The Diamond Spitfire II does exactly what it says on the tin – producing provoking, full-on vintage tones at a suprisingly good price…
Naturally, anything that comes close to this price range is Marshall’s Benchmark 1959HW (£1,438). This model was made famous by Hendrix and Page et al, back in the day. But the tones of the Spitfire really emulate the psyche-phenia tones of the 60’s.
I hooked up the 100 watt all-tube head, with its cabinet, to my work-horse 87 American Telecaster to produce this sublime, powerfully clean tone. Thanks to the Spitfire’s Svetlana ‘Winged C’ the head is able to bridge that tonal gap between Fender and Marshall amps. If you really wind up the gain on the head’s independent gain controlled secondary channel it blooms nicely. Whacking up the gain to full gives you this authentic vintage-flavoured drive that anybody from Beck to Hendrix would happily revel in.
Plenty of compression is produced by the natural path Diamond obviously took when deciding on their circuitry mapping. Crashing power chords are complemented when using this cabinet in any gain setting, as are Chic minor sevenths. Additionally, the dual volume control allows the player to choose two very different levels for basically the same tone – for solos, as an example – or even dial in a pair of exaggerated drive sounds.
Although hindered by its low focus pot is located around the back of the unit the Diamond Spitfire II has a lot going for itself. This machine is prime-time hardware aimed at a very specific target audience. You won’t be disappointed.
The Diamond Spitfire II retails at £1,999.