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Friday, July 13, 2012

New toys for Usky

Current mood: rejuvenated

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There are two toys in my collection of playthings I have yet to introduce you to. The first is a beautiful new Telecaster copy in Candy Apple Red made by the Tokai company of Japan.

I saw this beauty advertised recently and drooled over it… I could almost feel it in my hands… its body snuggled against mine… its super slinky strings beneath my fingers…

Well as you know I find shiny things very hard to resist and after a few days fantasising I cast caution to the winds and ordered the latest love of my life; she really is a beauty and sounds so sexy when driven hard.

I could wax lyrical for hours on end, but I don’t want to bore you to tears… besides I know you’re dying to find out what the second of my new toys is…

I’ve heard it said every serious guitarist at some stage in his career forms an association with a Bandit… an association that in some cases leads to a long-term affair. The only bandits I’d ever associated with were either plumbers or taxi drivers, so I decided it might be time to rectify that state of affairs.

In 1980 the American Peavey company introduced a new guitar amplifier to their range and called it The Bandit. Twelve months later the Bandit evolved into its first variation. In 1983 a second variation came on stream and a legend was born. Over the years there have been a number of different Bandits and they are still in production today, although these days they are produced in China. So anyway, I saw this mid-nineties Bandit 112 advertised on eBay… talked to the vendor… decided to bid… and was successful.

The Transtube Series Bandit 112 formally introduced Peavey’s proprietary “Transtube” technology that allows a solid state amplifier to perform more like a vacuum tube amplifier. Central to the Transtube concept is a patented “power brake” that allows the user to control the amount of power required for dynamic range compression from the power amp, from 100% all the way down to 10%, thus enabling the amplifier to acheive power amp compression without running at full volume. The Transtube Series Bandit 112 was made in Meridian MS USA and came stock with the Sheffield 1230 speaker. Notably, it was also the first Bandit to have an external speaker jack, allowing external speakers to be run instead of or in parallel with the internal speaker. Running into 8 ohms, power is still 80 watts RMS, but running into 4 ohms (the equivalent of using the internal 8 ohm speaker together with an 8 ohm extension speaker) the power is increased to 100 watts RMS. Due to the horizontal strip of chrome underneath the controls, this version is commonly referred to as the “Silver Stripe” Bandit, but due to the black color and square shape, it is sometimes called the “Blackbox” Bandit.

I know, I know, I’m obviously becoming a bit of an anorak! 

So that’s it really as far as Usky’s new toys go, but I dare say there’ll be other new stuff to tell you about sometime soon. 

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