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The Kingsley Keep is a 15W or 30W tube head built into a small chassis and covered by a steel cage. It is designed to provide fat and warm clean sounds that seamlessly meld into rich harmonic overdrive, while being very simple to operate. It is the sort of amplifier that appeals to players who are not looking to tweak a lot of knobs and switches and who enjoy controlling their sound from their guitars. In-spite of this simplicity the Keep is still a very versatile amplifier.

At the heart of the Keep is a cathode biased, non-negative feedback power amplifier that uses a 5AR4 rectifier, two EL84s (for the 15W model) or four EL84s (for the 30W model). 6V6 tubes may also be requested in place of EL84s. The pre-amplifier uses three 12ax7s. Construction-wise, the Keep is built in the same way as the more expensive Kingsley amplifiers, hand-wired using terminal strips, terminal boards and chassis-mounted pots, switches and sockets.

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The Keep has two inputs. Input 1 is the lower gain of the two, and is suited to full bodied and warm clean tones at lower volumes, up to medium levels of touch sensitive overdrive as the volume is raised. Input 2 starts off as a really nice clean tone also, but seamlessly turns into a rich overdrive at medium volume levels and then into a high gain rock tone at higher volume control levels. The master volume allows all of this at any volume. For additional output control the 3-way output switch varies the power from full to half down to quarter power.

The Tone control rolls off highs in the power amp, but features a 3-way voice switch for altering its response from standard to thick to smooth. A 3-way bright switch allows additional tonal control.

On the back panel there are separate speaker outputs for 4, 8 and 16 ohms. Then there is the footswitch jack and a simple passive effects loop, with pre-amp out and power amp in jacks.

Dimensions: 16" wide x 7.5" tall x 8" deep.
Weight: Keep 15: 22 lbs, Keep 30: 25 lbs

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Foot-switchable attenuation

The amplifier is also available with an optional footswitch that controls the output of the amplifier. It features a 3-way switch that lowers the output from full power down to quarter power in three steps. This can be used as a boost feature, or as a volume cut feature. This can be useful for players who like to vary the amount of dirt in their sound by riding the guitar’s volume control. Lowering the guitar volume cleans up the amp sound, but of course it also lowers the actual volume of the amp a bit too. When the guitar volume is raised for more overdrive the volume also goes up. However, by stepping on the footswitch to attenuate the sound, overdrive volume and clean volume can be equalized. Footswitch cost: $100


This digital reverb circuit sounds very spring-like, with a medium decay. The circuit mixes with the pre-amp signal in the power amplifier. As such the reverb circuit is non-obtrusive, meaning that the basic sound of the Keep is not changed at all by the addition of the reverb circuitry. Cost: $200

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Kingsley Keep

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