Egnater Tweaker 40 amp review

In a world with versatile modern nutube amps, modeling amps, hybrid amps, sampled guitar sounds all trying to offer you both flexibility as tube tone, this Egnater Tweaker amp almost looks like a straight forward old school tube amp. But is it?

Sampled guitars can be tricky. Sometimes they work well. Sometimes, even with the most painstakingly multisampled, velocity-switched libraries, they end op sounding  stiff and artificial. Modelling amps are getting better and better, but somehow even the best sounding modelling amps or amps like the Kemper Amp still sound different from real tube amps. There have been previous attempts to tackle the problem by moddeling the behaviour of guitars and amp circuits with software, there are even software mechanisms to mimic the interactions of pick, strings an fingers. But so far, if you ask me, nothing sounds quite as a tube amp.

Egnater Tweaker amp

The Egnater Tweaker 40 is a 100% tube amp with two identical channels and as the 40 suggests it’s 40 Watts. You can tweak your tone to your preferences, but (much) more than on most conventional tube amps. No it’s no match for a modern modelling amp or the like when it comes to tweaking options like multiple amps simulations and storable effect combinations, midi banks to recall different sounds and so forth. But it is a real tube amp that offers the three big names in guitar amp world where almost all other amps are built upon; Fender, Vox and Marshall. Or as Egnater calls it, the USA/AC and Brit switch.

Bruce Egnater has a very good reputation, especially in the United States, for tweaking and building amps for famous guitarists. The Egnater Tweaker amp is built in the far east and is therefore affordable. Beside the toggle switch between USA/AC of Britt there are a lot more switches to tweak your tone with. And that’s where it stands out compared to other tube amps, that’s why it’s not juist a straightforward old school tube amp.

Controls

FRONTPANEL
From left to right there are the standard Power on/off and Standby on/off switches. Then it gets interesting. There are two Master volumes (Master 1 and Master 2) and both have their own Vintage/Modern switch. The vintage setting will provide a more vintage sound, more open and lush like the older tube amps. The Modern setting will provide a modern sound wich is more compressed and tighter. Both channels are identical, so you can treat them both the same or completely different except for the shared equalizing controls (EQ). 

After the Master volumes there is the USA.AC/Britt switch as mentioned before. Then there are the shared equalizing controls Treble, Middle and Bass. Some people will find this annoying because they want to switch between two completely different sounding guitar sounds. Personally I find it no big deal, because I always set the equalizing so that it maches my guitar. Once you set the EQ you can tweak whether you want this channel to be tight or deep, hot or clean, bright or normal and with or without mid cut. And then you can set the amount of gain. Or in your own order, whatever suits you. You can do this for both channels independently, like I said, except for the EQ. To the far right on the front panel there is a channel switch button, so that you can manually switch channels without a footpedal.

BACKPANEL
On the back of the Egnater tweaker amp is an effectsloop (return/send) that comes with a switch for line Level or instrument Level. Then there is the impedance switch (4,8 and 16 Ohm) to match the speaker(s) you use. Followed by two speaker outs and a footswitch out. The footswitch comes with the Egnater tweaker amp. It has a channel switch and effects on/off switch. At the far right is a fuse and the connection for the power cable.of 

TWEAKEN
Because of all the possibilities you don’t normally get on a regular tube amp, this amp offers you plenty of sounds form just one amp. The Egnater tweaker amp is very practical. The amount of gain is enough for most rock acts and the clean sounds are cristal clear. It is possible to get metal sounds out of this amp, although it’s not typically made for it. The Egnator Vengance is better suited for that. But it’s a very versatile tube amp that can help you get all different sounds for different styles and best of all; to tweak your own signature sound.

There is no line out, DI out, speaker emulation or power attenuator. There are no built in effects, not even a reverb. But in exchange all the effort and components put in this amp are there to make your tone stand out. You can choose your own beloved effects and microphone to record this amp. Wich is all part of the tweaking process, isn’t it?