Dual Melvin 32

Wicked Garden Specs
Power Output 32 watts
Output Tubes 2 - EL34 Cathode Bias (32 watts)
Preamp Tubes 1 - 12au7/ecc82, 4 - 12AX7
Rectifier Solid State (Plugin, tube rec compatible)
Controls Clean Channel:Volume, Bass and Treble
OD Channel:Gain, PI Drive, Bass, Mid, Treble
Global Controls: Master Volume
Switchable Controls Channel Select, Pull bright (clean channel only)

Available Configurations

Head TV Front or Glaze Panel
1x12 Combo TV Front Pine or Split Panel Birch Ply
2x12 Combo TV Front Pine or Split Panel Birch Ply
Dimensions See our cabinets page for more info

Click here for Pricing

Design Description

Dual Melvin

The Dual Melvin is our second channel switching amp, joinging the unique Wicked Garden in the Nolatone lineup. We've taken the exception clean channel of the Wicked Garden, and paired it with a very special OverDrive channel based on a Hot Rodded Plexi circuit. So you have AC30 top boost clean channel and Hot Rodded Pexi overdrive channel footswitchable between the two.

Though many love the unique experience of the original Nolatone designed Wicked Garden overdrive channel (It is truly unique, not based on any classic circuit), we decided to offer a channel that fits in the "comfort zone" of more players. There are some design features that are indeed "uniquely Nolatone", but the controls and response of the Dual Melvin overdrive channel will be familiar to many.

The Dual Melvin is not just another Hot Rod Plexi clone with a clean channel bolted on! As with most all Nolatone designs, we try to offer an experience different from the clone manufacturers who base model their amps from the classics.

The Dual Melvin is designed to have a life all it's own. It breathes. Notes played through the clean channel ring out and swell and bloom with swirly goodness. If you use a compressor pedal, you may find yourself not wanting to switch it on. This is by design. Very interactive and expressive. These are all things that the AC30 is known for, and the Dual Melvin clean channel delivers it in spades, especially with the cathod biased configurations (32, 22, and 18).

That same design feature that makes the clean channel bloom makes the OD channel want to swell into harmonic feedback. With the gain levels pushed it just drips with harmonics. Ringing notes, even bends will readily swell into harmonic feedback. The amp just feels *alive*! Instead of stuffing 24 notes into that one sonic space, thanks to the beautiful musicality of the Dual Melvin, you may find yourself wanting to hold that one note longer than you ever have before. That's why I say "Rock and Roll has grown up!"

  • Dual Melvin 50: Similar output configuration as a 50 Watt Plexi with fixed biased EL34's driving a beefy Mercury Magnetics output transformer. The 50 is the loudest and most aggresive of the bunch (though 100 watt would be louder of course! I've never had the call to build this in 100 watt, but you could be the first!). Those who want the more tradition Hot Rod Plexi experience may prefer this configuration.

  • Dual Melvin 32: With a cathode biased output section into a Mercury Magnetics Radio Spares output transformer. This transformer is a bit less aggressive and a bit more harmonically rich than the one used in the 50. The touch response and harmonics are stunning. Choose between EL34, 6L6, or KT66 output tubes.

  • Dual Melvin 22 : The 22 uses a pair of cathode biased 6V6s into a Mercury Magnetic Radio Spares output transformer configured with 8k primaries to match with 6V6s. This transfermer has the same size/iron content as the 32 watt version, so this makes for a very potent 22 watt amp, be warned!

  • Dual Melvin 18 : The 18 uses a pair of cathode biased EL84s into a Mercury Magnetic 18 watt marshall transformer set. This delivers all the surprisingly potent punch you'd expect from an 18 watt Marshall, but with the amazing tonal flexibility and harmonics this preamp design offers.

If you want more headroom than you can expect from 18 watts, this is a great choice, and even if 18 watts is enough, the way the 32 "breathes" even at lower volume settings is very special and makes it a winner in either case. This amp is unlike anything else you are likely to ever play. A rewarding experience!

The Wicked Garden 32, being cathode biased, means it will work with other 25 watt power tubes like KT66, 6L6, and others in that power range.

Use your imagination. In spite of the relative simplicity of the Wicked Garden controls, the tonal flexibity is truly amazing.

Read on for "The Full Story" of the Wicked Garden Design

Click here to expand (or hide)

The Wicked Garden is the result of three years of development. Unlike many channel switching amps on the market, where design emphasis was clearly put one one channel or the other, great effort was put into both channels of the Wicked Garden.

Because it is a channel switcher, I *demand* a rewarding clean channel that inspires, something most high gain monsters simply do not offer. The Wicked Garden has an amazing clean channel while at the same time offering an overdrive channel that takes you all the way up to the heavy rock realm and with amazing flexibility. You might buy the amp and love it for either channel alone, but you get two exceptional channels with the Wicked Garden!

