Brunetti Maranello 1x12 Combo

Head/Combo: 
Combo
Price Paid: 
£699
Condition: 
New
Country of origin: 
Other
Tube Type: 
EL84
Features: 

2 channel 20w all tube amp, 2xEL84 and 3x12ax7. As basic as it gets. 1 clean channel with master volume control and bass, mid, treble, 1 lead channel with gain, bass, mid, treble and master volume control.  No reverb.  Back of the amp sees a "Image" control - essentially a slightly more elaborate presence knob and a wet/dry mixable fx loop.  1 footswitch in (f/s supplied) and a 16ohm amp out.

The amp is open backed, comes loaded with a custom Jenson speaker, is kitted in rather natty leather looking tolex, is incredbly light at 14kg, yet feels extremely solid.

 The electronics are handwired in Italy at the Brunetti factory.  

Pros: 

Superb sound, sounds much bigger and refined than you might expect from such a small package.  What really struck me is how the inherent nature of each guitar is kept.  The lead channel basically has me covered as its so responsive to guitar volume adjustments.  There is not high gain shred here unless you remove the mids completely, even then this thing still sounds more "classic" than "modern".  Despite being EL84's the amp has a very definite Marshall character to it on the lead channel when the Master is above 2. 

The amp does need to have the master up to sound at its best (kinda obvious as it's all tube), the magic starts happening at 2 which is a lot louder than 2 on other similarly wattaged amps.  The clean channel stays clean until around 5 on the Master when it turns into a glorious cooking AC30 sort of tone, yet with its own character - the sound remains focused though and again the dynamics are nothing short of superb.

No problems getting lost in the band with this baby, all the frequencies stay exceptionally clear, very little background noise on the lead channel - none on the clean - and overall it sounds "expensive" or "boutique".  Its amazing this brand is not more well known than it is as I don't know any player that wouldn't enjoy this amp with a band.

After a few trial and errors with the fx loop its now working as I want - infact better than the fx loop on my previous amps - the footswitch change is immediate and noise free.  The footswitch does resemble a Marshall singl channel change f/s in appearance yet feels incredibly solid under foot - also a nice length of cable is supplied for even the largest stages.

Lightweight - 14kg (31 lbs) with the stock speaker - this has gone up considerably with the Celestion G12H30 I have replaced it with but even so incredibly portable.

Responds incredibly well to fx pedals in front or in loop.  However the amp sounds good all I use is an OD for solo boost.

Cons: 

If playing alone the sound may seem a little bass light at band volumes -  as stated it is an open backed combo - the more modern metal elements may well miss the chunk associated with the sound of a closed back cab, yet those coming from a more classic background, and know how frequencies actually work in a band format will not be disappointed in the least so really this aspect is down to personal taste. 

 The stock Jenson speaker is good, but I swapped it out for a Celestion G12H30 I had lying around and the difference was noticeably for the better - clearer, just better.   Reports suggest a V30 also works well.  I have tried it with my Orange 1x12" cab loaded with a V30 but that cab seems to have its own issues so is an unfair comparison - I'd love to pump it through a closed back 2x12 or 4x12 down the line.

Doesn't sound anywhere near as good at lower "home" volumes than other valve amps I have owned including DSL100 and 5150.  I use a Omnisconic volume box in the loop to improve things in this regards and after some initial problems with the box and the fx loop I got it sorted now and works fine.

 The addition of a reverb may have been nice but I only really miss this at home.

Sound Quality: 
5 (excellent)
Reliability: 

No problems yet - reports from the Brunetti forum and HC suggest there are no such issues here. 

Time will tell though - I do look after my amp and change my power tubes annually depending on useage. 2xEL84s mean the bank won't be broken on this front.

Customer Support: 

Marco Brunetti contributes to the amp forum on the manufacturers site and also responds to personal emails himself.  The company is small and knows excellent customer service is essential it seems.

Summary: 

Superb little package that sounds bigger than it is.  An unknown brand, yet with exceptional quality in both construction and sound - very organic and really promotes the guitar - cable - amp notion. 

This amp is a suprise package and at band levels really glows.  After almost 20 years of playing, and having owned numerous Marshalls (1987x, JCM800 2X12, JCM900SLX, DSL100, JMP1) Peavey's (5150 head and combo, Classic 30), Mesa Boogies (DC5 head and Rectoverb combo), Rivera (Rake reverb head) I don't think any amp in a band format has put the same smile on my face.

Overall Rating: 
5
Average: 5 (1 vote)