Valve amps. Tube amps. Same thing. It just depends where you reside mostly. Me, I use both terms. It’s as close to bilingual as I get. For today’s article however I’ll try and stick with the term valve. Why? Well the manufacturer of the amplifier I’m craving this week is The Valve Amplification. I imagine they like to use valves in their amplifiers. Especially the 105 Bimbo head. That’s the amp I want this week.
Apparently the word bimbo is Italian for baby or child from 1 to 3 years old. Maybe it should mean 1/20 to 5 because that’s the wattage range this handy little amplifier has. Perfect for my home playing needs. What I like on top of this sensible home-use wattage is the attenuation control which ensures the tone you get from the amplifier is as good at 1/20 watt as it is at 5 watts. After all, I’m after a valve amp because I want improved tone right? Yes I do. Here’s the details that make it sound good.
- 5 watts (can go down to 1/20 watts)
- Class A with attenuator
- Gain, Tone, Volume and Attenuation controls
- Speaker outputs (4, 8, 16 ohms)
- 1 x JJ Tesla E34L valve, 1 x ECC83 valve and 1 x 12AX7B valve
As usual I haven’t played through this amp. Yet I just mentioned how good it sounds. How do I do that? Magic? No. Internet? Yes. The number of videos The Valve Amplification company has provided us with is just amazing. In today’s day and age that’s just awesome. The official 105 Bimbo head web page features 14 videos on its own. You need not look anywhere else. Unless you’re keen of course. Then search away. You’re likely to find more of the same.
My favourite video is the demo of a home studio recording at incredibly low volumes. That and the other videos for this video make me think I could consider buying this head having never actually played through one. We’ll see what happens at the end of this year and the end of this article series.
Disclaimer: I’ve not played through this head. I have not experienced the sound or tone of this head other than through video. That doesn’t matter. It looks awesome, it’s obviously played by winners and I want one.