Jackson Ampworks McFly Amp Head - Black & Ivory
Brad Jackson's original circuit, featuring classic American Tweed harmonic richness with added wattage versatility in the power section!
What we think:
The Jackson Ampworks McFly is their take on the best sounding tweed-era American amp of all time. Separate operating modes for the preamps, power tubes, and 2 separate voicings make this one serious amp to be reckoned with. The initial sound is robust and rounded, a low-end response that booms but never over-the-top. The mid-range is sweet and open complemented by an airy treble frequency that never gets harsh or shrill, seeming to sparkle at all volumes and gain-stages. The preamp modes enable sweet cleans with massive headroom, or a sound a little quicker to break up with more sustain available. The power scaling option, like all Jackson Ampworks with this feature, is absolutely life changing. Take that perfect tube driven tone and dial it back for any appropriate volume. Don't have the wattage dictate your tone, and perfectly execute those driven tones of yesteryear in your bedroom or in the studio. The choice of picking between 6V6 and 6L6-GC power tubes, or blending the latter, puts virtually every American tone at your fingertips from sweet cleans to tweedy growl. Resolve, definition and clarity - three tone essentials that have been executed to utter perfection within this amp. The Jackson Ampworks McFly is sure to become a staple of their line.
The McFly from Jackson Ampworks is our first amplifier to be released in our new American Series line and is our take on the best sounding and most flexible Tweed Style amp ever made. For the first time ever, you can get authentic Tweed era tones as well as Blackface era tones all from the same amp!
The McFly very proudly features a 6SN7 preamp tube as well as a 6SN7 phase inverter tube. This 8 pin preamp tube was the precursor to the modern 9 pin 12AX7 style preamp tubes that are common now and is in large part why the McFly has the wide frequency response it has. With the McFly, your low-end will remain crystal clear and punchy at frequencies well past the low E string on your guitar. In addition, your high end will breathe with the openness and air of a studio-grade preamp as these unique preamp tubes allow the full voice of your instrument to be heard.
This preamp, which has two operating modes (50’s and 60’s) gives you two distinct preamp modes with which to sculpt your tone. The 60’s mode is the cleaner of the two modes and will give you more clean headroom and is perfect for musical styles where a warm vintage Blackface type clean tone is needed. The 50’s mode is more aggressive and has more preamp gain which gives the McFly its signature Tweed era tone! In the 50’s mode, you’ll notice that notes sustain longer and will often take off into controlled feedback at will.
To complement the 6SN7 preamp, we have chosen to run a unique set of power tubes in the McFly. The McFly features two cathode-biased 6V6 power tubes which allow you to get the classic clean tones of a Blackface Deluxe amplifier in the 60’s mode or the aggressive rhythm tones of a Tweed Deluxe in the 50’s mode. The McFly also includes a cathode biased pair of 6L6-GC power tubes which offer a higher wattage clean tone in the 60’s mode and a more robust overdrive tone in the 50’s mode. If you’re familiar with Jackson Ampworks you know that we typically don’t leave well enough alone. We always expand players tonal palette and offer more than they expect, and we’re proud to say that with the release of the McFly, that tradition has continued. To help you create a host of new tones that blur the lines between Blackface and Tweed, the McFly allows the player to select both types of power tubes simultaneously! This feature allows the player to blend the rock solid and dynamic response of the 6L6-GC power tubes with the softened compression of the 6V6 power tubes to create a hybrid tone that is uniquely their own!
Output Power For Each Power Mode:
6V6 13W 18W
6L6-GC 25W 40W
Both 46W 70W
To round out the feature set for the McFly and to make the amplifier more useful in volume sensitive environments, we have included power scaling with the McFly. Power scaling allows the player to adjust the output power of the amplifier from max power (depending on power mode) to 1/8th of a watt! This feature allows the player to get true output tube distortion at a fraction of the original volume and will actually help to extend the life of the power tubes as they are not being run as hard when in the power scaling mode!
To guarantee reliability and that your tone is never restricted, we have custom designed an enormous 200W Output Transformer that couples the power tubes of the McFly to your speaker cabinet. Having an output transformer that is 3 times over-spec’ed guarantees that you’ll never destroy it no matter how hard you run the amp. Furthermore, by over spec’ing the output transformer, we have insured that every bit of tone that is created by the power tubes will be transmitted perfectly to your speaker cabinet will no loss of low end or high end. With our new 200W output transformer, you will maintain the entire frequency response of the amplifier regardless of how loud you run the amp! Compare this with most amplifiers that lose low-end and high-end definition at high volumes and cause the mid-range to “bunch up” and lose overall clarity.
We are very proud of the McFly and feel that it is a very worthy conclusion to the over 18 months of design, engineering, testing, development and tweaking we have done to bring you the first amplifier in our new American Series line!