Egnater Tweaker 15watt Tube Head and Egnater 1 x 12 Cab – Versatility plus!

Today we have an Egnater Tweaker 15watt head and cab to suss out.

Starting with looks, the Tweaker is a fairly compact unit, a bit smaller than your average 15 watt tube amp (smaller than a Laney Cub Head or a Marshall Class 5 etc). With its black tolex and beige coloured grill cloth it has a ‘Vintgey‘ look about it.

Egnater Tweaker 15watt Tube Head and Egnater 1 x 12 Cab

Egnater Tweaker 15watt Tube Head and Egnater 1 x 12 Cab

The head cab itself has some pretty cool design features, like how you can easily change valves from the back (good idea!). Also on the back, the Tweaker has a pair of sockets for its series effects loop and two more for loudspeaker cabinets, along with an impedance changer so for versatility and for people who like to ‘mix and match‘ it is well designed.

The effects loop is great, for your delays, choruses/modulation so you can crank the amp and not get distorted delay or modulation which sounds horrible! I will add upfront that this amp is not cheap, retailing anywhere from $500 to $750 here is Australia and it is Chinese made, although made under Egnater’s strict conditions.

A local guitar/amp retailer told me that they don’t stock them and need to be ordered in on request as they are perceived to be pricey for a Chinese made amp.

Okay let’s check out the wide range of versatility you can get. Some material I am using here is technical or specs and I will be using stuff from Egnater etc for the ‘dry stuff‘.

The Tweaker technically is a single channel amp, with controls for gain, three-band EQ and master volume. However that’s where the simplicity ends!

There are also five small toggle switches on the front panel that really do give a wide range of tones. It is marketed as being an amp that if you fiddle with it, you can cover most grounds musically and I would say this is true to a degree. So if you don’t want to ‘tweak‘ then the Egnator Tweaker may not be for you, unless once you find that ‘sweet spot‘ you just leave it.

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“Each switch does something at a different stage in the circuit,” Bruce Egnator claims, and also adds, “Tight and bright are at the beginning of the preamp stage.

The tight switch cuts some of the deep bass out at the beginning of the preamp. The clean/hot switch simply widens the range of the gain circuit. The vintage/modern switch is in the power amp. In vintage mode the power amp is basically flat – not in a bad way – while the modern setting bumps up the low and high-end for a little fuller, clearer tone” (end of long quote but wait, there’s more!);

“The magical USA/AC/Brit switch changes the tone control components to closely mimic the EQ response of three different classic amps.” From the play time I had I would say that it is a pretty good approximation, with the essence of Fender, Vox and Marshall coming through.

Although at times I felt that the amp did a lot of things well, but nothing really, really great. However still an awesome set of tones though. Admittedly I didn’t have an amazing range of guitars to test this out with, I have used a 1981 Fernandes MIJ Strat clone and a Lead Star (DDR) strat, so I would have loved to hear humbuckers through this.

The Egnater’s cleaner sounds have a brightness to them that isn’t harsh or piercing, with a generous bass response that’s easily tamed at higher gain settings using the tight switch; the bright switch works to add a little extra sparkle to humbuckers.

My one negative about the Tweaker is, that it didn’t quite do that warm ‘woody’ clean tone I love. For me the biggest tone drawback was the lack of warmth, but it may change with humbuckers and a different speaker (it was running through a Celestion G12-H30 Anniversary speaker…but I prefer Eminence..so..)

The gain switch worked really well, and took you from well behaved OD in the ‘Clean’ position, but flip it to ‘Hot’ added significant ball tearing distortion that made my Strat sing, so that was a great feature.

The EQ switch’s three modes; AC/USA/Brit really did shift the balance of the EQ and as mentioned we know what it is trying to emulate. While in the AC position there’s a definate Vox midrange/treble vibe going on, and this was probably my preferred for cleans.

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The USA was great for rhythm and rocky chords, and the Brit was great with high gain applications (not surprising really).

The vintage/modern switch adds more punch and presence in modern mode and the ‘Modern’ seemed a bit richer and fuller than the ‘Vintage’ to me, which thinned it out a bit (although for rhythm etc… it would be fine).

The Tweaker’s three tone controls provide adequate tonal sculpting but once you crank the Master Volume too much you lose some depth and clarity but then again it’s overdriving its valves so I would recommend driving this baby with pedals.

Okay a long post today so let’s give the verdict…

Now I did mention that it didn’t quite do that warm ‘woody’ clean tone I love but it provided a good quality foundation tone which would be great for using pedals to get your tonal options.

To be fair the Egnater has a lot of options, a lot of tones and a quality build from a reputable brand name. I found though it was a great bedroom amp as you can get great ‘pedal free’ gain at low volumes, and to be fair if I was stuck with it I wouldn’t complain.

As mentioned I found it a little bit ‘thin’ and lacking warmth, but that might be the speaker or that I was wasn’t cranking the amp hard to get it working. Personally I would have loved to have heard it through an alnico or Eminence Cannabis Rex speaker to thicken/warm up the cleans especially.

I think that a humbuckers guitar, especially a Les Paul style would go better than single coils. Also the amps strong point is it’s gain. Most other reviewers seem to like it, and I felt that it shone the best on its overdrive and gain sounds, but for cleans left me trying to keep bringing lower mids and ‘warmth’! However tone is so subjective! Over and out!

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End Date: Thursday Nov-1-2018 18:21:32 PDT
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Egnater Tourmaster 4100 Guitar Amp Head and Tourmaster 412A 280W 4x12 Guitar Cab

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Egnater Tourmaster 4100 Guitar Amp Head and Tourmaster 412A 280W 4x12 Guitar Cab

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Egnater REBEL-30 MKII 30 watt All-Tube Head amplifier head

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Egnater TWEAKER 112 COMBO 15 Watt 1 x 12 Tube Combo Amplifier

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About strataminor

Born in Brisbane I am a bedroom guitar player, although having played in front of churches (tough crowd!!) for quite a few years so some understanding of band dynamics, timing, gear (private use compared to public use) and melodic structure, instrumental breaks (okay leather pants solos....) and of course amps! Besides from my love of guitar and the G.A.S that goes with it (hey email me I am always offloading gear!! lol) I love languages, and can converse in basic Japanese, and study biblical Greek. I live in Logan with my young family (so not heaps of time at the moment) and will be contributing gear reviews based on a lot of gear I have or still currently have.

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