Torque T100L Combo
SPUD DIGBY was not a happy man. The cost of recording his latest album, 'Rock 'n' Roll Angels From Desolation City', had spiralled out of control, and left Braindamage Records with a hefty bill on their desk. Naturally, it was the finest double concept album ever made, but try telling that to your record company. Philistines! In an attempt to recoup their losses, Braindamage had promptly sold Spud's equipment when he wasn't looking, leaving him axe-less, amp-less and just slightly peeved. They'd even sold his H-reg Transit! So now he had no gear for his forthcoming 200-date tour. Desolation City or what?
One of his drinking partners, Keef of up-and-coming band the Strolling Ones, had kindly given Spud an old '57 Les Paul. But with only £200 left in his pocket, what was Spud going to do for an amp? I mean, £200 is the sort of sum which will more than get you a quality small amp, but won't buy anything for a pro like Spud. Will it? Well, maybe it will...
Meanwhile, in the High Street, Spud was being mobbed by the adoring millions. After fighting his way into the music shop, Spud explained his predicament to the salesman, who guided him towards an unobtrusive amp sitting in the corner - the Torque T100L? Yep, the Torque T100L. Spud cast his weary eyes over the little combo, sizing it up. Considering the small amount of space the speaker and amp unit took up, the cabinet itself did appear a bit on the large side. Still, it certainly wasn't as large as the Megaton Electronics Concussion 400 model he'd had before, so... no probs.
The cabinet was made from plain old chipboard and covered in black vinyl, but was nicely finished off with some white piping around the outside of the speaker baffle. "Neat", thought Spud, obviously having one of his more profound thoughts of the day. He wasn't too keen on the four bits of metal that held the speaker in position, though - many other amps used this method but Spud (being a man of great artistic refinement) found them a bit unsightly.
He noticed how simple the layout of the amp was. It was a two-channel design with both channels governed by one set of volume controls, one pre and one post. Spud was about to grunt disapprovingly at the one input, until he realised that Hi or Low settings could be selected using a push switch. Next to the Hi/Low switch he found another, for manually bringing in the overdrive. The rest of the setup was just as simple. Three pots - Treble, Middle, and Bass - controlled both channels; Spud noticed that because of the single volume control, this meant a certain limitation on the sounds and levels he'd be able to switch from and to. "Hmmm..."
Checking out the reverb he saw it was an Accutronics - quality stuff, guv'nor. The master pot was fitted on the far right of the control panel, with the channel selector footswitch alongside. The Torque didn't satisfy Spud's passion for banks of flashing lights, having just the illuminated mains switch. But it did the job, and he reckoned he could live with such meagre facilities.
Spud cleared himself a space on the floor and did a couple of yoga moves before feeling he was ready to put the Torque to the test. Could such a "budget" piece of equipment handle the Digby treatment?
Spud was expecting the amp to fail miserably in the practical department, but lo and behold, here he was lost for words! With his eyes closed he'd swear the sound was coming from an amp costing a lot more. The tone pot worked on a cut and boost principle, and Spud was fairly happy with the range of sounds, from squeaky clean to filthy distortion. But as all the controls were common to both channels, he did have to compromise the channel settings slightly to get an even level when switching channels. Not ideal, as Spud was not a man of compromise.
Still, after cranking the amp up a bit, Spud soon became quite taken with the Torque. How could so much volume come from so little circuitry? "Really neat!" grinned Spud. Another thought like that and he'd be on 'The Krypton Factor'. If the clean sound was enough to make the salesman's eyes water, the nuclear-capability power chords and widdly-widdly bits forced him to seek refuge in the basement. Yessir, this sure was loud!
Spud paused briefly to take some refreshment - a can of Special Brew. In the silence he noticed the hiss the amp made at this higher volume, especially with the treble turned up. Given the volume Spud usually played at this wouldn't normally be a problem - but if he did ever sellout and play something verging on the subtle, that hiss could be a problem.
Spud was just wondering if the Torque might come in useful in recording his new EP 'Cocked and Loaded' when the trembling salesman ventured back upstairs. He came forward sheepishly. "Er... well?"
"Yeah man, rock n roll! I'll take ten!" Spud slapped the two-hundred quid on the counter. The salesman looked at him blankly. "Oh, bad grief man. I've only got loose change! When I've raised the extra bread, I'll be back for the other nine. Stay cool!"
Spud hauled the amp outside. The crowd had dispersed. For a moment Spud's ego was slightly dented, but as he looked down at his new backline he afforded himself a contented grin. The tour could begin! "Now where did I leave the Transit...?"
TORQUE T100L COMBO: £209 inc VAT (bass version also available, 100W, 15" speaker)
INFO : Barnes & Mullins, (Contact Details)
Review by Michael Leonard
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