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  1. #1

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    Hi all!

    I've been praying for - and hinting at - a pedal-size amp with on-board reverb. Well, Quilter Labs was supposed to launch their SuperBlock on April 26, but you'll already find it, and a couple of demo videos, on their site. The US version has three Fendery voicings: tweed, brownface and blackface. The British version is voiced after Voxes and Marshalls. A good many bells and whistles in a compact and lightweight package: reverb, three-band eq, fx loop, cab simulation, FR and so on. Separate DC power unit, so this amp can also be street-fed from potent enough batteries.

    I was told by informed sources that the output corresponds to 22W tube. Well, it's now rated at 25W @ 8 ohm. My lingering worry is about clean headroom, which is the Achille's Heel of the Interblock 45. The demo videos, predictably, don't dwell too much on cleans. Watts turn into decibels in so many ways that only testing will bring out the usability of this ultra-promising micro amp for straight-ahead jazz. If yes, here's another public transit compatible option for the urban warrior.

    SuperBlock US Quilter Labshttps://www.quilterlabs.com › entry


    Disclaimer: To quote a Finnish saying, I have my own cow in the ditch. This amp just might be the perfect companion to my TOOB and Metro cabs. All it takes is to catch one and find out.
    Last edited by Gitterbug; 04-21-2021 at 01:37 PM.

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  3. #2

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    Very interesting. What kind of battery would power it?

  4. #3

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    Oh my. With the 3 fender era voicings, that is something I will have to give serious consideration.



  5. #4

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  6. #5

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    This is gonna sell like hotcakes.

  7. #6

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    This seems very nice! I love my 101R head.

  8. #7

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    Hmmm... the Interblock 45 claimed 33W @ 8Ohms.

  9. #8

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    Here could be a suitable up to 24V power bank.
    Toutes nos excuses

    According to specs, the SuperBlock can be run on even 9V DC for reduced power.

    As for the 25W power rating, let's give the new product the benefit of the doubt. If the power is tube-like, it's adequate for much. For example, Mooer Baby Bomb (30W) and H & K Spirit of Vintage (25W) are seriously loud.

  10. #9

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    I'm certainly interested in this - I just hope the 25 watts is a loud 25 watts.
    It would be cool if they made a head version of the new Aviator - that might be more what I'm after as it'll have a bit more headroom.

  11. #10

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    If nothing else, as a preamp unit this looks promising

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    If nothing else, as a preamp unit this looks promising
    Quite. Crossed my mind as well. Yet, the user manual claims 25 tube-like watts, with more mulling inside for headroom. If so, enough for practice and small gigs. A perfect physical match to your Metros, sitting lengthwise on the amp dock, with the row of controls facing the player.

    Looks like the news escaped prematurely and in an uncoordinated way. The product is and is not on the Quilterlabs website, and Thomann shows but does not find it. Quite a departure from the stylish Aviator Cub launch.

  13. #12

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    I wonder -- in a class D amp, how expensive is it to up the output wattage? I see class D bass amps with -- well, the Quilter Bass Docks have 450W @ 8Ohms and that's not unusual. You can always turn down a SS amp, why are we worried that one wouldn't cut the mustard? Shouldn't they always be designed with more than enough on tap? I keep thinking that would not add a lot to the cost, but I have no idea.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyLoveHandles
    I wonder -- in a class D amp, how expensive is it to up the output wattage? I see class D bass amps with -- well, the Quilter Bass Docks have 450W @ 8Ohms and that's not unusual. You can always turn down a SS amp, why are we worried that one wouldn't cut the mustard? Shouldn't they always be designed with more than enough on tap? I keep thinking that would not add a lot to the cost, but I have no idea.
    Skimming the net, you will discover that China offers high-wattage Class D Bluetooth amp modules for the price of a Big Mac meal. If you order X hundred, that is. Going up a few leagues, Danish-designed IcePower power amp modules can be found inside many name-brand guitar amps, including Henriksen and Raezer's Edge. Own-design preamp and controls then justify makers' claims such as "unique", "vintage", "mojo" and "made in USA."

    Quilter designs from scratch, I believe. If you want to pack as many features as possible into the least amount of space and keep it light, you have to avoid cooling fans, heat sinks and large toroid transformers. The outer dimensions of SuperBlocks indicate they've succeeded.

