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I've been really excited to talk to you folks about this review - the Magnatone Panoramic Stereo...

Phil O'Keefe

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I'm amazed they got all that goodness into 36 pounds.


I know! I was really surprised that a mid-sized 2x10 tube amp could be that light - it's only a pound or two heavier than a 1x10 Princeton Reverb.


But they didn't cheat or cheap out with thin cabinetry like you'll find on say, an old Lab Series L5 - it's all solid wood construction - it's built really well.


Love Magnatone vibrato/tremelo.


It's just sooo sick! Plus the ability to use an expression pedal to control it makes it so easy to manipulate it on the fly, which can be extremely musical if you do it right.


It's just an exceptional amplifier. Sweet cleans, breaks up very musically, plenty of clean headroom for use with pedals (it LOVES pedals), enough power to hang with a band, not so much size or weight that it's a PITB to carry... for recording, it just might be the perfect amp. The only thing I wished it had was a stereo effects loop, but I don't know where they could mount it - there's really no room unless they used the existing jacks and re-purposed them for that - but most people will probably prefer having the stock external speaker outputs and the recording compensated line outs instead, so I can understand why they decided not to include one.


I strongly encourage everyone to give one a try if the opportunity presents itself - I think you'll be blown away. I was.

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I had to do some investigation as to how they could get a stereo output using only one inverter tube. All their vintage designs had two inverter tubed, one for each channel.


The amp does have two output transformers, driving two separate speakers so its outputs are independent.


The two power amps must be getting their phase inversion from 1/2 of the inverter tube using Split-Load phase inversion (cathodyne) instead of an Isodyne circuit which uses both halves of the inverter tube and is more common in push pull guitar amps.


The Split Load used in this amp has a much lower gain level (which accounts for the clean tones) and isn't as balanced as using two inverters because of tube capacitance. I suspect a singer inverter may make it easier to apply the vibrato signal which produces a stereo phase shifting vibrato effect from the two speakers.


Given the design, and the fact its a small combo, I'd make sure to replace the inverter tube with a high quality, high output inverter on a regular basis.


The inverter is low gain to begin with its not very linear because of the internal capacitances of the tube. A weak tube will only cause more imbalance. The two sides of the wave are not quite identical between the grid and the plate or the grid and the cathode due to tube capacitance(which is why most amps use a dual inverter) Luckily their values aren't off by too much so cleaner tones wont be affected to greatly. They are sensitive to loading however and when that tube becomes weak the amps performance will take a hit.



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