While offering exceptional clean and overdrive channels, I wanted it to remain as simple as possible, with controls carefully thought out to deliver actual usable flexibility, but without an overwhelming array of tone robbing switches so many channel switching amps seem to have.

Much of this work was spent dialing in a voicing for the overdrive channel and settling on a what tube configuration to use for the input stage, which is shared between both channels. The input state I arrived at is the pentode configured 12dw7/ecc832 used in the Road Hogg and Chimey Limey designs. That stage adds great life to the clean channel while adding a nice extra push to the OD channel. It also works great with pedals making the Wicked Garden that much more versatile.

During development a lot of time was spent with my favorite high gain British amp, the Silver Jubilee. To me that's the epitome of great rock-n-roll preamp overdrive hence the basis for what I wanted to hear from the Wicked Garden's OD channel. NOTE:The Wicked Garden is in no way a clone of the Silver Jubilee, though its overdrive channel is very much in that ballpark tonally. I love how the Silver Jubilee has all the gain I might want, but it's all usable. The Wicked Garden shares this trait but by using a very different circuit approach.

Along the while of tweaking the OD channel, I was constantly laboring over how best to configure the clean channel to get a great inspiring tone with a minimal number of knobs to keep it simple. A rewarding and inspiring clean channel was an essential part of the design. I've played too many channel switchers that clearly the clean channel was a check box on the design spec sheet, and nothing more. After extensive experimenting, I arrived at a clean channel consisting of volume and high/low contour knobs. These are essentially the same thing as the treble and bass controls found in a Top Boost circuit found in the legendary 30 watt 4xel84 amps that were such a huge part of the British pop sound of the 60s and so much of the current pop sound as well.

You may find yourself enjoying the clean channel on the Wicked Garden so much you may have to remind yourself to switch the OD channel. It really is that good!

It really is an amp that covers both moods and needs VERY well. No longer do you need another amp for your cleans

These tone controls are uniquely interactive. If you are familiar with that classic British 30 watt amp with this circuit, you will be right at home. If not, it may take some getting used to, but there are a lot of sounds that can be pulled from that tone stack and there are great rewards for taking the time to become familiar. Hint: turn both high and low contour knobs up past noon and mids start to cut and you get sparkly highs and fat bottom ala black face. Turn both back down below noon and the midrange comes back balancing out the highs and lows for a completely different tone. Tweak to taste and have a ball!

Moving on over to the OD channel, there's a rather interesting array of controls that you may not be used to but should quickly make sense in practice: There are two gain controls (Girlfriend and Stripper...a tounge in cheek reference to the "rock-n-roll lifestyle"). For the OD channel, well three really if you count the OD volume itself which controls the overall volume of the channel, but also controls how hard the phase inverter is driven in overdrive mode, and that has a considerable impact on the resulting overdrive character. Hint: For the fattest OD tones, crank OD volume all the way up.

Girlfriend and Stripper gain control the volume setting for two separate gain stages. These two stages are voiced differently, so subtle differences in texture can be achieved depending how how you set these. The main benefit is the excellent control in staging the gain on the channel. Fine tweaks to gain levels are easily achieved by varying these two knobs and the control of they provide prevents tweakiness that can occur when one control sets the gain level for multiple cascaded gain stages. Also, by turning both controls down below noon an entire world of clean to slightly dirty tones can be explored. This allows you to dial up the Wicked Garden with two different clean sounds and channel switch between them. Gone is the "too much gain after 9 o'clock on the gain knob" debacle so many high gain amps have making them only good for high gain.

The low frequency is controlled by a 6 position clicker switch, like that seen on our popular Rotten Johnny. Midrange is controlled by the "Scoop" control which is our unusual stand alone mid control, also used in the RJ. The OD channel also has a Treble control to roll off the highs.

This arrangement for shaping low, mid, and high is different from traditional controls used on most amps where are part of a tone stack. These controls are more transparent than a tone stack, retain more harmonic complexity, and allow a range of tones to be dialed up independently of an inherent tone that tends to be imposed in tone stack circuits that cannot be dialed out.

The end result is an overdrive channel that delivers the naturally compressed tone people love overdrive channels for with all the sustain and harmonic feedback most could need, but in a way that can be easily cleaned up by rolling back on the guitar volume. This channel drips with harmonic content and musical overtones.

Put both of these channels together and control the overall output volume with the global master volume (post phase inverter) and you have one potent package which delivers everything from rivers of sweet, chimey, shimmery cleans that can be pushed to satisfying classic output section crunch to smoking hot crunch and sustain that will have you grinding the rock of ages. And when you're not rockin' out at volume on stage, you can crank the gain and turn the master down and grind endlessly at levels you can talk over. No need for power scaling or attenuation. The OD channel on the Wicked Garden *feels* like a cranked tube amp.

From the bedroom to the arena, we've got you covered with the Wicked Garden.

Click here to hide The Full Story

What's in a Nolatone