Driven by the more aggressive EF86/6267 circuit and a Six Position rotary Tone Selector, the Nighthawk will go from delivering amazing, delicate clean sounds and to turning into an all-out blazing rock amp.
Outright benefits include quick dial-in of new tones and an easy return to your preferred new settings. Master volume and Preamp Volume offers flexible control of the power amp section. The power amp is fed by a 12AX7 phase inverter, which drives two EL84 power tubes. This one really packs a punch!
Notes and tips from Phil Jamison:
“If we start with its ability for a crystal clear clean sound we should always turn the Master Volume control as far up as it will go before power section saturation.
Setting the Input Volume control to around the 8 to 9 o’clock position the Nighthawk will produce the cleanest signal. Then using the Rotary Tone selector to find what works best with the pickup and voicing for the song.
Each of the six positions will provide a slightly different voicing that will go from Bright and thin to fat with more bass. This is ideal for the many different varieties of pickups, guitars, and cables out on the market.
Some pickups with hotter output will react differently with the EF86 and it may sound more aggressive. While this is a perfect compliment for a heavier rock sound, it’s not ideal for clean. With a Nighthawk you will lose some headroom for a cleaner sound.
But, as it turn ups slightly more you instantly get a dynamic and front end jangle that many have come to know and love with the response of a Matchless. Turning the volume control up much higher around the 3 to 4 o’clock position will be ideal for a variety of rock sounds. Then adjusting the perfect voicing is a snap. As you go up on the Tone Selector you will notice the amp will have more midrange and sound slightly more fuller than before. Keeping it on this setting will enable you to clean up by rolling down the volume on your guitar and still maintain clarity.”