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Alligator AP150 Combo & KGB Cab.

Article from Music UK, January 1983

Alligator combo please, and make it snappy!


Now hold on a minute — just before you start rushing through the words, just take a quick look at those prices we've quoted above, will you? Yes, they're quite right, the Alligator 150 watt (all-purpose) combo delivering a rated 120 watts R.M.S. sells for a mere £249 inc VAT. And yes, even more, the KGB cab (which amounts to much the same speaker section as in the combo) sells for £99.50 inc VAT. Silly? Well, you just wait and see!

The Alligator combo which we tried is designed to be used by all instrumentalists — not as odd an idea as it might sound providing the speaker cabinet is well designed and the Eq section properly equipped. The combo measures some 21"x26"x10" and weighs in at a mere 50lbs — thus it's easily liftable by one person, especially if he grasps the high quality top carrying strap and the side mounted one which make the combo a dream to shift around.

The covering of the comparatively small Alligator combo is a green vinyl (most appropriate for the breed of Lacertus in question!) with two large front ports and metal individual grilles covering the twin Fane 10" speakers. Each of the corners is protected by plastic moulded end-caps which also serve the cunning purpose of supporting a combo riding on the KGB cab without wobbling and the ancient fear of 'ye collapsed stack' — a common enough problem!

Back panel facilities of the Alligator are excellent. The unit connects to the mains by the standard IEC mains lead and has two fuses, two outputs for connection to external cabs plus an effects loop send and return, an output for a slave power amp and a metal mains switch. Round on the front, the combo offers a veritable plethora of facilities. The first switch you come across is labelled 'boost' (more of that later) and then there's an input for a remote boost foot-switch, a single instrument input (15mV) followed by a pre-amp gain control, marked at no. 6 on a zero to ten scale for where the average on-set of distortion will begin. Next along that front panel we find the tone control sections and these really must be some of the most comprehensive of any amp currently on the U.K. market. First off there are two pots marked 'bass' and 'treble' which cover 50Hz and 4KHz respectively. Then comes a very refined mid-section comprising four pots, marked low (100Hz), Mid 1 (500Hz), Mid 2 (1.5 kHz) and High (5 kHz). Finally there are two more controls, a master volume (also marked for the on-set of overload/distortion at No.6) and a standby switch which is illuminated by a green light.

Overall the Alligator is an exceptionally well constructed combo, protected to withstand a hard life on the road and easy to move around and stack. Especially appreciated were the black metal screw-on fronts which protect the twin 10" speakers.

In use, the Alligator is shockingly good. We must confess that when we were told that this 120 watt combo would handle guitar, bass or keyboard via its twin 10" speakers we were very sceptical indeed. However, the makers have gone to Fane for their speakers and that company are now in the very forefront of speaker design and manufacture; the cabinet is also well made and designed. The sheer sound pressure from this combo is quite phenomenal bearing in mind its size and its ability to handle bass guitar is little short of staggering!

What is especially appealing about the Alligator is the amazing range of tones which it will produce. The pre-amp gain and the second tone section (when used together) can wring a superlative solo/distortion sound out of just about any guitar, and when a bass is used that too will give sounds which even some amps costing twice the price cannot match.

A particularly valuable feature of the Alligator is the boost switch. This lifts the gain from a relatively 'normal' level to a singing/whining overdrive which leads the combo into real power-chord or solo sounds.



"IN FACT THE ALLIGATOR DELIVERS A SEARING LEAD SOUND..."


Adding the amazingly low-cost KGB cab appears to make the Alligator combo almost unbearably loud and significantly more meaty. On its own the twin speakered combo screams out a massive 120 watts — connect a KGB and that automatically pushes the power delivered up to 150 watts and if that isn't enough (what are you into, for heavens sake?) the addition of the ASC 150 slave cabinet will take the total RMS output up to a sheer mind-numbing 250 watts!

We tried the Alligator combo plus KGB cab on a wide range of guitars from a Gibson to a cheap Jap copy guitar and from a Strata bass right down to the meanest Jap copy bass — never once did we find ourselves stuck for a usable sound — which must be an amazing tribute to both the quality of the amp/speakers and (especially) that tremendously flexible Eq section.

An ultimate test of any amp (especially a tranny model like the Alligator) must lie in its ability to produce a successful overload/distortion tone. Set on 'boost' with the preamp gain just into the marked distortion setting and with a wide range of guitars driving the amp we never once failed to get anything but convincing lead guitar sound — very much giving the lie to the old adage that tranny amps cannot be used for pro lead guitar. In fact the Alligator delivers a searing lead sound, fully adjustable from a bass/blues wail to a high-pitched whistling sustain which swoops and sears into a sound more like a top-quality valve amp than anything else. In fact, unless you have bat's ears, we'd defy you to go against the Alligator's lead solo sound on account of a normal tranny dryness.

Overall, the Alligator range of amps, combos, slaves and extension cabs represents really fine value for money and we would wholeheartedly recommend them to any player — quite regardless of what instrument he or she played — can we say more than that?

For further details readers should write to (Contact Details). Delivery arrangements are available (they charge a mere £10 per item for Securicor delivery and offer a seven day 'money back' guarantee) . An impressive five year guarantee applies whether the products are bought direct or through a retailer.

Combo £249 inc.VAT. KGB Cab £99-50 inc.VAT.


Also featuring gear in this article



Previous Article in this issue

Burman GX3 Pre-Amp

Next article in this issue

Sola Sound Effects Units


Publisher: Music UK - Folly Publications

The current copyright owner/s of this content may differ from the originally published copyright notice.
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Music UK - Jan 1983

Review

Previous article in this issue:

> Burman GX3 Pre-Amp

Next article in this issue:

> Sola Sound Effects Units


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