Based on the Paul Reed Smith® Archon®
PRS Archon/Archetype- a spongey, driving type of modern tone. Lots of gain without brutality. Great sounding amp!! Beefy cross between a Marshall and a Mesa.
PRS Archon Head, all-valve, 100/50 watts, 2 channels, , fixed Bias, 6x 12AX7 preamp tubes, 4x 6L6GC power amp
The Archon Twenty-Five features six 12AX7 tubes in the preamp section, a duo of 5881 tubes in the power section, and a solid state rectifier.
The amp is hand-wired. The pots are all high-quality Alpha pots and the tubes are mounted directly to the chassis.
The Archon offers individual Volume, Treble, Middle, Bass, Master Volume, and Bright switches for both the Clean and Lead channels and global Presence and Depth controls.
The Clean channel is rich a dimensional and stays clean to almost full volume. Reminiscent of the mesa and soldano cleans.
The versatility of the three-band EQ lets you dial in tones from across the decades and across genres.
Placing the Treble and Bass around 3 o’clock, the Middle at 9 o’clock, and the Bright switch on, the Archon is capable of a surprisingly accurate blackface approximation. Playing Tele and running a Tremolo and Reverb in the loop, It could easily cover country and surf. Dialing the Treble and Bass back to noon and cranking the Middle to 3 o’clock creates a more British sounding clean tone.
Cranking the Clean volume and Master volume makes a sound that made me think of Pete Townsend and his Hiwatts. The tone has a little power tube grit to it, but it’s big, rich, and percussive.
The clean channel is excellent and also takes pedals very well.
The Lead channel starts out in hot-rodded Marshall territory and quickly works its way up into modern high gain tones. As long as you keep the Lead volume below noon, you can always clean things up with the volume knob on your guitar. If you crank the Lead volume beyond noon, totally higain.
Lead volume around 9:00 or 10:00 range of dirt tones and the way in which the Archon allowed the nature of each guitar.
The three-band EQ adds a ton of versatility. You can scoop the mids for more modern sounds or push them for classic rock tones. With Treble and Bass at noon, Middle at 4 o’clock, and the Bright switch off, the Archon is a ‘60s and ‘70s rock monster.
For an amp with this amount of gain, the Archon is amazingly low noise. To the extent that even hitting the above-mentioned classic rock tone with the extra gain of a Park Fuzz Sound didn’t add any hum or hiss—it did make for a ripping lead tone, though. The fact that the Lead channel can handle the extra gain and harmonic content of a fuzz pedal demonstrates just how articulate the Archon is.
It should come as no surprise that with the rich distorted tones of the Archon, the collection of dirt pedals were neglected. But pedal fans fear not, the Archon is one pedal-friendly amp (especially with the versatile EQ). Dirt pedals come out sounding large and natural. Pairing the Archon with a klon gave me instant access to four distinct tones from pristine to mean.
It has the clarity of gain of an Engl meaning you can pile it on if you feel the need and it won’t turn to a fuzzy mushy mess, but isn’t as overly tight or stiff and compressed as an Engl can be. It has a bigger bottom than the Engl too, nice chunk, but not a flabby mess like a Dual Recto which needs a boost in front to tighten it up. The mids seem to sit in a real good slightly lower mid place where they don’t have any upper mid honk but aren’t overly scooped when set half way either. It’s got good cut and clarity on the top end with a nice bite than isn’t as aggressive a bite as a Soldano or Marshall can be.
Cross between a Mesa Dual Rectifier’s larger-than-life delivery and a fluid, midrangy Marshall. Cranking the master volume to 11 o’clock was like waking a dangerous beast. Here the amp is blisteringly loud, and the low end feels like a medicine ball to the ribs. Thanks to the responsive EQ and presence controls,
The overdrive channel is remarkably flexible. Setting the controls at noon with the gain knob at 11 o’clock produces modern hard rock tones perfect for drop-tuned Tool and Alice in Chains riffs. Raising the presence and treble knobs while dipping the midrange to nine o’clock provided fast low-end response well suited to old-school Metallica-style thrash. Boosting the mids while pulling back lows and highs is perfect for barreling ’70s/’80’s British metal. The amp’s brawny midrange makes it slightly trickier to achieve the razor-like edge needed for some extreme forms of modern metal, but the amp handles low B, A, and even G tunings exceptionally well, never sacrificing tightness or detail, even within full chords.
The Archon has such ludicrous amounts of gain on tap that you don’t need to do much dialing to obtain enormous tones. If you’re willing to make the power amp sweat a bit, you’ll find that many of the Archon’s tightest and heaviest tones don’t require preamp saturation.
It was modeled with the bright switch in the ON position (Lead) . The bright switch is entangled in the tone control circuit, and when the bright switch is set to off is shunt some high frequencies to ground. When it’s set to ON, it’s pretty much a standard tone circuit topology.
The tone control circuit is highly interactive, and when the bright switch is off, it becomes highly interactive in a different manner. I knew I could match it well with it in the ON position, so I did that. While it’s possible to match it in the off position, I’d have to have a whole second tone circuit running behind the scenes, using DSP. Plus, I did use a little personal preference, so I just modeled it in the more classic “on” position because that sounded better to me.
Clean channel model has bright switch On-Off modeled.