About the Amp:
The Ceriatone, Overtone Series Amp has 3 x 12AX7 pre-amp and 2 x 6L6S power to deliver some 50W (43W to measure). It is point to point hand wired and hand built by Nik from the chassis up, using high quality components.
The Overtone series of amplifiers have been overwhelmingly popular, and there are currently 8 different versions within the series.
This amp was the first foray into this type of amplifier, the original Overtone Special, aka “OTS”. The OTS is Ceriatone’s unique take on the ‘80s style of a Dumble amp. From an architectural point of view this amp is probably the closest to the original designs of Howard Alexander Dumble amps. Many refer to this model as a high-plate non-HRM model with the Skyline tone stack. This design is known for its fat and harmonically rich clean tone, and a complex, fluid overdrive tone with a unique push in the midrange frequencies. Some players feel this is the most “playable” version of the OTS amplifier, possibly due to a pleasing compression and forgiving touch on the overdrive channel.
INPUT jacks provide two tonal options. First, FET routes your signal through a high-input impedance, low-output impedance JFET gain stage before hitting the first triode tube stage. Originally, the FET input was designed for piezo pickups without an onboard preamplifier. Since then, it has provided players a unique option for fine-tuning their tone. Second, NOR is a typical, 1megaohm input impedance as seen on most guitar amplifiers. In most circumstances, NOR will provide the best results in clean and overdrive modes.
VOLUME adjusts the signal strength coming out of the tonestack, and going into the second tube stage. Think of this as a gain control primarily for your clean channel, but note it will impact the overdrive mode as well.
BRIGHT is a high-frequency boost that can be used to add sparkle to your tone in both clean and overdrive modes. This high frequency boost is more prominent as VOLUME is turned down. With the toggle switch in the UP position, BRIGHT is on. In the DOWN position, BRIGHT is off.
MID BOOST is a midrange-frequency boost. You can use this to add fatness to your clean or overdrive tones, or even make single coil guitars sound thicker and less scooped. We particularly like MID BOOST with the overdrive mode. With the toggle switch in the UP position, MID BOOST is on. In the DOWN position, MID BOOST is off.
ROCK / JAZZ adjusts the overall frequency response and voicing of the amplifier. ROCK has a fatter midrange and a deeper, spongier bottom end. You might find ROCK more familiar territory. JAZZ tightens up the bottom end and adjusts the contour of the midrange, giving the amplifier more of a hi-fi response. Experiment with both, as great sounds rest in each. With the toggle switch in the UP position, ROCK is on. In the DOWN position, JAZZ is on.
TREBLE adjusts the high frequency response for both clean and overdrive modes. At near-maximum settings, you may also notice an increase in gain.
MIDRANGE adjusts the mid frequency response for both clean and overdrive modes.
BASS adjusts low frequencies in your amplifier for both clean and overdrive modes.
LEVEL (OVERDRIVE) adjusts the amount of gain, and in turn distortion in the overdrive mode.
RATIO (OVERDRIVE) serves a sort of volume control for the overdrive channel. However, just like this version of the original amplifier, there are not individual master volume controls for the clean and overdrive channels. Instead, the RATIO control serves to balance out the volume of the overdrive channel with the clean channel.
MASTER (POWER AMP) sets the overall volume of your amplifier.
PRESENCE (POWER AMP) adjusts the high frequency response of the power amplifier using negative feedback. Use this
control to add sparkle and clarity to your tone.
OVERDRIVE two-way toggle switch manually switches between clean and overdrive channels. If you are using the foot pedal, set this in the PEDAL position. If you are not using the included foot pedal, the toggle switch in the PEDAL position switches the OTS to OVERDRIVE mode. In the MANUAL position, the OTS is in CLEAN mode.
PREAMP BOOST (aka – “PAB”) two-way toggle switch manually switches between boosted and normal configurations. In this series of OTS amplifiers, the PAB accentuates midrange frequencies and attenuates low frequencies, making it great for cutting through during a solo. Engaged, you will also notice an increase in gain and distortion characteristics. If you are using the foot pedal, set this in the PEDAL position. If you are not using the included foot pedal, the toggle switch in the MANUAL position switches the OTS to PREAMP BOOST mode. In the PEDAL position, the OTS is in normal mode.
FOOT PEDAL 5-pin DIN female jack is used to connect the foot pedal to the amplifier. Use the foot pedal to control the OVERDRIVE and PREAMP BOOST modes. Red LED indicates OVERDRIVE, and Green LED indicates PREAMP BOOST.
This amp was a head and was integrated in a combo with Celestion Gold speaker.
Celestion about their Gold speaker:
Building on the platform of the Blue, the Gold is a higher-powered, Alnico-magnet speaker that recreates the unmistakable sonic signature of a 'well played-in' original. Over time, the high frequencies of a Blue soften and become less chalky as the cone becomes more flexible – a much sought after characteristic that the Gold exhibits straight out of the box. Also present in the Gold sound from the outset is an added warmth and complexity in the midrange which, coupled with the classic Alnico qualities of a laid-back attack, rounded low end and brilliant bell-like highs, deliver huge rhythm voicing and saturated vocal lead tones.
The Gold is a wonderfully expressive and revealing loudspeaker, affording guitarists an unprecedented degree of dynamic control. It has already become a favourite for many working players worldwide whether picking and bending with Brad Paisley, or rocking hard with Danny Spitz of Anthrax.
The combination between the Ceriatone OTS and the Celestion Gold is a perfect combination for a powerful and responsive sound.
The velvet lether cover for the Combo and the assembly were done by photographer and musician Thomas Dorn, who was also the former owner.