Titano Tube Amplifier, made by Audio Guild Corporation (1972)

 Titano Tube Amplifier, made by Audio Guild Corporation (1972)
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Item # 11709
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Titano Model Tube Amplifier, made by Audio Guild Corporation (1972), made in Van Nuys, California, serial # 5236, black tolex covering finish.

"TITANO" is splashed in huge letters across the face of this amplifier. It sounds like some 1960s robot compatriot of Gigantor or Tobor the 8Th Man, but is simply one of the many licensed brands built under subcontract by Magnatone then later Audio Guild. After leaving the fading Magnatone company in the 1960s, chief engineer Don Bonham went on to work for the Audio Guild Corporation, taking some clients with him. These "Titano" amps featured the same pitch-shifting vibrato circuit that made Magnatone amps famous. Similar amps were also issued under the "Versatone" brand and have long been favorites among some recording bassists, who prize the tight response of the tuned cabinet. These have been employed by some notable artists including Carol Kaye, Jack Casady and more recently Pino Palladino.

This is the accordion/guitar version of the amp featuring vibrato and spring reverb; the bass model was a more stripped down version without the onboard effects. The metal front-facing control panel features two independent channels, each with their respective input as well as a dual input, assignable to either of the two channels. Channel one has a volume, treble and bass controls, whereas channel two has volume and tone. Following are intensity and speed for the vibrato and "duration" (level) for the spring reverb.

The amp sports a tube compliment of two 12AX7, one 6BH8 preamp tube and two 7591 power tubes, yielding approximately 20 watts into a single 12" speaker, seated in a neatly designed tuned closed back cabinet section. The amp also sports a set of switches in the back for assigning the reverb and tremolo effects for each of the two channels. The black tolex-covered cabinet design is reminiscent of earlier Magnatone designs with a sparkly black grille cloth and that big bold "Titano" logo on the front metal panel. This is not a loud amp, but a very toneful one if a cleaner, tighter low end response is desired.
Height is 23 1/2 in. (59.7 cm.), 21 1/2 in. (54.6 cm.) width, and 9 1/2 in. (24.1 cm.) deep.

Cosmetically, this amp is fabulously well preserved for its age. The fairly thin black Tolex covering is hardly showing any wear, even corners and edges are fairly clean. The control panel is beautifully clean as well with only VERY minor scuffing and all the lettering remains intact. The metal front panel featuring the brand logo is clean and nearly entirely ding-free! The grille cloth is taut and clean with no signs of tearing or fraying and the handle is original as well. It is really bout as clean as used things from 50+ years ago come!

Electrically, this amp is mostly original. The exception is the speaker, a replacement Weber 12A125. Both the Electrical Windings-made power and output transformers are original and bear the code 682-150 and 682-144, dating them to the 50th and 44th week of 1971, respectively. The reverb tank has been replaced with a MOD tank that sounds lush and rich. The amp has otherwise received our typical maintenance and servicing, including replacement of all electrolytic capacitors, cleaning of all sockets, pots and jacks, a grounded 3-prong power cord and power tubes biased to spec.

This amp has a big and bold clean tone that turns in to a very nice overdrive tone as its pushed. The tuned cabinet sounds tight and punchy and is excellent for bass or lower-range instruments. With the fantastic Magnatone-style vibrato and reverb, this would be truly the ideal compliment for a baritone or six-string bass guitar, offering a combination of sounds few other amps can match! Excellent Condition.