The Tx-Watt Story:
Tx-Watt Amps was the conceived and founded by Jack Kay from Buda / Dripping Springs, Texas (just southwest of Austin). As a touring musician in the 60’s and 70’s, Jack played on Marshalls and had to keep several of them in the truck to make sure he always had one to play on every night. Whenever something broke, he had to cannibalize one of the Marshall carcasses for parts to keep others running. The lack of quality in commercially-made amplifiers always amazed him. And Marshall 100 Watt Superlead rigs were by no means cheap.
As a 21-year-old musician, he wanted to someday build a guitar player’s amp without regard to cost. Sound and tone would be the only focus using the best parts without regard to price. The first name he came up with was “Texas Watt” but he quickly realized that was too long and shortened it to “Tx-Watt.” when his record company folded, he came off the road and ended up doing nothing with the idea for more than 30 years. ( Legacy 70's logo available by request)
Finally, several years ago, he revived Tx-Watt and contacted old friends whose life works were in analog amplification, transformers, speakers, and cabinet building. Several years of R&D and road testing later, Tx-Watt was born.
Inside the Amps:
We build them one at a time. They are hand wired, point-to-point, with no extra circuitry. They have one input jack, EL34 or 6L6 tubes, custom Tx-Watt-only transformers, custom Tx-Watt-only speakers, and solid pine custom cabinets. If you’re covering all the bases, you’ll want contiguous pine.
Circuitry? The guitar signal is either on a piece of circuitry, or it’s inside a tube. Our amps have both British and American circuitry built in parallel, so you can mix and match the British/American sub circuits at will. We also have a 4-position switch to toggle between gain circuitry. All told, it provides 48 discreet, hand wired, point to point, straight through, circuit combinations to build the tone stack. Once you choose the circuitry then you have the familiar bass, mid, treble, pre-amp, main amp, and presence controls. We don't emulate old analog sounds , we recreate British and American style tone stacks. With nothing to restrict the signal, we go from lows you only feel to highs you only sense. My analog design expert calls it “angel’s breath” highs. If you have ever played an old Vox, you’ll know what I’m talking about. (NOTE: There is one non-analog part. For those who think rectifier tubes cause the sound to “sag,” we have a solid state, by-passable, rectifier circuit.) Any and every notion is taken into account. Whether fact, urban legend, or just perceived MOJO, we skip nothing.
Outside the Amps:
Tx-Watt Amps are all about fun. The knobs all go to 11, we only use prime numbers. (OK 9 isn’t prime but it gets a pass because of the Beatles). We offer 60 different kinds of vinyl and can even do exotic coverings like fox, mink, cow hide, and snake skin along with nearly as many kinds of grill cloth, handles, and feet. And we don’t sell our amps without a flight case to protect it.
We also offer a star treatment service. You can book time in the studio/lab and have one-on-one time an amp designer who will customize the amp/tone stack per your wishes, changing out components that affect tone stack until the you get exactly what you want. You can also A/B different cabinet and speaker combinations. We will get the entire rig dialed in, even down to the pedal board and instrument itself. We'll play a little for the fun of it, go eat at our favorite Tex-Mex restaurant before you go home with your custom rig . Since we already have both British and American style circuits in place, there’s very little we can’t do to obtain the sound you want.
We’ve done all we can to hold down costs in manufacturing as long as it doesn’t affect our first mandate: sound and tone. We have 1×12 combos, 2×12 combos, and stand alone heads . Most musicians find the 50 watt will do all they want, from bedroom volume to stage volume.
This amp is different and unique. Since we do not restrict range in any way, you’ll find our 50 watt is not as focused or loud as some 50 watt amps. That’s due to the way the 50 watts are used. It's not a volume machine, it's a tone machine. The engineers and I have this discussion all the time. “It’s not THAT you’re pushing 50 watts – it’s WHAT you’re pushing with the 50 watts.”
I was told from the get-go that building an amp this way would be economic suicide. However, Tx-Watt began as a labor of love, and tone. It’s all in the way we build them that makes the difference. Once you hear one, you’ll understand the tag line “There ain’t nothing else like it.”
Hopefully, this has answered any questions. Please refer to our FAQs page for more answers or use our CONTACT FORM if you have any others.
Thanks for your interest.
-Jack Kay, Founder of Tx-Watt Amps
and the rest of the Tx-Watt crew