The sound of the Lightning is that very classic EL84 “British Sound”. Much more scooped in the midrange than the Spitfire and Nighthawk, you will quickly see how well it sits in the mix against other instruments. Its clarity and voicing will slice through everything, making you very present.
Actual tonal possibilities are very extensive and it produces loud output volumes not normally associated with a 15 watt rating.
The Pro-grade single channel preamp with its interactive tone controls is coupled to a serious dual-EL84 power section with a tube rectifier. All models have active EQ to attain an excellent array of complex tones. User controls include Volume, Interactive Bass & Treble, and Master Volume.
Notes and tips from Phil Jamison:
“The tone stage is based off the early Top Boost circuit with some modifications unique to the Lightning. The Bass control will add a heavier sound and increase the midrange as you turn it up. This is very beneficial with different styles of pickup that have a thinner sound, or fatter pickups that need the Bass rolled off for more clarity. The Treble control will do two things in this type of circuit, first it will of course add more top end and brightness, and subsequently it will decrease the midrange. This is can be a very important feature to help tailor the sound of your pickup.
For a cleaner sound it’s always best to turn up the Master Volume, and keep the Input Volume around the 8 to 9 o’clock position. The foundation of the Lightning is to produce a flawless clean sound, but as you increase the volume control you will start to get into clean and dynamic front end breakup. Turning the volume control all the up will give a perfect distortion sound without over saturation. This is ideal for a hard rock sound where clarity and presence is needed.”