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2024 Colby Amplification ELPICO

2024 Colby Amplification ELPICO

From Colby Amplification:


The newest addition to the Colby arsenal is ELPICO®, a newly resurrected amplifier brand. There are a number of very cool things about ELPICO that inspired me to recreate this obscure British brand including it’s unusual circuit design. Paul McCartney is known for using one as a teenager and as it turns out, he still has his ELPICO AC55 to this day. Also and maybe more significantly, the ELPICO AC55 was the amp that Dave Davies of The Kinks used in 1964 to record “You Really Got Me”, one of the very first British recordings of distorted guitar. Go to the ELPICO page for more info on the Colby ELPICO, which is a head version of the newly recreated AC55.

A bit of history: ELPICO amps were built by Lee Products Co (L, P Co) as portable PAs starting in the later 1940s. The most popular were the AC52, AC55 combos and the AC88 head. The AC55 and AC88 being very similar in circuitry. As a 15 watt tube combo, the AC55 was suitable for instruments as well. It had three channels, two for microphones and one for Gram (short for Gramphone - record player in the US). The two MIC channels had an extra gain stage needed for microphones and as it turns out, sounds pretty interesting for guitar. The other circuit features including “James” tone network, Ultralinear power amp with EL84s makes for a very interesting design indeed.

When building the prototype I took the liberty to add some features to make it more usable for guitarists in 2023 including Master Volume, Mid control, Bright switches on both channels, Direct Line out for recording and plugging into a PA or additional amp. Since both original MIC channels were identical and redundant, I revoiced channel two for more tonal variety. The GRAM input was eliminated and the ability to switch in a