REVIEW: Egnater Tweaker 112

EgnaterI’ve reviewed a few Egnater Tweaker amps over the past few years. The 6L6-loaded Tweaker 40 was a fun little amp with plenty of switches for customising your tone, while the Tweaker 88 rocked a set of KT-88 power tubes for a different tonal character. The Tweaker 112 is a little more closely aligned with the Tweaker 40, but with 6V6 power tubes and its own thang going on. The Tweaker 112 is a 15 watt tube combo with a single 12″ speaker (a Celestion G12H-30) housed in a void-free birch ply cabinet. There’s only a single channel this time around, with controls for Bass, Middle and Treble as well as a Master Volume and a Gain control. But that’s not where the tone sculpting ends. This is an Egnater, after all, an amp by a company known for providing all sorts of extra features that allow you to further sculpt and customise the tone beyond what a mere three-band EQ can give you. In this case there’s a Modern/Vintage voicing switch, a Clean/Hot gain selector, Tight/Deep and Bright/Normal switches (which shape the low and high ends respectively), and a selectable AC/British/American switch. The latter is probably the most decisive aspect in shaping the amp’s tone: it will give you a rich ringing chime in AC mode, a ballsier, middier roar in British mode and a sparkly, direct, punchy attack in American mode. Sculpt that further with the other switches and you have a hugely flexible tone laboratory.

Aside from speaker outputs, you’ll find a buffered effects loop around the back of the amp, which is a crucial addition in this case because there’s no onboard reverb to lend any ambience.

When it comes down to it, the Tweaker 112 is ridiculously, almost offensively versatile. And so it should be: those additional switches give you ultra-fine control over some pretty crucial parameters. Think of it as reconfiguring the entire innards of the amp without having to inhale a lot of solder fumes and you’ll get the idea. There’s nothing this amp can’t do, and that even includes some pretty aggressive metal tones, especially if you lean towards the stoner metal/Mastodon side of things rather than death metal. The 6V6 power tubes give a punchy, powerful articulation to whatever you play, whether it’s country, jazz, blues, rock, metal, indie, stoner, grunge – whatever you throw at it. And it’s addictively interactive, spitting out a different tone depending on which pickup you select or where you set the guitar’s volume knob. Sure, it won’t do convincing djent or grindcore tones, but it covers pretty much everything else, and if you ever require a djent or grind sound, the Tweaker 112’s clean settings play so nicely with pedals – and the speaker and cabinet can handle so much variation – that you’ll be able to conjure your desired sound with a little outboard gear anyway.

It can take a while to wrap your head around the various additional switches, so don’t forget to stop experimenting and start playing once in a while. You may find that a setting that seems kind of odd when you flip the switch will actually be pretty damn special once you step back for a minute, play again and listen – kind of like how you need to cleanse your pallet at a fancy wine tasting, or sniff the coffee beans to reset your sense of smell when trying out colognes.

The Tweaker 112 is a very classy-looking and quite roadworthy-feeling amp where everything’s laid out logically. And it’s small enough to carry in the front seat. It does a little bit of pretty much everything exceedingly well, and while its various tones may not all be as distinctive as dedicated one-sound amps, but it can get you close enough to so many sounds that it earns the right to be your only amp if you need a whole bunch of quality sounds fast and on a budget.