This is the first Bartel Starwood to feature the new push/pull bright-switch on the volume knob. The new feature makes using Humbuckers at very low volumes even more present than ever, retaining even more sparkle than on past models. No need to adjust your tone levels when switching between Single Coils or Humbuckers in home or studio use; just pull up on the volume knob.
From Bartel Amps:
The 28W Starwood is a purist design, all tube 1×12 combo with reverb powered by a pair of 6L6 tubes. Its’ single channel Multi Voice preamp offers an incredibly wide range of voicings ranging from sparkly cleans to thick, woody tweed to driven plexi crunch and grind. It includes tube driven spring reverb with both mix and dwell controls to fine tune the reverb sound to be as splashy or subtle as you choose. The solid wood cabinet with unified baffle/body construction delivers a lively, deeply resonant, and unconstricted sound. A unique master volume circuit is extremely transparent, maintaining the same sound and vivid presence all the way down to bedroom volume.
Purist Design: Based on the idea of achieving sonic purity through simplicity and traditional construction. This means all-tube circuits impeccably handwired with the finest components, simple, easy to use controls, and no extraneous features that would compromise the signal path.
Multi-Voice Preamp: The innovative Multi-Voice preamp allows you to dial in an incredibly wide range of classic vintage tones using only the Bass and Treble controls.
Voicings span from the sparkling, transparent clean tone of a Super Reverb with plenty of clean headroom, to a thick, beefy Tweed tone with that classic Tweed breakup, to a Plexi crunch with swirling harmonics that stays tight no matter how hard you hit it.
Innovative Master Volume: The master volume circuit delivers an astonishingly natural sound and feel at even very low volume. It operates on a different principle than a traditional master volume, and is based on the saturation properties of the interstage transformer coupled phase inverter. The result is an ideal solution to volume reduction, as it delivers the immediacy and presence of a traditional master volume (which can be lost with an attenuator) along with the natural overdrive tone, subtle compression, and 'feel' of playing a cranked amp which is lost with a traditional master volume circuit.
Cabinet: The handcrafted, finger jointed, solid pine cabinet is designed to impart the tonal qualities of a fine acoustic instrument and built with a level of craftsmanship that far exceeds conventional speaker cabinets. The result is a tone that combines exceptional depth, richness, and dimension with a vivid, engaging presence. The baffle board is also solid pine, stress-free, multi-section, with mahogany speaker flange.
28W 1x12 Combo Amplifier
All Tube, Handwired Circuitry
Single Channel Multi-Voice Preamp
Spring Reverb with Mix & Dwell Controls
Innovative Master Volume Control
Footswitch: Reverb On/Off
Dimensions 22.5" x 18" x 11"
Circuitry handwired on custom fabricated turret boards
Paper Bobbin Layer Wound Transformers
Silver Plated Wire
Handmade Leather Handle by Brookwood Leather
Custom molded knobs and other appointments
Tweed covering material finished with 5 hand-brushed coats of lacquer
Unified body/baffle construction
Cabinet body: solid Eastern White Pine
Baffle board: crafted from 12 pieces of solid Eastern White Pine and African Mahogany
Special recipe coating compound applied to preserve natural acoustic behavior.
Upholstery applied with natural hide glue for superior acoustic response.
Celestion Alnico Cream Speaker
Tubes: 3x12AX7A, 2x12AU7, 2x12AT7, 2x6L6GC, 1x5AR4
Interstage transformer coupled phase inverter
Tube driven reverb circuit
Ideal circuit layout for lowest noise floor and purest tone
Cathode biased output stage
No negative feedback
As you might expect from the specs (cathode biased 6L6s, no negative feedback, paper bobbin layer wound output transformer, etc.) it can certainly deliver vintage tweed tones, but it can do so much more as well. You can dial in a mid-scooped tone like a Deluxe Reverb, a chimey jangle like an AC30, or a crunchy, grinding tone like a Plexi.
The acoustic response of this amp is something special too. It cuts through amazingly well on stage but never sounds shrill or piercing – it remains thick and full like a saxophone. In spite of its powerful stage presence, it sounds fantastic in a home environment too – full and rich, with intense clarity but never sounding overly bright, even at very low volume.
I should also mention the master volume circuit. It’s incredibly transparent and really makes the Starwood so much more versatile and usable. It preserves the harmonic balance and the dynamic response a lot better than a conventional master volume circuit, so the tone and feel remain consistent down to bedroom volume. At the same time, it preserves the presence and immediacy of the sound better than a power attenuator does, so in my opinion it’s the ultimate tool for transparently reducing volume to any level.
On top of all this, the Starwood is built with bulletproof construction and instrument-grade craftsmanship inside and out. I build each one myself here at my Baltimore shop, and I’m delighted to offer this model as part of my new product line.
– Mark Bartel