Soul Tramp Amplification - Tweed 12

Soul Tramp Tweed 12

General Information

The Tweed 12 is my take on the Fender Tweed Deluxe. I don’t build clones, but the circuit design on the Tweed 12 is fairly close to the original. It’s the one amp in my product line where I can’t claim to have created something entirely new. I have made changes where Fender got it wrong and made other changes where I felt it made for a better sounding amp. Since it’s not a clone, I make no attempt to stay period correct. I don’t use carbon comp resistors; I use Mercury Magnetic transformers, quality capacitors, switches, pots, jacks, etc.

The other area where the Tweed 12 differentiates itself is in the cabinet design, construction, and appearance. It’s made of dovetail joined ¾” pine. The baffle mounts (top & bottom) are not only glued, but they are dowel pinned, and they are 3/4", not 3/8" as the original. The baffle is ¾” Baltic birch, not 3/8" as the original. As the old tweed cabs have floating baffles, I feel the thick heavy ¾” baffle projects better than the original.

I finish the tweed with 11 coats of shellac and lacquer. You’ll notice I don’t use the ugly dog-bone handle, but rather a heavy leather piece that is much prettier and stronger. As well, you’ll notice the pretty gold woven grill cloth, not the plain ugly brown that was common with tweeds and clones.

The Mercury Magnetics transformers are a significant contributor by delivering a wide bandwidth which allows allows the subtle harmoncis to ring-through. The note separation and note bloom are dramatic with the Tweed 12. You can hear this throughout the first demo.

What I do with the speakers is very unique to this amp. I mix a Ferrite and an alnico with different voicings. The ferrite speaker has a wide bandwith and exceptionally solid low freqs and very crisp high freqs. The alnico provides a very smooth compression that melds with the clean ferrite. The result a a voicing unlike any other tweed I've ever heard. The slide demo really highlights this characteristic.

The Tweed 12 unleashes the the full potential of the 5E3 tweed that was choked by circuit issues and speaker/cabinet dynamics.

  • 12 Watts
  • 6V6 X 2 Power Tubes
  • Tube Rectifier
  • Cathode Bias
  • 2X10 Combo Cab
  • 2 Channels (Clean & Soul)
  • Weber Speakers

Despite the presence of the pedal board in the following video, no pedals were used.
If I remember correctly it was recorded with an H4N.






Latest reviews

Pros: Incredible take on the "Tweed" iconic sound. Very flexible with included Boost and the "Soul" channel just nails that Extra that you want. Most beautiful and authentic Tweed covering possible.
Cons: Not enough people can have / experience this amp. But those that do get the additional blessing of dealing with Don, who is just the nicest guy.
I came to MLP initially because of the Squawk Box sub-forum. I was interested in the builders, and wanted to learn to build an amp for myself. Don provided valuable support and encouragement on my path to successful building. But I wanted something that I was not quite ready / able to do for myself.

This Tweed 12 was exactly what I was wanting. A vintage-looking and sounding lower-powered combo, with a perfect mix of features and sounds. His Soul channel is a beautiful sound, all on it's own.

I didn't just jump off the cliff, sight-unseen, into a purchase from "someone on the internet". I had met @Malikon and seen / heard his Soul Tramp custom made amp head in person. While that steam-punk beauty was not "my" sound, it was a fabulous example of amp building and more than enough proof to me that Don could provide what I was looking for.

And it was a perfect fit with his Tweed 12 product. I really like the character of 6V6 power tubes, and with the Soul channel, Bite and Boost switches it has more sounds and more flexibility than any strictly "vintage" amp available.

I'm a hack guitarist. But I want my gear to not be the reason if I sound "less than stellar". This Tweed 12 makes the sounds I make incredible, even if the musicality is "dubious". It actually encourages me to play more, because I can get lost in the tones (and finding them), and I hope that leads me to more practice / eventually improving as a player. Let me say that a different way : this is gear that Makes ME Better than I am on my own.

And the vanity of it all. I want stuff to "look the part" - and this just DOES. Don puts so much effort into his builds. The Combo is better constructed than what you find on the shelf anywhere. And his Tweed covering ? There is only one way to describe it : "Yummy". The extra effort he puts into the Shellac job just screams "this is a serious piece of "Vintage" gear" - but built for today. Honestly, I'd buy it on cosmetics alone (I'm that shallow ?).

Don is a great asset to MLP. Very easy to deal with as a Vendor, and his product just excels in quality. Buying something that you can't go out and try first requires a certain "leap of faith". Don gets around that by providing good pictures and demos that really gave me confidence that I was making the right choice. But really, even the unboxing exceeded my expectations. Packed impeccably, and shipped quickly, it arrived perfectly. And included a wonderful custom Cover to keep this beauty protected.

I can honestly say, if a "boutique" amp experience is what you are looking for, this is it.
Don builds incredible amps. Amps that sound amazing and you're proud to own. I have lots of guitars and amps but my Soul Tramp Tweed and my Soul Tramp Custom are without doubt my favorites. The quality and attention to detail (and of course the sound) are unmatched by anything else I own.

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