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Egnater (by Rocktron) TOL100 (Tone of Life) Amplifier

 
Bruce Egnater's Tone of Life 100 watt amplifier head manufactured by Rocktron. 4 channels with built-in reverb, effects loop and midi controllable.


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Grab one if you can!

Sound I LOVE the sounds I get from this amp. You don't really see many of these around and it took me quite a while to hunt mine down. After years of on & off hunting without luck (either couldn't find one at the right price or didn't have the cash when I did) I came across one locally on Craig's List a couple of years ago for an absolute steal! If you can find one of these, grab it... you won't be sorry.

Mine is a 1999 model manufactured by Rocktron. Bruce originally designed these and sold them in low quantities under the Egnater name. Once they caught on (for those who don't know Mr. Vai used one of these just before entering in to his agreement with Carvin on the Legacy amps) Bruce had them contract manufactured by Rocktron in higher quantities. These were designed to be midi controllable which is a very cool feature. I use one of the Randall 4-button midi controllers (that I believe were designed for the Randall MTS series stuff... another one of Bruce's creations) to run mine. When I used rack effects I've also run it with a DMC ground control.

I have mine loaded with Svetlana EL34s and Tung Sol 12AX7s. The architecture is basically 4 channels grouped in to two pairs of 2 channels. The pairs share EQ and "mode switch" settings. For my first pair I have the bright switch set to 0, the bass at 12:30, mid at 11:00, treble at 2:00 and presence at 1:30. For the second pair I have the voicing switch set at modern 1, bass at 1:00, mid at Noon, treble at 2:30 and presence at 2:00. I set the master presence at 1:30 and the density at Noon. Gain 1 at 2:00, Gain 2 at 2:30, Gain 3 at 2:00 and Gain 4 at 2:30.

The reverb isn't provided by a spring tank, but it sounds great. I've also used the effects loop in both parallel and series mode... gotten great results both ways. These days I just use the 4-button Randall and a pedalboard with stomp boxes. The settings I have above with give you clean channel 1, pushed channel 2, crunchy channel 3 and liquid solo tone for channel 4.

This amp is darker sounding than most amps so don't be afraid to dial up the treble, mid and presence controls... you'll find the tone you're looking for :) I have 5 amps and this one probably gets played the most. I absolutely love the tones I get from this amp... it's a staple in my live and recorded sound.


Reliability I've had mine for about 3 years and got it used. I did have one issue with it... these have a tendency to burn out one of the connectors on the PCB. It's an easy fix if you're handy with a soldering iron. I contacted Bruce directly and after a few emails I had it fixed in a couple of hours. Aside from that I've had no problems... I consider this to be a well-built, reliable amplifier.


Customer Support I contacted Bruce directly when the amp suddenly stopped producing sound. The lights were on, but nobody was home. After a couple of emails (which Bruce answered within an hour or two) I had step-by-step instructions from Bruce on how to repair the burnt out connector on the PCB. I was absolutely floored at Bruce's willingness to help me with my problem. His responses were timely and thorough. I know practically nothing about amplifiers, but I'm handy with a soldering iron and fixed the problem myself in just a couple of hours (most of that was taking the amp out of the head case and putting it back in).


Liked about it 1) Tone - I just love the sound of this amp... every channel gives me top-notch tone.
2) Features - I love the fact that the amp is midi controllable and I actually like the shared EQ... less to think about, but still gives me great sound. The effects loop gives you everything necessary and the reverb sounds great.
3) Weight - this is fairly compact head that doesn't weigh a ton. I appreciate that it packs 100w of great tone in to a compact package.


Didn't like Nothing


Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0

By djrjems
Jul 08, 2012
 
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