Port City Merino Combo Amplifier

Port City Amplification introduces the Merino, a compact hand-wired tube combo amplifier rated at 10 Watts.

Port City Merino

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This amp is designed to reproduce vintage-style "Tweed" tones as heard on old tube amps, which works for a variety of musical styles. And it does so while sporting a conveniently small footprint.

In this age where mass produced solid state amps abound, it is always a breath of fresh air when we see hand-wired tube amps. Thankfully, we have small scale builders like Port City that continue the tradition of utilizing tubes and building amps by hand.

For a small combo amp, the Port City Merino carries quite a number of tubes, having 3 x JJ ECC83 preamp tubes, 2 x EH 6V6GT power tubes and a 5Y3 Rectifier tube. This is a familiar combination that produces tone that is described as responsive and versatile, ideal for guitarists who play in various musical styles and players who like to play with many different effects.

These tubes drive the compact amplifier section that is rated at 10 Watts with 8 Ohm impedance, making this amp comparable to the many small practice amps in the market today.

Instead of going for advanced tone shaping features, the company opted for a straightforward set of controls which only include two knobs. One of which lets you adjust the master volume, while the other knob lets you adjust the master tone control. This means that there really isn't much room for playing around, but this limitation is intended because the Merino is meant to be quick to setup while still being able to handle varying tones that are achieved via effects. Instead of totally dictating your tone, this amp gives you a blank slate that you can build your tone on.

Check out the Port City Merino official video demo:

This combo amp is paired with the WGS G12C speaker by default, other alternative speakers are available should you have a special preference for one. The company can also help you pick the right speaker if you are undecided. The amp utilizes a Mercury Magnetics power cable for secure connection.

Finally, the amp is wrapped in a neat old-school combo amp look wrapped in vinyl cover with embroidered Port City Amplification logo. Note that you can choose between a list of available tolex, tweed, and grill cloth combinations. The amp weighs in at just 39 lbs and its dimensions are as follows: width: 20", height: 17" and depth: 9 1/4".

Each Port City Merino is handcrafted in North Carolina, USA, featuring SoZo capacitors, carbon film resistors and Switchcraft jacks. The cabinet is built from 1/4" finger jointed solid pine.

The new Port City Merino is retailing for $1650. For further details, head over to Port City Amps.

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