Speed Twin C50 review by Trace Elliot

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Features: 6
  • Reviewer's score: 7.5 Good
  • Users' score: 8.2 (5 votes)
Trace Elliot: Speed Twin C50

Price paid: $ 915

Purchased from: Leeds Music Store

Sound — 8
I'm using a Fender Thinline Telecaster with humbuckers at the moment, and my band play piano/synth indie mainly, which it suits well (for the record, James from MSP uses this amp for the clean channel in his main rig). The clean channel can go from uber ear piercing treble to a mellow purr, and has a nice harsh blues distortion when turned up full (tube overdrive is the sex). I use the overdriven channel mainly and cut my volume back for cleans, which it does admirably. With the low output pickups it gives a great responsive twang and crunch. I've used this amp in heavy bands, country bands, rock, indie and pop bands and I've always been able to get a good sound out of it, although I did have to use an SD-1 overdrive in front of it to get a truly brutal sound.

Overall Impression — 8
I've been playing 3 or 4 years, most of them in gigging bands of one kind or another. I've never managed to find another of these, and Gibson have stopped making them under the Trace Elliot name, so I'm glad that even 3 years ago as a gain obsessed teenager I managed to make a good choice in amp and chose it over the bog standard Peavey combo I was considering.

Reliability & Durability — 8
It's never broken down on me, but occasionally the tubes come loose in transit, so I always check they're both working in standby before I play. Had it retubed the other week and it sounds even better.

Features — 6
I've owned this amp for around 2 years, and before that it was apparently sat in someones home studio for a few years, so it's a pretty old amp. Despite this its still in pretty mint condition, and covered in the most badass green leather you've ever seen. It's pretty versatile really, two channels, two gain stages (crunch and lead with switching), effects loop (again with switching), two master volume settings (need footswitch to use) and push/pull pots for brilliance (on clean channel) and upper mid-boost (on overdrive channel). It can also be switched between pentode and triode preamp stages for lower volumes and more saturation. I rarely use this feature though. I play small gigs, some of which are mic'ed through PAs, some not and practices with it. It's only a 1 X 12 combo and open backed, so I sometimes hook it up to a 4 X 12 Marshall cab for some extra volume and bass punch, but so far it's always been loud enough. It's all tube.

5 comments sorted by best / new / date

    WhiteTempest wrote: I'm jealous! But why is it only ranked 7.5...sounds like it should be getting an easy 8.5 - 9!
    Because the reviewer is honest.
    Nice Amp. Well Built.
    Yes...very honest, I have the head of this amp and I would easily give it a 10 because 12 out of 10 would be just too much. Joke aside, this is a great unknowned and under-rated amp (made in UK por favor).And sooo cheap because of that.
    I'm jealous! But why is it only ranked 7.5...sounds like it should be getting an easy 8.5 - 9!