  15. #14

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    If I didn't have a Tone Block 202 head already, I'd be tempted. Nice solution for a pedal board direct to front of house and monitors!

  16. #15

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    This one is very similar to their new Fender-mimicking Aviator Cub combo amp. The Cub has double the output wattage, adds a really good Eminence speaker and weights only 22lbs. I got a Cub a month ago at MF with a 20% off coupon and I highly recommend it...best SS amp I have played.

  17. #16

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    249 $? I want one.


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  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by docsteve
    249 $? I want one.


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    Wahrscheinlich, Musikhaus Thomann posted info on these a bit prematurely. It remains to be seen when they have the product in stock - probably some time in May. By that time, first user comments should be there. If the price info is correct, it sounds like a steal!

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gitterbug
    ...

    I was told by informed sources that the output corresponds to 22W tube. Well, it's now rated at 25W @ 8 ohm. My lingering worry is about clean headroom, which is the Achille's Heel of the Interblock 45. The demo videos, predictably, don't dwell too much on cleans. Watts turn into decibels in so many ways that only testing will bring out the usability of this ultra-promising micro amp for straight-ahead jazz. If yes, here's another public transit compatible option for the urban warrior.

    ...
    I have the Interblock 45 and haven't noticed any problem with clean headroom. Could you be more specific?

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    I have the Interblock 45 and haven't noticed any problem with clean headroom. Could you be more specific?
    I wish I could! Constantly testing amp/cab combinations with several amps up to 200W, I find the Interblock short of clean headroom in my test corner. This in particular with 6.5" cabs, with 92 dB sensitivity and even lower if acoustic suspension is present for deeper basses. I guess I'm just setting the rib too high. The other thing is, I'm constantly fiddling with the mid-eq for the right tone. Gigging with the old boys' band I'm in (everyone else is 80+), no problem. And against other Quilters I've used, the Interblock has more bass, which I appreciate. An Interblock with reverb was all I could pray for. The SuperBlock offers a lot more, providing the watts are real and the headroom is there.

  21. #20

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    This thread has inspired me to dig out my Traynor QuarterHorse 25 Watt Microamp. This saves me some dough.

    Whew! That was close!*

    * I watched a couple of in-depth reviews and the Quilter is definitely top-shelf stuff. Budgetary issues aside, I'd really like to have one. However at present, a little fiscal discipline is in order.**

    ** Not that something might be worked out post-tax refund time....***

    *** I'm beginning to think I have a devious mind.

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gitterbug View Post
    I wish I could! Constantly testing amp/cab combinations with several amps up to 200W, I find the Interblock short of clean headroom in my test corner. This in particular with 6.5" cabs, with 92 dB sensitivity and even lower if acoustic suspension is present for deeper basses. I guess I'm just setting the rib too high. The other thing is, I'm constantly fiddling with the mid-eq for the right tone. Gigging with the old boys' band I'm in (everyone else is 80+), no problem. And against other Quilters I've used, the Interblock has more bass, which I appreciate. An Interblock with reverb was all I could pray for. The SuperBlock offers a lot more, providing the watts are real and the headroom is there.
    I'll check it out. I generally play it through a cab with a 12" speaker (quilter cabinet) and haven't notice a headroom problem, but I also don't drive it as hard as some might. So I'll experiment and see if I can find the threshold, although I don't have the knowledge or equipment to test as carefully and precisely as you do.

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by citizenk74
    This thread has inspired me to dig out my Traynor QuarterHorse 25 Watt Microamp. This saves me some dough. Whew! That was close!*
    * I watched a couple of in-depth reviews and the Quilter is definitely top-shelf stuff. Budgetary issues aside, I'd really like to have one. However at present, a little fiscal discipline is in order.** | ** Not that something might be worked out post-tax refund time....*** | *** I'm beginning to think I have a devious mind.
    The now-discontinued Quarterhorse is a very neat device and has some useful effects on it to boot. I carried one around in my gig bag for several years as an emergency spare amp, but never had to use it, so I sold it. These days (pre-pandemic), I use my old Polytone Baby Brute for that purpose.

