The classic Music Man amp is back in production. Utilising a highly respected amp builder to do the manufacturing, industry heavyweights and good mates Sterling Ball and Marco De Virgiliis breathe life back into Music Man once more.
NEW MEETS OLD
Looking like a classic Music Man amp, these new offerings follow their original looks beautifully with similar styled control layout. Working along the lines of the original amp you’ll find two solid state channels ‘Clean’ and ‘Limiter/Distortion’ that run into a pair of 6L6 tubes in the power section. One new point of difference however is the use of a DV Mark designed ‘Neo- Dymium’ 12” speaker. Well known for their lightweight speakers and amp designs with MarkBass and DV Mark, this inclusion reduces the 112 RD Fifty’s weight to just under 12 kgs whilst still retaining classic speaker characteristics.
Simple in approach, the clean channel has controls for volume, treble and bass with an additional bright switch that livens things up a bit if needed. Adding in some of the spring reverb, you get a nice array of rounder jazz and blues tones through to glassier chime and onwards to surfy sounds on a strat. Whilst mostly known for their aforementioned clean tones, the Limiter/Distortion channel also opens up some warm and round vintage type dirty tones that’d be good for blues, rock and roll and indie vibes. It won’t do super scooped chuggy metal, but pulls some pretty good rock tones that’ll work for 70’s rock and jangly overdriven modern sounds. All in all, it sounds like a good range of what you’d expect to hear from a 112RD 50 combo.
BACK TO THE FUTURE
Opening with the tag line ‘Back To The Future,’ the new Music Man Amplifier advertising is definitely hyping the reintroduction of some classic amps and probably with good reason. For many players the original MM’s were (and still are) great sounding amps from a reputable company, and it seems that this combination between Ernie Ball and DV Mark/Markbass works well. Sterling Ball himself has mentioned that there have been several approaches regarding reintroducing the Music Man line over the years, but he hasn’t had someone who would do it justice. Now with Marco De Virgiliis and his operations in tow, it seems like it’s a solid match and the right time to bring back the MM name. There’s a de. nite vintage look, feel and sound to the 112 RD 50, and for me the neo speaker makes the whole package so much more manageable whilst retaining a solid tone. Awesome!
Hits and Misses
True to the original in looks and tone
Neo speaker reduces overall amp weight
Two reputable companies involved
Serious vintage lovers might not dig the Neo speaker
• Channels: Two
• Preamp CH1: Solid State
• Preamp CH2: 2 x 6L6
• Speaker: 1 x 12” Custom Neodynium
• Power output: 50W
• Dimensions: 45.6cm x 52cm x 25.4cm
• Weight: 11.9kg