Tweaker 40 review by Egnater

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.7 (16 votes)
Egnater: Tweaker 40

Price paid: $ 720

Purchased from: GC Boston

Sound — 9
I use this amp with a variety of guitars, including a Fender Strat, PRS SE Custom 22 hardtail, PRS SE Custom 24, and an Ibanez semi-hollow. One of the great things about the Tweaker is that it's so flexible, you can match it to any guitar and get any tone from pristine cleans to moderate rock distortion. As stated earlier, the two channels in combination with the Tweaker switches make it easy to dial in each channel to your preferences. As with the original Tweaker, the American/AC/Brit modes do a great job recreating the amps they impersonate. The 40 watt version also has a good deal more bottom end than the 15, which makes for a very full sound especially at high volumes. The increase in bottom end also makes the "vintage" mode more useful, as I found that mode slightly too thin on the 15. I do slightly prefer the breakup sound of the 6V6 tubes in the original Tweaker, but the 6L6 tubes by no means sound bad when pushed. Also, whereas I found the speaker in the 15 watt combo to fart out at high volumes, the Elite 50 is totally solid. The amp's distortion will reach what I call a moderate gain level, and easily increases when pushed with a boost or overdrive pedal. It won't reach a massive "rectifier" type gain level, but if you're playing straight up rock, you definitely won't be wishing for more gain. For example, the gig I just played it at was an 80's night, and I was playing GnR, Ozzy, Bon Jovi, etc. all night. I actually A/B'ed this amp against the Egnater Renegade, and was surprised to find that I liked the Tweaker 40's sounds much better. Overall, I couldn't ask for a better sounding amp that does such a great job emulating other classic amps. The original Tweaker was an instant classic for a reason, and the Tweaker 40 is no exception to the trend.

Overall Impression — 10
I've been playing for about 9 years now, and own a small variety of tube amps ranging from 5 watts to 100, including the Tweaker 15, and if I had to pick just one it would definitely be this amp. Between the power, tone, flexibility, features, and value, it can't be beat. I looked at a lot of different amps in a search for a medium powered combo around a grand, and just kept coming back to this one. It performed great at the recent gig I played it at, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a flexible and great sounding gigging amp.

Reliability & Durability — 8
I've only gigged this amp once so far, and am posting this review mostly because as of right now it's a very new amp and there are no other independent reviews available, but so far everything seems very solid. As with the 15, all the knobs and switches are solid, and the cabinet is nice and sturdy. I would have like some metal corners, to keep the tolex from ripping if it gets knocked around, but no problems yet there either.

Features — 9
The new Tweaker 40 lives up to the high tonal reputation set by the original Tweaker 15, while adding more power and features. I bought the Tweaker 40 combo soon after it was released in 2011. I use it to play rock, blues, and pretty much any other style except heavy metal. As an upgrade to the original Tweaker 15, the 40 offers 2 channels with a shared treb/mid/bass tone stack, and the USA/AC/BRIT mode switch is also global for both channels. Each channel features its own gain and master volume controls, as well as a host of 5 additional Tweaker switches: tight/deep, bright/normal, hot/clean, normal/mid cut, and vintage/modern. The Tweaker 40 now has a footswitch to control channel switching and effects loop on/off. The back panel hosts 2 speaker outs with a 4/8/16 ohm selector switch, a power supply voltage selector switch, and an effects loop with a selector for line or instrument (aka compatible with stompboxes) levels. The combo also holds a wonderful Celestion Elite 50 speaker, and a 6L6 based power section. Overall, this amp is extremely well endowed with good features. Since both channels have identical controls, they can be set up as clones with one channel louder for a solo boost, or for clean and dirty like a more traditional 2 channel amplifier. Normally I don't prefer amps with a shared EQ section, but the Tweaker switches make it very easy to adjust each channel for a particular sound. I do wish the amp had a solo boost function, as well as a reverb. Also, I would like to run the channels as different amp types, for example clean Fender and dirty Vox, but that switch is unfortunately global for the amp. In Egnater's defense, the amp modes may sound too different to sound good with a shared EQ. My only complaints about features the amp does have are that the controls are on the top of the combo, which if you put the amp on a stand or angle it upwards from the ground, means you have to lean way over to get a good look, back panel jacks are facing downward, rather than pointing straight out from the back of the amp, which can make things rather difficult as far a setup. But overall, the pro's definitely outweigh the few cons of this amp, and it's a very handy piece to have at a gig or for home use.

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I'm pretty aware of that fact, after 11 years of a happy marriage with a Vox Pathfinder 15... and 30 of playing on all sort of amps, some of them you've probably never heard of... Thanks for the lesson, I really needed it. If you knew to read, you would have spared all of us of your poor humour: since I've said "that invaded the market", it was clear I was only reffering to digital modelling amps, not common SSs, who are an old established presence in the guitar world - even on the pro stage, if you know George Benson - since the '70s.
    Sounds great. But, given the price, it's not for everybody. It's good to know there are still enough players to appreciate the real thing, instead of digital modelling toys that invaded the market. Excellent review by all means. Congratulations for your guitars stable.
    rv_phoenix wrote: Sounds great. But, given the price, it's not for everybody. It's good to know there are still enough players to appreciate the real thing, instead of digital modelling toys that invaded the market. Excellent review by all means. Congratulations for your guitars stable.
    Well not all solid state amps are digital moddeling amps try to remember that.