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Innovated PRS Archon 50 Heads and Combos
Innovated PRS Archon 50 Heads and Combos
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Innovated PRS Archon 50 Heads and Combos

Years ago, Paul Reed Smith introduced the now discontinued Archon 50 and Archon 100 tube amplifiers, which featured precise sound and a two-channel preamp. The approach applied to this segment is also offered by the new Archon 50 series, consisting of a 1x12 amplifier and combo. In addition to the models in the workshops, PRS also produced a pair of compact Archon 2x12 140 W/8 Ohm and 1x12 70 W/16 Ohm cabinets with closed back constructions.

In the upgraded series, the distortion channel has been modified with a wider range of gain (5-stage), from light crunch to a modern saturated sound, so the user can cover the sound spectrum from blues to metal with these amplifiers. Conversely, the clean channel provides a brilliant and solid tone even at higher gain levels. Featuring massive projection on both channels with a detailed, non-fading expression, the Archons also make a great platform for pedals.

The Clean and Lead channels feature completely identical functions, consisting of gain potentiometers, three-band EQs, a master, and a Bright switch boosting the upper midrange. A common Presence parameter operates at a slightly different frequency, and there's a global Depth control affecting the amount of lowest bands in the signal path.

On the main panel of brushed black lacquered aluminium we find, besides the input, a channel switch and a mains switch without Standby function. The instruments use a total of six ECC83S triodes from the Slovakian brand JJ. The terminal unit has also been redesigned with a 19H01-OPT output transformer and a pair of JJ 6CA7 power tubes, whose warm sound with pleasant highs and concrete bass ranges between the 6L6 and EL34 benchmarks.

The back panel is reserved for send and return series-connected, tube-treated effect loops, a footswitch socket for channel selector, three connectors used to adjust the bias of the end tubes, and five outputs for 1 x 4 / 2 x 8, 1 x 8 / 2 x 16, and 1x16 ohm cabinet impedances. Regarding the mentioned bias voltage of the power tubes, the manufacturer did not neglect to show the optimal values in millivolts.

The PRS Archon 50 2021 amplifier with dimensions of approx. 55 x 25.5 x 25.5 cm and weight of 14.7 kg can be purchased on the European market for an amount of around 1130 euros. A combo (55 x 25.5 x 46 cm, 19.4 kg) equipped with a Celestion V-Type 70W speaker costs about 1420 euros. In both cases, a one-button footswitch is included.

Tagy Paul Reed Smith PRS Archon 50

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For Insounder, I am mainly responsible for the news section and articles covering the gear of well-known musicians. I have been playing guitar in various bands for years and I also teach this beautiful instrument.