Palmer FAT50 Tube Guitar Combo – Test Report by guitarrista.com
Palmer FAT50 – 2-channel tube combo with classic tube distortion and an extremely powerful sound. For nearly 30 years now, the German company Palmer has been known as a manufacturer of high-quality amplifiers and other audio equipment. The combo that we are presenting today belongs to the “FAT” series, the origins of which reach back in some ways all the way back to the eighties – an era when tube amps became extremely popular. Accordingly, the FAT50 has a classic rock tone with typical tube distortion and thus is ideal for moderate crunch sounds, but also for powerful overdrive and high-gain sounds. The same model is also available as a head with a separate 2 x 12″ cabinet.
The Palmer FAT50 is a 2-channel tube combo with an output power of 50 watts, one input, and an Eminence Governor “Red Coat” 12″ speaker. The front panel of the FAT50 features a master volume control for adjusting the output level, a reverb control, three switches (clean/drive channel, normal/brilliant, high/low gain), one volume control each for the clean and drive channels, and tone controls with drive, bass, mid, treble, and drive presence. On the rear panel are various jack socket connectors: inputs for the footswitch with additional volume control, two addition connectors for the effects loop (send/return, with volume control), and four for connecting external speakers (with 8 or 16 ohms).
The FAT50 is a standard-sized classic combo. Unlike many other amps of this kind, however, it is pretty heavy – especially if you are one of those guitarists who like to transport their footswitch in the back of the combo … which adds even more weight, but expands the possibilities even more. One major advantage of the FAT50, by the way, is that the footswitch (with metal housing) is already included. It has a total of 4 switches (gain, channel, reverb, and volume), and can also be mounted on a pedalboard or the like with screws through the protruding base plate. On the whole, the FAT50 presents itself as a plain, solidly built amp without any embellishment. Let’s call it “functional”. Only the silver knobs stand out from the otherwise completely black exterior.
Sound and performance
The FAT50 is a dead serious 2-channel combo, with one set of tone controls for both channels, which delivers an enormous sound pressure level with scarcely any audible background noise – even at high volumes. The tone is fairly clean; the frequency ranges are crisply divided except at very high levels. Then the tone loses a little something and the reproduction of the various frequencies is no longer as balanced.
The clean channel is very clean and has a pleasant, dynamic sound. The mid-range and bass frequencies take a little bit of a back seat here, while the treble offers a much broader tonal spectrum. In addition, there is also a bright/normal switch with which we can add more brightness to the signal – like a dual input (normal/brilliant) that was integrated in this model in the form of a switch. In high-gain mode, the distortion of the FAT50 sounds a little metallic and not overly intense. This moderate distortion is better suited to classic rock than for metal sounds. The FAT50’s only built-in effect is the typical hall, which, however, sounds very broad, clean, and full.
The FAT50 is a tube amp with a classic tone and two well-differentiated channels for clean and lead sounds. It sounds good, stands out because of its full, subtle hall, and has the big added bonus of a footswitch with four switches for fast, efficient toggling of various parameters. A mid-sized combo that is rather heavy.
At a glance
Plus: High sound pressure level, dynamic sound, and practical quadruple footswitch
Minus: A slightly metallic high-gain sound
A high-quality combo that is ideal for all lovers of classic distortion sounds
Price: 899 €
Type: tube combo
Power amplifier: 50 W
Speaker: 1 x 12″ Eminence Governor “Red Coat”
Max. power consumption: 150 W (standby: 42 W)
Dimensions: 58 x 50 x 27 cm
Footswitch: Palmer (4 switches)
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Source: www.guitarrista.com, Spain, 2010