Sophisticated, articulate and intelligent are words not often associated with high gain amps, but the Megalith Beta sets out to change that perception. Painstaking care and attention have been placed into this original power amp design to give an amazing low-end in full distortion, but also amazing clarity, punch and authority whether in FULL or HALF power. This twin-channel 160W monster can take any large octal tube from EL34 to KT-100 to give a crisp, crystalline clean with loads of headroom that puts other high-gain amp’s clean channels to shame!
However, it is the three-mode (LOW, MID, HIGH) second DRIVE channel that redefines high gain tone; LOW mode gives a detailed, articulate crunch, MID with enough gain to satisfy the heaviest guitarist and HIGH mode pushing out some of the craziest, tightest yet stable high-gain sounds available.
The equalisation options can turn the Megalith Beta from loose and vintage, to tight and modern via the three-way ATTACK switch, independent 3-BAND EQ, EQ SHIFT mid-range switch and unique CONTOUR control. Dual MASTER VOLUME controls allow for the seamless transition from rhythm to lead, with the MASTER, CHANNEL and a series tube-driven/buffered FX LOOP selectable via a three-button footswitch. Add any effects, racks, extended range guitars and power-matched cabinets to unleash the hard-rock, djent, prog, doom, black, death, thrash guitarist within!
From a blank piece of paper to concept realisation to what is now a full production amp, we knew from early on we would be unleashing a unique high gain performance driven monster onto an unsuspecting music industry. The Megalith Beta sets a new benchmark in high gain amplification as it sets out to satisfy the needs and growing demands of modern guitarists both tonally and performance wise. This is an amp for the new decade.
The OVERDRIVE channel has more gain on tap than any other amp we know of. But sheer amount of gain is not the only way to judge the performance of this fire-breathing monster. Whereas the high-gainers of the past achieved their sound by taking the original guitar tone, mushing it up, filtering it and spitting out an unrecognisable mess, the Megalith works on the exact opposite principle. It’s tight, fast, articulate, detailed, and true. This allows every nuance, touch and expression to be transmitted faithfully and musically. You’ve worked hard to create your own sonic identity, so why cover it up? But this doesn’t mean that the OD channel is a one trick pony. By adjusting the extremely flexible EQ, setting the attack switch (for 3 different ‘tightness’ settings), the EQ shift (3 different EQ voicings), the gain mode (Low – a detailed, articulate crunch, Mid – a momentous high gain sound, High – the craziest, tightest high gain sound you could ever imagine), and the Contour control (see below), you can create a remarkably varied range of overdriven tones.
The CLEAN channel is a real surprise on the Megalith. Let’s face it, most clean channels on high gain amps are a throw away, an afterthought. The clean channel on the Megalith is the most balanced clean channel we’ve ever designed on a few different levels.
Firstly, the channel is balanced across all frequencies. The lows are full and rich, the mids are in no way lacking, and the high end is detailed. Also, by using the bright switch, EQ shift and contour control, an amazing array of cleans are available.
Secondly, this is the most pedal friendly clean we’ve ever made. It is possible to achieve a seamless transition from the clean channel with an OD pedal to the high gain sound of channel 2. This also makes the Megalith a remarkable, high headroom platform for pedals and effects.
Thirdly, we have achieved a wonderful synergy between the clean circuit and its power supply. So despite the gigantic power reserves of the power amp, the clean channel is surprisingly ‘warm’. If you hit the strings hard, this channel won’t take your head off.
Fourthly, there’s enough gain in this channel to get a great old school crunch with typical humbuckers, which will start to produce dirt above 12 O’clock. Single coils produce that wonderful ‘in between’ sound (“is it clean or dirty?”)
The CONTOUR controls in the Megalith are the most powerful tone shaping tool in the whole amp. In fact, I would suggest using the contour control as your main EQ. Start with everything at 12 O’clock, except gain (set to taste). From there, adjust your contour control to get as close as possible to the tone you require. Want to fatten things up and make things a bit looser? Turn up the contour. Want to add a huge, tight low end with cutting highs? Turn down the contour. From there, you can then make slight adjustments to the EQ to nail your sound.
Then there’s the power amp. This is a highly evolved design. We started off with a more traditional power amp design, but it just wouldn’t cut it. Given the amazing low end achievable with the Megalith, we found that traditional power amps just mushed out. We needed more headroom, output power and clarity. So we completely redesigned the power supply and power amp to achieved huge output power, amazing punch and authority, and no ghost noting. Also, by running the power tube screens at a lower voltage, we’ve reduced the chance of the most common type of tube failure. To top this off, the output power can be adjusted from full power to half power from the front standby switch.
Do you like to get your gain sounds old-school (i.e. with power tube distortion)? Not a problem (although your speaker cabs may disagree!). The huge, ultra low noise, double shielded toroidal power and output transformers can take anything you dish out at them.
There are THREE tube driven and buffered series FX loops, one per each channel plus a GLOBAL loop giving you the control on how to effect your tone. All of this, as well as the dual master volumes, are foot-switchable via the included 3 button footswitch (Channel/FX/Master).
A conservative 160W output using 4 x KT88 power tubes (standard)
4 x 12ax7 preamp tubes
Thick 2.4 mm double-sided through-hole PCB’s with 4oz plated tracks
High end audiophile German made WIMA polyester and polypropylene capacitors for the signal path
Amphenol jacks rated at 10A
16 Gauge Galvanised Steel Chassis
Anodised aluminium faceplates
Custom built overspec’d transformers
19mm plywood headshells
Width – 643mm (25.3”)
Depth – 225mm (8.9”)
Height – 250mm (9.8”) (with rubber feet)
Weight – 21.5kg (47lb)
Note all dimension are close approximations
2 Channels – Clean & Overdrive
Independent EQ’s – Gain, Bass, Middle, Treble, Volume
3 EQ voicings per channel
Contour Control for each channel – unique tone shaping tool
Bright Switch – 3 position – allows more control over the clean channels sparkle
Attack Switch – 3 position – switch to adjust the tightness and response of the overdrive channel.
Mode Switch – 3 position gain switch on the overdrive channel (low, medium and high gain voicing)
Dual Master Volume – allows you to set up 2 stage levels
FX Loop – Tube buffered, line level FX Loop
3 button Footswitch (Included) – Channel Select, FX Loop on/off and Master Volume Select
Ability to accept most large power tubes – KT100, KT90, KT88, KT77, 6550, EL34 and 6CA7
4, 8 and 16 Ohm output