  24. #23

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    I am not sure if I have missed something here. Does the Quilter mentioned here drive a speaker ie a passive speaker, or does it have to be coupled to a driven speaker cab?

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by 0zoro View Post
    I am not sure if I have missed something here. Does the Quilter mentioned here drive a speaker ie a passive speaker, or does it have to be coupled to a driven speaker cab?
    They say a 4-16 ohm passive speaker, with 8 ohms the loudest. This is unusual. You can find the user manual on the net already.

  26. #25

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    Is this more than just a tarted up InterBlock 45?

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyLoveHandles View Post
    Is this more than just a tarted up InterBlock 45?
    I love the Interblock 45 but it does have some quirky features. Like trying to use the Effects Loop Return for an auxiliary input. Still, though I'm thinking of selling it just to thin the herd, I do like this little amp. With my Lunchbox 6.5" speaker, it's a tiny little unit that can go lots of places.

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    I have the Interblock 45 and haven't noticed any problem with clean headroom. Could you be more specific?
    Not sure if this is what Gitterbug meant but I’d be specifically concerned about playing with drums. This has not been a problem with the BAM200

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Not sure if this is what Gitterbug meant but I’d be specifically concerned about playing with drums. This has not been a problem with the BAM200
    I guess I should try to crank it up and see what happens.

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gitterbug View Post
    (...) I find the Interblock short of clean headroom in my test corner. This in particular with 6.5" cabs, with 92 dB sensitivity(...)
    Well... 92 dB is LOW!

    If 3 dBs double the volume (I am not sure about how valid that 'law' is) something about 99 or 100 dB should be 4 times louder. And more headroom.

  31. #30

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    At 249$ or 300€ after VAT and import taxes I think I’ll buy the UK model with a Marshall sound, a Vox AC30 and an AC30 top boost sounds. That will give me a nice range of amp sounds to go with my TMDR and BAM200. Listening to the demo on the Quilter site I felt the Top Boost had all the clarity of the 1964 Top Boost I had back in 1975, and it would be nice to have the option of that “chime” again.
    The big question will be deciding on a suitable speaker for it.......so many choices and life is short.

  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Herbie View Post
    Well... 92 dB is LOW!

    If 3 dBs double the volume (I am not sure about how valid that 'law' is) something about 99 or 100 dB should be 4 times louder. And more headroom.
    Low, yes, but a fact of life. All 6.5" speakers are in that ballpark, even lower. Yet, Henriksen Bud and Blu owners praise them and use them even in big bands. Modern Class D amps offer plenty of power in a small package to offset the lower sensitivity. I'm not sure what kind of speaker resides inside a Lunchbox nowadays. The original has a 88dB speaker! To blur the picture even further, the smaller the speaker, the broader its projection. To me, this means that the off-axis SPL declines less steeply than with larger speakers. Perceived loudness in a band setting also depends on how punchy the trebles are. A 96 dB Jensen Blackbird sounds clearly louder than a 98.5 dB Tornado. I invariably play with a brighter setting in a band than alone, just to cope with the drummer. If there's a piano or, worse still, accordion in the band, the airspace tends to get crowded and it takes some leadership to avoid an outright shootout within the rhythm section.

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Herbie View Post
    Well... 92 dB is LOW!

    If 3 dBs double the volume (I am not sure about how valid that 'law' is) something about 99 or 100 dB should be 4 times louder. And more headroom.
    If I am not greatly mistaken, a 3db increase needs twice the power to achieve.

  34. #33

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    I can never conceive of "twice as loud". I know the definition follows from physics, but loudness seems more like a psycho-acoustic thing.

  35. #34

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    Great features, but 25 watts at 8 ohms doesn't even begin to get close to gigging volumes, unless it's a really quite, drumless gig. So for most players this will be considered a home amp. Especially since nowdays, when considering tiny D class heads you have the choice of many 50-60, or even 100 or more watt ones.

