NAD: Secret Agent!

Make it loud here.
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Maggieo
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NAD: Secret Agent!

Post by Maggieo » Sat Dec 12, 2015 3:30 pm

It's amazing.

Quickie demo here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUS_LRPh10w

From Ty's ad:
After extensive R&D, I'm proud to offer the Secret Agent Amplifier from Pierce Custom Instruments! I've been working to combine the best Fender tones from the 1960s into one powerful grab-and-go combo, and I do believe I've succeeded...

The circuit starts with the Fender 6G2 Brownface Princeton - including the hallowed bias-vary tremolo from that era! - and adds in Blackface-styled reverb. Tone is then refined to tighten up the bass response, create a bit more clean headroom and add a Dwell control for additional tone shaping over the reverb signal.

Everything is handwired on fiberglass eyelet board with quality components. I use CTS pots and dual-covered wire (cloth over insulation) so these amps are built to withstand a gig at Bob's Country Bunker. This amp is built with vintage-spec carbon comp resistors in the signal path, and all the resistors in the power circuit are metal film for durability.

Output is around 14W into a 10" speaker with a cabinet that's slightly larger than a Princeton or Blues Junior, and it sports a full-size 17" reverb tank. The speaker is a Weber 10F150T, which is a great pairing for this circuit and adds a bit of volume over Alnico options.

The tone is incredible. Cleans are warm and full, and it winds up into overdrive beautifully. The uncluttered signal path of the 6G2 perfectly straddles the mid-heavy Tweeds and sparkling Blackface clean. It responds beautifully to your guitar's volume knob and your pick attack, and it will get flat-out mean when you cut it loose. Throwing a clean boost in front of it makes things even more fun, goosing the preamp into a tighter sound with more single-note definition.

The reverb is the ultimate addition. There's plenty of sproing on tap, but I've added the Dwell control lets you pull things back into a more tasteful space that's closer to a room/hall reverb than the typical Fender sound.

And the tremolo? Oh, the tremolo... I've owned the pedals that try to replicate this sound, and let me tell you that "try" is the operative word. This tremolo is not-to-be-believed. It makes Blackface trem sound like an on/off switch - Pure Duane Eddy, and I've wired it with plenty of sweep on both Speed and Depth controls to get whatever version of vibe or seasickness your ear desires.

Physical dimensions
20" wide X 18.25" high X 9.5" deep
35 pounds w/ a 10" speaker

For the cosmetics, I drew inspiration from the "Tuxedo" editions that existed between the Brownface and Blackface eras. I've always thought the Tuxedo 6G2 Princetons were handsome bastards, so the Secret Agent sports lacquered black tweed with wheat grill cloth, Cream knobs and a black leather handle.

Additionally, this amp is sporting an upgraded mix of NOS and current production glass. The tube complement is as follows:

Rectifier: NOS JAN 5U4GB
Power Tubes: Matched pair of NOS Sylvania 6V6s
Preamps: JJ 12AX7
Reverb Driver: JJ 12AT7
Phase Inverter: JJ 12DW7
“Now I am quietly waiting for/ the catastrophe of my personality/ to seem beautiful again.”- Frank O'Hara
I am not an attorney and this post is for entertainment purposes only. Please consult a licensed attorney in your state for legal advice.

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Re: NAD: Secret Agent!

Post by kosmonautmayhem » Sat Dec 12, 2015 7:08 pm

Really cool! The 6G2 the amp is based on is one of my favorites! I would have a really really hard time choosing between that or a PR. This seems like the best of both worlds. 8)

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Re: NAD: Secret Agent!

Post by Maggieo » Sat Dec 12, 2015 7:57 pm

Thanks!

Here are Ty's photos from his ad:
It got a real punchiness to its sound. I like it. A lot.
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I am not an attorney and this post is for entertainment purposes only. Please consult a licensed attorney in your state for legal advice.

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Re: NAD: Secret Agent!

Post by KeithJ » Sun Dec 13, 2015 7:48 am

That's a really cool amp, it sounds great! Love your playing in the demo, too!

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Re: NAD: Secret Agent!

Post by Maggieo » Sun Dec 13, 2015 12:31 pm

KeithJ wrote:That's a really cool amp, it sounds great! Love your playing in the demo, too!
Thank you!

I was just messing around, off the top of my head, and exploring the sounds that could come out of my new amp.
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I am not an attorney and this post is for entertainment purposes only. Please consult a licensed attorney in your state for legal advice.

