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The first question everyone asks about the Workhorse Stallion amp is, "What's up with that Hubcap speaker grill?" Well it's not there just to look different, cool, bling, etc… It's actually a carefully designed, patent pending, sound dispersion speaker grill.
Guitar speakers tend to be highly directional. Stand directly in front of any amp, with your ears at speaker level, and you'll get blasted by treble. Walk two steps to the right or left and it sounds like a blanket just got thrown over your amp. Not so with the Hubcap on Workhorse amps.
The Hubcap blocks those nasty ice-pick highs from the center of guitar speakers, and takes all the good full range sound and spreads it out almost 180 degrees. Once you've tried it, you'll wonder how you ever lived without it. If the brushed chrome look is a bit much for your more traditional tastes, take it off, spray paint it black (or any other color) and put it back on… you can customize it any way you like.
When you put new tubes in most amps, you have to bring it to an amp tech to have him bias the power tubes for you… normally about a $75 job. With the Workhorse Stallion amp, you can say goodbye to your amp tech.
Once the amp is fully warmed up, you take the ceramic screwdriver provided with the amp (or any other Phillips screwdriver), put it through one of the lower holes on the back panel of the amp and turn the pot inside until the LED above it turns green. If it turns red, the tube is biased a bit too hot. If the LED is off, the tube is biased a bit too cold.
That's all there is to it. You can bias your power tubes in about 10 seconds with no knowledge of electronics required.
The Workhorse Stallion comes with 6L6 power tubes stock. However, if you prefer EL34 power tubes, no problem. Under the chassis is a tube selector switch that you can set for 6L6, 6L6 Hot, EL34, or EL34 Hot. Just install your tubes, set the selector switch, and bias the tubes yourself with the easy user-biasing system.
Bob Weil and R.G. Keen put a huge amount of thought into the construction of the Workhorse Stallion amp. They even visited amp techs and asked them, "What do you hate about the amps you work on?" With the boatload of information gained from asking that question, they made sure to design amps that didn't have any of the shortcomings of most amps made these days.
All the jacks and pots are hand-wired to the circuit board. Speaking of circuit boards, those in the Workhorse amp are military-spec; double-thickness boards with triple-thickness copper. No big power resistors to step down voltage like you see in other amps. Those can heat up so much that the solder melts and the resistor can fall right out of the amp. Visual sound uses precision voltage regulators with heat-sinks instead… you'll never have to worry about them falling out.
Horizontal metal ribs on the circuit board keep the circuit board absolutely stiff and un-flexible. One of the common causes of failure in many modern amps is circuit board flexing that causes solder pads and traces to break. That won't happen with the Workhorse. If anything ever does go wrong with a Workhorse, the back of the metal chassis opens up like the hood of a car for easy and fast servicing. That means less tech hours and less money to repair. There are fuses on all the transformer outputs, so if something goes really wrong in the amp you'll only need to replace a 5 cent fuse… not a $250 transformer!
The Workhorse Stallion is simple to use. There are only 5 knobs: Volume, Treble, Mid, Bass, and Reverb for controlling the on-board spring reverb. You don't need to read the manual to figure out how to get good tone. Most guitar players use an array of pedals to get different tones, from overdrive and distortion to chorus and delay.
The Workhorse Stallion was created to make effects pedals sound the way they were designed to sound. As many players have done for years, you just run all the pedals into the front of the amp… no effects loop required.
To prove the point, Visual Sound even includes a Jekyll & Hyde Overdrive/Distortion pedal to provide a "second and third channel" for the amp. While the Jekyll & Hyde is a great pedal to use with many amps, it really shines with the Workhorse. Whether you play blues or metal or anything in between, the Jekyll & Hyde will inspire you. Just think of it as a channel switcher with knobs!
All Workhorse amps have a Line Out jack on the control panel. Unlike the line out or direct out jacks found on many amps, the Line Out jack on Workhorse amps has a very good speaker simulator circuit behind it. So, if your sound engineer doesn't want to mic the amp, you can simply run a cable from the Line Out jack to a direct box connected to the mixer. A couple of tweaks at the mixer, and your Workhorse will sound just as good through the PA as it does on stage. You'll still be able to hear it through the speaker in the amp, which will simply add to the sound heard through the PA.
The Workhorse Stallion combo amp has a 9VDC output jack with a 12 foot (4 meter) cable included with the amp for powering the Jekyll & Hyde pedal. Hook up a daisy-chain cable to the end of the 9V cable and you can power your pedalboard right from the amp. The 9VDC output can handle up to 200mA of current, so you can't plug in Line 6 modeling pedals like the DL4 or other high-current pedals, but the average pedalboard with a handful of pedals can be powered just fine.
Since the Workhorse Stallion is the ideal amp for small gigs, there is a CD Input jack on the control panel. So, if you're playing along with tracks at a small gig (or even at home), just plug your CD or mp3 player into the CD Input jack. You can even plug in a POD or other modeling pre-amp into the CD Input jack if you want to bypass the Workhorse pre-amp, but take advantage of the all-tube power amp.
Some amps come with a cover, many do not. But a cover like the Workhorse amp cover is one of a kind. It's nicely padded and even has large pockets on both sides to hold the power cable, 9VDC cable, ceramic tube-biasing screwdriver, manual… even the Jekyll & Hyde pedal will fit!
The Celestion Seventy 80 speaker has excellent, tight low-end response, nice glassy highs, and just the right amount of mid-range for a great clean tone and it complements effects pedals perfectly. It can stand up to the huge low-end put out by the Jekyll & Hyde, while still sounding pristine and warm with a chorus pedal like the H2O.
Saddle up! Call or click today to get yours.
Reviewed by 1 customer
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I was so excited when this amp arrived. In the house I wasnt quite sure. I used it 1 nite at the gig. I just couldnt get a decent sound out of the amp. Very dark. As I examined it more closely I noticed the brain wasnt secured properly. One of the holes for the mounting screw was drilled all the way through the top. Forget about this Chinese junk. Sent it back pronto....