The Sweet 16, PRS Guitars new 16 watt amp, is already on retail shelves and creating quite a stir in the musical instruments community. This new amp couples 16 watts of cathode-biased 6v6 output tube power and includes reverb, a full TMB tone stack, and PRS‘ transparent master volume circuit. Controls include bright switch, volume, reverb, treble, mid, bass, and master volume. All amps are hand wired in Stevensville, Maryland using hybrid circuitry techniques for consistency and durability.
The amp’s designer, Doug Sewell, said, “Designing the Sweet 16 was similar to writing a song; things just flowed well from start to finish. There was a buildup of ideas, both design and manufacturing, that needed to be implemented quickly, and things just fell together very easily. It’s been great to work with a team of exuberant and talented individuals and to make all of the good techniques and ideas reality.”
Great care was taken in simplifying the layout and construction methods during the design process. This coupled with the ever-maturing PRS amplifier parts-procurement division and production crew enabled the Sweet 16 to be offered at a great price. The tones can run from sparkly cleans with single coils to humbucking crunch. At the appropriate volume set, a full range of crunching cleans are accessible using just the guitar’s volume knob, replacing the need of at least one foot pedal.
The Sweet 16 uses hand assembled circuit boards for consistency and reliability. Shielded cable is used for critical signal paths, and pots, switches, jacks, and power tube sockets are chassis mounted and connected via flying leads. Power sections employ JJs 6V6 power tubes, which have proven to be very rugged and reliable. They are cathode-biased to near class A, in a push-pull configuration. This greatly assists the chime, bloom, and rich harmonics that the amp can produce at all volumes. The four preamp tubes include two NOS Philips 12AT7s, a JJs ECC83S, and a Tung Sol Reissue 12AX7s in locations to maximize both clean and open-sounding lower volume settings to thick crunchiness at higher volumes.