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The Music Man amps used the classic 6CA7 / EL-34 power valves in push-pull in the output stage, and had a 12AX7 splitter/phase inverter feeding them, after a well-designed, reliable and extremely usable 2-channel solid-state pre-amp, with all the usual Fender® appointments of lush spring reverb, great tremolo, bright switch and even a deep switch.

Unbelievable clean tones, yet when the power stage was pushed hard, the amp had full, natural valve distortion.

LEFT: The 112RD-50 combo from Music Man is one of a number of amplifiers the company manufactured until ceasing amp production in 1983.

RIGHT: This 2-channel 112RD-50 houses a 12" speaker, a 7025 preamp tube, and a pair of 6L6 power tubes.

Preamp tubes: solidstate preamp circuit with 12AX7 phase-inverter tube.

Output tubes: four 6CA7 (similar to EL34) Rectifier: solidstate Controls: Volume, Treble, Bass on “Normal” channel; Volume, Treble, Middle, Bass, Reverb, Intensity, Speed on “Reverb/Tremolo” channel; shared Master. Intended to be the masterpiece of a titan in guitar-amp design, Music Man amps of the mid/late ’70s are all too easily mistaken for copies or wannabes chasing a market leader. As such, the HD-130 Reverb makes a great lesson in the thinking of the day – a glimpse at what could briefly have been considered the state of the art in mid-’70s amplification.

Whether in head or combo form, the HD-130 Reverb was clearly intended to knock the silverface Fender Twin Reverb off its roost; in terms of performance, many owners would tell you it did.

Packed with the popular onboard effects of reverb and tremolo, the Music Man developed a whopping 130 watts from an output stage comprised of four 6CA7 tubes (a U. version of the EL34), but used a solidstate preamp circuit in each channel for a clean, reliable signal chain.

Coupled with the beautiful alnico-magnet speakers that these early Music Man amps were fitted with (later versions went to harsher ceramics), these are delicious-sounding amps, that are extremely loud for their power rating, yet are reliable to a legendary degree.

Hey Zach, I have an old Music Man amp and I’ve always wondered about the connection between Music Man and Fender amps.

They look similar and I heard that they are really Leo Fender amplifiers.

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