  36. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gitterbug View Post
    Low, yes, but a fact of life. All 6.5" speakers are in that ballpark, even lower. Yet, Henriksen Bud and Blu owners praise them and use them even in big bands. Modern Class D amps offer plenty of power in a small package to offset the lower sensitivity. I'm not sure what kind of speaker resides inside a Lunchbox nowadays. The original has a 88dB speaker! To blur the picture even further, the smaller the speaker, the broader its projection. To me, this means that the off-axis SPL declines less steeply than with larger speakers. Perceived loudness in a band setting also depends on how punchy the trebles are. A 96 dB Jensen Blackbird sounds clearly louder than a 98.5 dB Tornado. I invariably play with a brighter setting in a band than alone, just to cope with the drummer. If there's a piano or, worse still, accordion in the band, the airspace tends to get crowded and it takes some leadership to avoid an outright shootout within the rhythm section.
    Ok, my surprise was based on my limited experiences. I have been operating mainly with 12” guitar speakers and their sensitivities are usually nearer to 100 than 90. Thanks for enlightment!

  37. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by citizenk74 View Post
    If I am not greatly mistaken, a 3db increase needs twice the power to achieve.
    I had to study this over again and You are totally right.

    And ”the law” also says that ”doubling the feel of loudness needs 10 dB more volume”. Which would mean about 8 times more power.

    I use quotation marks because I am not sure about how true is this with real life guitar amps and speakers. As Gitterbug says the eq knobs are often better way to make Yourself heard than the vol knob only.

    But I can hear the connection with the headroom and sensitivity of the speaker so I can say ”there is something in these figures”!

  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alter View Post
    Great features, but 25 watts at 8 ohms doesn't even begin to get close to gigging volumes, unless it's a really quite, drumless gig. So for most players this will be considered a home amp. Especially since nowdays, when considering tiny D class heads you have the choice of many 50-60, or even 100 or more watt ones.
    I don’t think you can evaluate it like that.

    I have two micro heads, the 200 watt TC Electronic BAM200 (class d) and the 30-50 H&K Spirit of Vintage. Both recommended by Gitterbug. While I wouldn’t want to play a metal gig with either, for a jazz gig with drums they provide more than enough headroom with the TOOB Metro (good speaker sensitivity?) Both provide more or less the same volume range.

    No idea what’s going on there then!

    So, I just think wattage is kind of unhelpful here. 25w seems on the low side for solid state, but so much depends on speakers and what type of technology Quilter is using. I’d have to hear it.

    Look forward to hearing Gitterbug’s thoughts on the new Quilter. That’ll probably decide it for me.

  39. #38

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    Christian, thanks for your confidence, but don't consider me an authority! I'm just a tinkerer who happens to fall in love with micro-amps. In this current spring fever, I should be getting the US and UK SuperBlock versions within weeks. Depending whether Quilter's pipeline selling is already in progress or will start as of official launch on Monday 26th, there may be earlier evaluations available. Quite some interest among the Gretsch tribe, for example.

    As for speaker sensitivity, the SICA 6 L 1.5SL on your Metro 6.5BG is actually rated at 91dB. There's a standard way of measuring it on a certain size baffle in an echoless chamber, on 1W output at 1 m distance. While the response curve of this speaker is fairly linear, I haven't seen any data on how it responds to more watts. What matters of course is what kind of SPLs it reaches in various cabs. The acoustic suspension built to the Metro BG actually reduces sensitivity while enhancing the clean bass response. The Metro GP, which has 1/16th of the felt dampening of a BG on the back panel, is louder and brighter. To get an idea, try the BG speaker on the FR housing, which is the same as GP+, only orange rims instead of red. A 4 mm Ikeator (hex key) is all it takes.

    Cheers,

    Markku

    Edit: There are, of course the well-known theoretical formulae establishing how much power must increase for a given increase in SPL: twice the power for + 3dB, four times the power (eg. from 25W to 100W) for a 6 dB increase, which is tangible. This roughly means that for the volume you get from a 25 W, 12" outfit (98 dB sensitivity), you should need 100W for a 6.5" speaker (92 dB sensitivity). In practice, speakers, cabs and amps have their own personality. The more articulate, the better they cut through. Moreover, jazz audiences are mature and don't expect ear-piercing volumes in social situations such as clubs and restaurants. That leaves us with one minor problem: the proverbial loud drummer...
    Last edited by Gitterbug; 04-25-2021 at 03:30 PM.

