Achillies – Argos Hand Wired 50w Head
If you want that familiar rock sound and tone that defined the late 70’s and 80’s, but with the unparalleled flexibility of the Argos range, then the Achillies 50w head is right up your alley!
Take the benchmark cascaded preamp architecture, add in solid-state rectification and an EL34 output section, and the Argos 50w head will deliver tight cleans, classic mid-gain rock tones through to high gain British crunch. Couple this with the standard Argos switchable features of Master, Bright, Blend, Raw, Cut and Edge, and there isn’t a gig or studio session this thing can’t handle!
The Argos 50w head is tailor made to match with our Argos closed back 2x12 and 4x12 cabs for maximum punch and clarity. Want pure British rock tone with unrivalled flexibility? You just found it!
The first thing that stands out on the Argos are the 6 switches – the ‘eyes’ of the giant! The easiest way to think of it is that when all switches are in the up position, the amp is in stock or traditional mode. Clockwise from the Master switch, the ‘eyes’ do as follows…
1. The Master switch introduces a Master Volume which is accessible on the rear control panel of the amp. Being true bypass, this means that when not selected it is 100% out of the signal and the traditional dual channel volumes are in play. The Master switch allows selection for maximum clean headroom, or will tame the Argos to bedroom/studio output volumes. Even at the lowest of volume levels, clarity and punch is clear in this amp, perfect for late night jamming or recording.
2. The Bright switch adds extra high end definition to the sound of the amp – this really works well for darker humbucker equipped guitars to cut through a band mix, to adapt the Argos to different speaker types, or to bring out overall additional presence and twang to your tone.
3. Blend is an incredibly useable option that essentially replaces the need to run a patch cable between the 2 channels. Many 4-hole Marshall players have long bridged the dual inputs, or run an A/B box to select between higher or lower gain inputs on the brighter Channel 1 or the darker Channel 2. While this is still totally possible for purists on the Argos, the Blend control allows instant access to both channels, while being plugged into one input – total flexibility in order to shape your preamp gain settings!
4. The Edge provides tight EQ focus to further shape the sound of the Argos. This switch comes into play more noticeably at higher preamp gain levels – chords will be noticeably tighter and clearer and leads will sustain and ‘hang’ more.
5. A Major feature of the Argos - in the down position, the traditional squish and full low end of the classic rock tones is there in spades, perfect for more 60's style rock sounds. Middle position on the Cut Switch introduces the first tone shaping capacitor, which removes a degree of low end, tightening up the sound for 70's and 80's rock. The up, or most aggressive position on the Cut switch inserts a second higher value capacitor, which further cuts the flub at higher preamp gain settings. This brings out the crunch and sizzle of classic to modern heavy rock and metal, absolutely perfect for fast rhythm work and shredding leads. Your sound can get really aggressive especially when used together with the Bright and Edge switches!
6. Switching to Raw entirely defeats the TMB tonestack from the circuit – even more punch is available here, and in the Raw setting, maximum gain is extracted from the Argos. Use your favourite EQ in the FX Loop, or simply use your guitar’s volume knob to work through the shades of grind and compression on offer – maximum touch sensitivity and feel lives in here.
The rear panel open up even more options on the Argos – the eyes of the giant continue!
From left to right:
7. A top quality FX Loop circuit which carefully preserves tone, with an FX Loop Level control built in. Very handy for regulating the overall blended volume of modulation, time based and volume pedals in your rig.
8. Master Volume - Accessible when master switch is engaged - see 1.
9. A line out jack with level control. With a load plugged into the speaker outs, run this straight to your DAW interface, live mixing desk for foldback levels, or headphones for in ear monitoring.
10. Speaker outs for 4, 8 or 16 ohms
11. Tube Power switch – select 50 watts for maximum headroom and less saturation or 25 watts for more compression and earlier breakup. This switch, when used in conjunction with the switches on the front panel really opens the Argos up for a huge range of feel and tonalities.
12. AC Voltage Selector – Step Up or Down transformers are not needed with the Argos. No matter where you live, select your country’s voltage requirements and plug in.
Truly a multi-faceted giant of an amp, the Argos presents the player with an array of usable and fine-tuned options that will encourage you shape and refine your tone to your exacting specifications, or simply plug in and rock out. Designed to open all sonic possibilities of a high end, meticulously handwired British style rock amp to the guitarist, the Argos nails those classic tones you’ve always wanted, while being as simple or complex as you need - allowing innumerable ways to ‘see’ and get the most out of your rig and playing.
This amp delivers in tone, options, and aesthetics. I am blown away by the versatility of my Argos 50W. It literally does everything I ask of it, plus! It's an amazing pedal platform, and does every nuance of gain, from clean to mean. I paired it with a vertical closed-back 212 at the recommendation of Labros, and it is a most stunning combination in both sound and looks. The build quality is second-to-none. The options Labros built-in to his Argos leaves you lacking for nothing, everything was thought of. A MV, a blend, both a bright and tight switch, and his incredible design on an f/x loop, he's a genius of both build and design. Set your expectations high, because this amp delivers on them!