RetroTone Upgrade Customer Comments:
I now own the 'Cornford' look-alike red-ish Sessionette 75 from the 'pimped' page. All I can say is, I am absolutely staggered by the sounds available and the design itself. I love the blend option for the two channels and the tonal flexibility and endless subtle variations that it provides.
My Tele has never sounded so good. This amplifier exposes all the flaws in my Tweed 1993 Blues Deluxe, which has had continual niggles in the 10 years I've owned it. Just wanted to say - its genius! Going into the studio with it very soon. I have ordered the Session badge which will be proudly displayed.
All the best,
Mark, UK - 31.08.2013
Hello, Just had the Sessionette back and wanted to try it with an open mind and ignore what has already been written. Absolutely brilliant!! From Buddy Holly to Bad Company... it does them all. Thanks for doing a first class job.
(This is the first upgrade to include the noise reduction mods)
Dai Nicholas, UK - 24.04.2013
Hi Stewart, I love the amp. It arrived in beautiful condition and I’m over the moon with it. I’ve not played with it as much as I’d like to have, as have been decorating my house but finishing today, so will be jamming a lot over xmas. I am using a Fender Tele custom ’72 with a humbucker and it sounds warm, clear and rich. Amazing for the size of the amp. Many thanks,
(Matt bought a renovated complete amp from us)
Matt Atkinson, UK - 18.12.2012
I just want to thank you for the great upgrade! It's really stunning, how dynamically a solid state amp can sound and be played! Now it's like a three channel amp, as it really does react on the volume knob of my Strat, so sparkling clean, slight crunch and solo leads are just a tap an' turn away! Really a great amp! What a pity it's not manufactured anymore, so I'll be vera careful with it! Thanks a lot!
Bernhard Kozikowski, Geilenkirchen, Germany - 17.12.2012
As you may have seen by now through my post on TDPRI, I’ve gigged the newly-RetroToned amp a couple of times now and (doubtless to your complete lack of surprise!) I am very, very pleased indeed with the way it performs. It now has all the punch and body I could wish for and power to spare, with absolutely no problem making itself heard without unwanted distortion over our sometimes hard-hitting drummer. Your own well-publicised views on solid-state circuitry and tone are comprehensively borne out in practical terms by this amp. Do please feel free to use any of my TDPRI comments as an endorsement of the circuit upgrade. I’m now an extremely happy old plucker!
Very best regards,
Tony474 - Bushey, Herts - 02.10.2012
Right then... I've now used the RetroToned Sessionette on two pub gigs of, shall we say, "individual" character and my tmetic assessment is...
The previous piercing brightness has been transformed into a far less spiky but still biting clarity, while the bottom end is now hugely strong compared with that of the unmodified amp, to the extent that I had to attenuate the bass in order to avoid a boom on certain notes. The amp wasn't on the floor either, but placed on my usual folding stool, with its back a few inches from a wall and tilted back a couple of degrees. The new presence control was very useful in matching the amp's response to the guitar I was using and to the nature of the room. Attainable volume was absolutely no problem whatsoever; even when Dennis the drummer started giving it a bit of shoulder, the Sessionette made itself heard quite clearly and effortlessly with the volume control not yet halfway up on Channel B, the clean channel.
That was on Saturday in a moderately well-filled pub and on a stage where I could stand some feet in front of the amp. Yesterday (Sunday), the venue was very different - one of those converted-shop-type pubs with a very cramped stage. The place was (to my mind) dangerously overcrowded and ambient noise was immense with the roar of shouted conversation. I was forced to play with the Sessionette only about a foot behind my left hip, yet again it had absolutely no trouble at all getting through with Dennis whackin' them skins for all he was worth. Admittedly towards the latter part of the gig it needed turning up as far as, ooh, "five and a half" or so, but clarity and definition were maintained with no hint of breakup unless I used my Fulldrive 2 to create some.
So for my money this RetroTone mod is a clear and convincing winner, and I haven't even explored the possibilities on the overdriven Channel A yet, other than at home as described in my previous post.
The amp still isn't perfect; it has no soft-start circuitry, so there's a "clunk" from the speaker on switch-on, and when you switch off it stays "live" for a few seconds while (presumably) the caps discharge. But they all do that, sir, and I lived with it for enough years with all the others I used to have. Also, the switches themselves still feel to me as though they're going to break, though I know from experience that they very rarely actually do.
Still, I can't think of any of my gigs that the upgraded Sessionette won't cope with, although I'll still be using my other amps for some, if only for the sake of variety and to justify my possession of them. But if I could only have one amp, I'd be entirely happy for it to be this one. Ten out of ten for the RetroTone.
Tony474 Review - taken from TDPRI Forum
Just to let you know, I used my, “Retro” toned Sessionette at 2 gigs this past weekend & loved the upgrade. Very, warm, dynamic, & very responsive (A Great Mod).
And let me add; although I have used Sessionette’s since the 80s as a great “Grab & Go” combo, my usual amps of preference are: Fuch’s Overdrive Supreme, Fender & Boogie combos. I also used Burman amps way back. And the Sessionettes can easily hold their own alongside these ”costly” high maintenance valve amps. So, I will send my other Sessionette chassis today for the same Checkover/Upgrade, if that’s Ok? Thanks again,
Graham Barclay - Aberdeen - 21.05.2012
I thought the 1986 Sessionette was fine as it was (blue snakeskin below). I always liked the clean headroom and never really dabbled with the other (distortion) channel, preferring to use pedal overdrive. Well I can tell you those days are gone forever.
I know you think you have made a great improvement to the Solid State design. I, however, think you have either performed a miracle or sold your soul to the devil, as the transformation of the amp is akin to black magic!
As you know I am fortunate to own two Sessionettes, so I can directly compare the difference and I never imagined it would be so dramatic. You were correct when you said it would sound fatter, but the touch sensitive aspect is the most impressive new aspect. Play quiet, clean, dig-in, overdrive... loveliness, no need to touch the controls at all. And the presence knob at the back is a very cool addition too. Although I do have one complaint... it sounds good to me in any position, so now I am totally confused as to where to leave it set. Compared to the other Sessionette, it really is like chalk and cheese.
I, over the years, have spent silly money on 'finding my sound'. You've made my bank manager very happy.
Needless to say, when funds allow, the other one will be brought up to you too.
Many, many thanks and see you soon, Dave Westbrook - Winchester - 6.7.2012