  40. #39

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    Don’t know in which context y’all play but I have a 45 Watts Quilter Micro Block with a 12“ speaker and my band (5 piece brass, drums, bass, no piano at the moment) constantly asks me to turn it down.

    (The only amp I could ever turn up in that band is a 5 watt Champ clone.)


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  41. #40

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    Wow, I think I have to try one of these. Love the 3 era voicings. If it's truly equivalent of 20-25 tube amp watts, then it's enough for me. I can use it for direct stuff, into a cabinet, or as a tiny backup. At the very least this could be the pedal that finally makes me move on from a Tech 21 Blonde for going direct...and with more options.

  42. #41

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    A-a-and it's appeared, properly, on the Quilter website: Pedal Series Quilter Labs

  43. #42

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    "Twice as loud" facts:

    Something sounding "twice as loud" is not a definable or measurable quantity. (Like: The Jim Hall concert was "twice as good" as the BTS concert.)

    Twice as much "sound pressure" is measurable and equal to a 6db increase. (Does this sound twice as loud......???).

    To achieve twice the sound pressure (6db) with the same speaker (no additional speakers), you need 4 times the electrical power (watts)

  44. #43

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    Definitely temped by the Interbass. Anybody else curious about the Interbass model for jazz use? Saying this die to the success of the Walter Woods bass amp design used with jazz archtops (Tal, Barney, Herbie, others).

  45. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by maggles55 View Post
    "Twice as loud" facts:

    Something sounding "twice as loud" is not a definable or measurable quantity. (Like: The Jim Hall concert was "twice as good" as the BTS concert.)

    Twice as much "sound pressure" is measurable and equal to a 6db increase. (Does this sound twice as loud......???).

    To achieve twice the sound pressure (6db) with the same speaker (no additional speakers), you need 4 times the electrical power (watts)
    Accurate but not satisfying. Maybe a better comparison would be to say it keeps up with a classic amp, like a Blackface Deluxe Reverb or Twin Reverb, when running though the same cabinet. Sort of an apples to apples thing,

  46. #45

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    The thing I miss on all Quilter pedal amps is the lack of a proper aux. input. The effects return just doesn't do the job for me. How hard can it be to just put a decent aux. input?

  47. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by maggles55 View Post
    "Twice as loud" facts:

    Something sounding "twice as loud" is not a definable or measurable quantity. (Like: The Jim Hall concert was "twice as good" as the BTS concert.)
    And what are we comparing, exactly? Because I was never impressed with Jim's dance moves compared to K-Pop stylin'


  48. #47

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    Also showing now on Thomann's European sites at a surprising 235€ with 2-3 weeks for availability. I expected it to be higher, so that's excellent news

  49. #48

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    Hey all, well, as hard as we try to keep things under wraps it seems that without fail our product releases always get out a little early. No big deal! A little buzz is welcome. Now that the amp is out I can clarify a few of the power questions in this thread. So I hope this doesn't come off like a company trying to shill their product and instead just provides some manufacturing / design insight.

    We do design our own power amps. A big part of our "thing" has to do with how the amp interacts with the speaker. To the best of my knowledge all of the off-the-shelf power amps are setup with a low output impedance / high damping factor. Nothing wrong with that, but tube amps have a high output impedance / low damping factor relationship with the speaker. This setup in a Class D system is a one part of our patent. The MircoBlock and InterBlock both had the more traditional solid state setup. The SuperBlock is our first pedal amp to feature the tube amp-like low damping factor scheme. Pat had a bit of a breakthrough and figured out a way to make it work with the external supply.

    As for power at different impedances, the output voltage of any amplifier rises and falls at different frequencies as it meets the speaker's impedance. On a bench you will get a different rating on 4 or 16 ohms vs 8 ohm, but it will "feel" very much the same with this amp. Internally the amplifier is using a lot more than 25 watts to do what it does, but we say it is as loud as a 25 watt tube amp and will show that on a bench.

    Hope that helps!

  50. #49

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    Do we know whether these have the new (more adjustable) tone stack of the TB202?

  51. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jehu View Post
    Do we know whether these have the new (more adjustable) tone stack of the TB202?
    Yes, they do. The EQ controls are active.