Here’s a surprise package – a solid state guitar amp that sounds really good - great actually.
Back in the 70s I remember being enchanted by a USA made Acoustic brand 100 watt solid state guitar amp. I loved the story they pitched about clean sound, no distortion and reliability. So I saved up my hard-earned, ordered the beast and waited for an eternity before the gleaming prize arrived. But after 6 months of battling, I finally realised that I couldn’t get anything like the sound I wanted from this damn thing. What was I to know – I was 18.
What I needed to know was that tubes and the way they behaved were the essential ingredients required for the sound of Clapton, Hendrix, Townsend etc. And there were no tubes in that Acoustic 100.
Throughout the 70s many brands worked hard to recreate that valve sound using solid state circuitry, and none of them actually accomplished it. There were hybrids (Music Man & others) that were good, but nothing 100% valve free that really worked – until now.
Pat Quilter made a name for himself in amplification many years ago via his respected QSC amps used primarily in large AV installations and concert PA systems. Some years ago he took on the challenge of applying his extensive design experience to the goal of creating a great sounding guitar amp, without valves. This amp is one of the results of that quest – the Quilter Tone Block 202.
This is a 200 Watt head that can fit in your backpack. Quilter’s patented tube behavioural replication technology pushes the powerful notes and note clarity that you expect from a 200 Watt head without any bulk.
Don’t let its small size fool you. Weighing in at just 3.3 pounds, the Tone Block 202 has all of the appointments you’d expect, such as a 3-band EQ, FX loop, and built-in reverb. What’s got us impressed is the balanced XLR line-level output that makes it easy for anyone to play straight through a PA. The Tone Block 202 200-watt head packs impressive tone into a small, portable package.
When Quilter Labs designed the Tone Block 202, they wanted to create an amp that would work perfectly on any stage. No matter where you are, you can use the Master Volume knob to dial down your wattage to fit the venue you’re playing. Best of all, the universal switching power supply will automatically adjust to worldwide voltages, such as “nightclub voltage,” without any hassle.
- Small enough to fit on your pedalboard
- Cabinet simulation and active EQ provide unmatched versatility
- Ultra-small 200-watt head is powerful and has tons of headroom
- XLR direct mic-level output can be plugged directly into your PA
- Automatically adjusts to worldwide voltages
- Dual 1/4" mono outputs for variable loads of 16 to 4 ohms
- Type: Solid State
- Number of Channels: Single
- Total Power: 200W
- Reverb: Yes
- EQ: 3-band EQ
- Inputs: 1 x 1/4"
- Outputs: 1 x XLR (direct out), 2 x 1/4" (4/8 ohm), 1 x 1/4" (sig out, pre)
- Headphones: 1 x 1/4"
- Effects Loop: Yes
- Construction Material: Aluminium chassis, Steel cover
- Height: 2.5"
- Width: 8.6"
- Depth: 7.3"
- Weight: 3.3 lbs.
From Quilter –
“The Tone Block 202 is the ultimate "go anywhere do anything" instrument amplification head. A complete tool kit for stage and studio. Our "anywhere on earth" power supply, enhanced speaker drive options, new voicings, and our latest ultra quiet Direct Out interface enhance studio recording and direct PA connections for both loud and silent stages. Brings any good speaker to life; even better when paired with one of our BlockDock 12 speakers.
We've gone all-out to make the Tone Block 202 the ultimate gigging amp. Seven powerful controls, 3-way voicing switch, pre/post signal/headphone jack, Cab-Sim that automatically tracks output settings, a new FR voice option with tight solid-state damping for use with modelers, plus FullQ and Vintage voices with traditional Quilter warmth, all add up to unmatched tonal versatility. You'll quickly notice that notes feel bigger and hit harder.”
While you can use the Tone Block 202 without a speaker cabinet thanks to the onboard cab simulator, this package includes the designed Quilter BlockDock 12HD cabinet as well.
This compact extension cabinet is loaded with a Celestion BN12-300S speaker, which delivers 300 watts of power handling — sufficient for the whole range of Quilter’s Tone Block Series amplifiers. The BlockDock 12HD is built from rugged 15mm Baltic birch with a durable ballistic nylon cover and bulletproof bracing and reinforcement, yet it weighs in at less than 20 lbs.
The BlockDock 12HD is loaded with a Celestion BN12-300S. This speaker features a 12" neodymium driver, Kevlar-loaded paper cone, cloth-sealed surround, and — most importantly — huge sound! Celestion speakers have been powering the sound of rock for 50+ years.
The neo speaker and light-ply construction keep the weight down to 19.5 pounds (8.8 kg) while handling the full power of the Quilter 200W Block series. The semi-open back construction provides a chesty bass response and all-around sound dispersion, while the HD-12 speaker's warm clean midrange and well-controlled high frequency response make it compatible with most any musical style.
And most cleverly, the amp can either sit happily on top of the cab, or can be loaded snuggly into the rear pocket mounting compartment which is specifically designed to house both the Quilter 100 and 200 series amp heads.
The driver is front-mounted to the integral baffle for clear projection, with rigid one-piece pro-audio cabinet construction. The sturdy nylon-weave grille cloth frame mounts with velcro and can be removed to access the driver. The well-braced BlockDock minimizes vibration, and rubber feet, cushioned strap handle, and plated corners assure safe transport.
Since 2011 Quilter amps have been favoured by archtop / jazz players who have been using similar rigs like Polytones, Henriksen and Roland JC amps, but this one trumps them all.
But it seriously works for more than jazz. The clever overdrive circuitry actually works extremely well. We have tested it side by side with traditional all tube amps, and you’d (almost) need a blindfold test to tell the difference.
And of course this rig is a powerful and compact option for any bass player tired of lugging large rigs.
This is a most impressive amp with serious tone, power, versatility, and super light weight – only 20 pounds. It is the epitome of big tone in a small package.
Both the amp and cabinet are in absolutely brand new condition - no marks anywhere, and ready to roll at a significant discount.
Comes with its Quilter nylon slip covers with zippered pocket, special power lead, owner’s manual and a shoulder carry strap.
Check this excellent video demo - https://youtu.be/KQwLE8Klqno
And this - https://youtu.be/Wlu4Vp3LJWw