amp.
The Silktone epitomizes everything that’s exciting about class A designs. The tone controls are beautifully voiced—especially the wide-ranging mid pot. The dynamic response is phenomenal, especially when you bypass the tone stack in Raw Silk mode. It’s beautifully made from beautiful parts. I love this inspiring instrument and its uniquely commanding voice. - Joe Gore Premier Guitar Mag
TRUE CLASS-A • Experience the fullness and raw overdrive of single ended power tubes. The overdrive is fantastically layered and heavy, and the cleans are super transparent and full even at low volume. A lot of push pull amps don’t sound great until you have them turned up quite a bit - they don’t really start to wake up until they’ve got a big signal. Single ended tubes are at full bore all the time so you seem to get this fullness even at lower volumes. Of course louder is always better!
TUBE OPTIONS • The amp comes stock with a true KT66 power tube (some modern KT66 are just rebottled 6L6s), I think this tube is grossly underrated and bears all of the great qualities of the more common output tubes. It's more balanced and full than a 6L6, as airy and pretty as a 6V6 and as sweet and thick in the mids as an EL34 and has the most complex and musical overdrive out of the bunch. From top to bottom it is just better sounding. To each their own, though, and thanks to the cathode biasing you have the option to use 6V6 or 6L6 output tubes as well - without ever needing to re-bias. A 6V6 will reduce power output to 5-6 Watts.
DYNAMIC LOW-NOISE DESIGN • The hand-wired turret board layout is optimized with short-return isolated grounding techniques for low noise to promote dynamic and punchy tone. Single ended designs are inherently noisier than push pull designs so a lot of care was taken in getting the lowest noise operation without over filtering and killing the touch sensitive feel of the amp.
PREMIUM COMPONENTS • The Silktone Amp is loaded with top-shelf TAD Tubes and SoZo Blue capacitors, built as replicas of the old blue molded caps used in vintage blackface amps - they allow for incredible tone. The resistors are a mix of our favorite carbon and metal film with a couple carbon comp thrown in for flavor. An amps tone is shaped subtly but significantly by the quality of critical parts. Some capacitors and resistors can choke and smear the tone while some are too clean and end up sterile with no pleasing colorations, finding a balance is a journey in itself. Tons of different caps and resistors of different prices and qualities were tried and we ended up with a pretty good mix. We use custom Silktone cotton covered wire inside too!
PREMIUM PAPER-WOUND TRANSFORMERS • After trying all of the big well known high end transformer brands we ended up going with a paper wound vintage style transformer rather than the more common plastic wound modern style offerings. The plastic ones might have a little more detail and more of a hifi sound but the paper wound ones just have a way more pleasing sound overall. Very lush. Natural insulators always seem to sound better.
CUSTOM VOICED SPEAKERS AND CABINET • Possibly the most important part of voicing a combo amplifier is speaker and cabinet selection - this can make or break an already good amp. After trying 20 or so off-the-shelf speakers from various companies we ended up co-designing with Warehouse Guitar Speakers and came up with a perfect fit. It has an American style seamed cone but with more smoothness than a typical American voiced speaker thanks to the little tweaks we applied like paper insulated voice coils. The cabinet was also painstakingly optimized for the tone I was going for – the dimensions allow the 12” speaker to breath and sound really full with minimal bass cancellation. Zero-void Baltic Birch was used for a really dynamic and balanced sound. The combination produces a very open and smooth sound while still having a solid bottom and good growl.
“Chiffon” mode offers a huge variety of refined tones with it's TMB tone stack with wide-range Mid control. Cut the mid knob way back and you get a nice spongy scooped blackface tone – push the mids and your tone fattens up to the stylings of a bold & dynamic JTM. Push the volume to break up and get a nice harmonically complex & musical overdrive. Click down the tone switch to “Raw Silk” mode to bypass the tone stack for a huge gain boost – you'll get an incredibly sweet and transparent sound at lower volumes showing off the nuances of your guitar and pedals – push the volume and you can get anything from raw heavy crunch to thick layered distortion. All of this with a tube driven spring reverb that is as rich as it is versatile. With the combination of the 'Dwell' and 'Mix' controls you can get anything from a smooth & gentle echo to a huge drippy surf effect.
So what makes a good amp? What makes a great amp? Tight bass, creamy mids, smooth highs? Tubes? A lot of amps have these things but I wouldn't call all of them great. It's more of a feeling. A sound and feel that sparks creativity and makes you want to just keep playing. It's all about music. It's all about making music – whether on stage or in your bedroom – the best amp is the one you can't stop playing.
- Charles Henry
Features: Hand-wired fully single ended & cathode biased circuit
Output: Class A @ 12 Watts
Controls: Volume, Treble, Mid, Bass, Reverb Dwell & Mix, Tone switch for Chiffon (EQ Mode) and Raw Silk (Bypass EQ, Boost)
Tubes: 1 7025/12AX7, 2 12AT7, 1 KT66 , 1 5AR4/GZ34
Speaker: 12" Alnico
Dimensions: 21.25” x 18.5” x 10.75” @ 39 lbs.