In 1993, Mark Baier set out to faithfully recreate the crown jewels among the many classic amplifiers developed by Leo Fender. The tweed amps of the late 50’s defined the sound of rock and blues on vinyl and on stage, but they had also become increasingly scarce, and well beyond the reach of most working musicians.
Victoria Amplifier is recognized for having succeeded in recapturing the classic sound, design, and American craftsmanship embodied in early Fenders, while offering players a wide range of subtle and sometimes whimsical variations on a theme. Victoria circuits have always been completely faithful to the originals, using the correct capacitors, resistors, transformers, pots, and eyelet boards. Each solid pine cabinet is crafted in the precise manner of those built in the ’50s.
The results speak for themselves, and Victoria amplifiers continue to be acknowledged by players and critics alike as clearly superior in construction, durability, and tone among small-production, custom amplifiers built today at any price.
The Victoria Golden Melody is a 50 watt tone machine, housed in a sturdy solid pine cabinet with 2 x 12” speakers. It features several primary attributes from some of the greatest Fender amps ever created. In fact, a pair of them recently found their way onto the stage setup for Joe Bonamassa. Everyone knows how particular he is about his tone, so that alone should speak volumes.
The premise behind the Golden Melody is pretty interesting. Get this – Mark took the preamp stage (including the tonestack) from a Tweed Bassman, the massively lush reverb from a Super Reverb, the Vibrato circuit from an early Fender Concert, and the power stage from a 50 watt “low-power” Twin, and combined them all into this single masterpiece.
The Golden Melody is a 2×12 combo running GZ34/5U4 rectified power into 2 x 6L6 tubes for 50 watts of output. It features the same all-tube driven true ‘harmonic vari-tone’ vibrato & all-tube reverb found in Victoria’s much loved Reverberato unit.
What is “harmonic vari-tone”, you ask? Well, it’s far superior to a simple pulsing tremolo effect. It’s actually a harmonic filtering modulator that separates the high and low frequencies. It’s then turns the oscillating highs 180 degrees out of phase before remixing the wet signal with the dry. No less than two and a half preamp tubes are required to produce this marvel of analog wizardry. The result is a wonderful tube driven tremolo/vibrato that’s as sonically beautiful as anything out there.
Output: 50 Watts
Circuit Design: Fixed Bias A/B Push/Pull Operation
Tubes: 1-5AR4, 2-6L6GC, 5-12AX7, 1-12AT7
Vibrato: All Tube Harmonic Filter Vibrato
Reverb: All Tube with Transformer Coupled Reverb Tank
Speakers: 2 x WGS BritLead 12”
Color: Two-Tone Alligator/Brown Tolex
Size: 20.5″ x 26.5″ x 10.5″
This amp is in excellent, almost new condition. It has been used in the studio and at gigs, but it looks like it’s never been out of the house. The controls are simple but intuitive, and are wonderfully sensitive, in a good way – ie if you move any control, something really happens. There is everything you need, and nothing you don’t.
The Victoria Melody Maker is superbly built amalgam of everything that is great about classic Fender amps, wrapped up in a modern package that sounds as fabulous as you would expect from its heritage.
Comes with a high quality, heavy duty vinyl cover.
Here’s part one of a video demo – https://youtu.be/XtEiyBi7M6A
And here’s part two – https://youtu.be/BZyfiHT8DWk