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Re: NAD: Secret Agent!

Post by Maggieo » Sun Dec 13, 2015 1:17 pm

Cat approved:

Image
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Re: NAD: Secret Agent!

Post by Steadyriot. » Sun Dec 13, 2015 2:57 pm

Looks like a fun amp, sounds like it too!
Black tweed is the best tweed.
Whats up with the controlpanel, it looks like it bulges out a bit.
"If someone duetted with a Bald Eagle, they could rule the Country charts from here to eternity." ~shadowplay

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Re: NAD: Secret Agent!

Post by Maggieo » Sun Dec 13, 2015 3:32 pm

Steadyriot. wrote:Looks like a fun amp, sounds like it too!
Black tweed is the best tweed.
Whats up with the controlpanel, it looks like it bulges out a bit.
The faceplate seems to have buckled a bit in shipping or something.
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I am not an attorney and this post is for entertainment purposes only. Please consult a licensed attorney in your state for legal advice.

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Re: NAD: Secret Agent!

Post by Steadyriot. » Mon Dec 14, 2015 12:39 am

Maggieo wrote:
Steadyriot. wrote:Looks like a fun amp, sounds like it too!
Black tweed is the best tweed.
Whats up with the controlpanel, it looks like it bulges out a bit.
The faceplate seems to have buckled a bit in shipping or something.
That's too bad!
Oh well, doesn't take away any of it's functionality.
"If someone duetted with a Bald Eagle, they could rule the Country charts from here to eternity." ~shadowplay

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Re: NAD: Secret Agent!

Post by Maggieo » Mon Dec 14, 2015 8:51 am

It must have been a temperature thing, the faceplate is flat after spending a night in my house!
“Now I am quietly waiting for/ the catastrophe of my personality/ to seem beautiful again.”- Frank O'Hara
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Re: NAD: Secret Agent!

Post by kosmonautmayhem » Mon Dec 14, 2015 7:16 pm

Finally had a listen! Woah! Very similar to a 6G2 but with a lot of it's own thing too. Tasty. Very Tasty.

Don't you love how the trem dies out when you hit a chord really hard and then it fades back in. :shifty:

What's funny is that I don't like the Weber 10F150-T in my 6G2, but I LOVE it in my PR. Sounds great here though!

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Re: NAD: Secret Agent!

Post by Maggieo » Tue Dec 15, 2015 8:50 am

kosmonautmayhem wrote:Finally had a listen! Woah! Very similar to a 6G2 but with a lot of it's own thing too. Tasty. Very Tasty.

Don't you love how the trem dies out when you hit a chord really hard and then it fades back in.

What's funny is that I don't like the Weber 10F150-T in my 6G2, but I LOVE it in my PR. Sounds great here though!
The trem on this amp is magnificent and I love how it picks up on the harmonics and sings with them. And they dynamic response- the fade in and you you're talking about is so natural, it's like the amp is breathing.

Right now I think the Weber 10F150-T needs to be broken in a bit more- the attack on the notes is a bit too sharp and punchy for my taste, but that means it will only get better and better as time passes.
“Now I am quietly waiting for/ the catastrophe of my personality/ to seem beautiful again.”- Frank O'Hara
I am not an attorney and this post is for entertainment purposes only. Please consult a licensed attorney in your state for legal advice.

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Re: NAD: Secret Agent!

Post by kosmonautmayhem » Tue Dec 15, 2015 9:49 am

Very cool. I totally hear you on the harmonics on the trem. With my 6G2 it was very natural right when i got it - and even better after re-biasing the power tubes of course. My PR took some internal tweaking of the speed & depth to get it, but now they both sing. Love bias vary trem so much! Sounds like yours is nicely dialed in too. I was following the secret agent thread and it looks like a really high quality, well-tweaked piece of equipment! :-*

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Re: NAD: Secret Agent!

Post by 46346 » Thu Dec 17, 2015 12:01 pm

ooh - congrats! I'd love to try one sometime.

rad to orange friend, too.
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Re: NAD: Secret Agent!

Post by Maggieo » Thu Dec 17, 2015 12:56 pm

Thanks, guys!

I am very impressed and delighted with the Secret Agent.
“Now I am quietly waiting for/ the catastrophe of my personality/ to seem beautiful again.”- Frank O'Hara
I am not an attorney and this post is for entertainment purposes only. Please consult a licensed attorney in your state for legal advice.

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