Some British Flavor – Lil Dawg’s 18 Watt Beauty – “The Pug”!
Lil Dawg 18 watt PugLil Dawg 18 watt Pug
The British amps are also deserving of recognition for the role they played in shaping the sound of modern music as well. There were many amps to choose from in the ‘60s, but the Marshall brand seemed destined to make history early on. Usually we think of the full Marshall stack, with 50, 100, even 200 watt heads driving multiple 4×12 cabinets. With sound that could fill a stadium, the Marshall tone caused many guitarists to aspire to stardom.
It was after a request from another friend that I agreed it was time for Li’l Dawg to offer a British voiced amp. I know a lot of people still want the 100 watt heads but something along the lines of the 18 watt circuit seemed to be better suited for the needs of most of my customers. So I built my prototype using a bunch of scavenged parts, stuffed them into a tiny chassis just for the challenge, and was very pleased with the outcome of my labor. Being a Li’l Dawg Amp it had to have a pedigree name so I called it the Pug.
My being excited about it was one thing, but what would others think? So I took it down to a local blues jam, offered it up for everyone to try, and then sat in the back to hear how it sounded in the mix. About 4 measures into the first song the guitar player using the amp stopped everything and shouted, “My Goodness, something’s burning!” I was immediately concerned as it was a prototype after all, but the big smile on Greg’s face was a reassurance for me to just sit back and relax. A lot of people played the amp that night and I got lots of great feedback about it; enough that I knew the Pug was going to be added to my build list.
The Pug is an 18 watt circuit for the folks who like the Marshall sound. It’s a high gain single channel circuit with hi/lo inputs, 1 volume, and 1 tone control. Most folks buy the “TMB” style chassis (treble, mid, bass) but only use the normal channel anyway so the simpler circuit build makes a lot of sense.
I’m using a set of Heyboer 18 watt trannies and will be building the circuit in a 17″ x 6.5″ x 2.5″ chassis box that also fits the Blues Breaker style combos or the small box head. I do add an impedance selector switch as well as the parallel outputs.
Tubes will be a set of JJs (1 GZ34, 2 EL84, 2 12AX7). You can also substitute a 5Y3GT or 5V4G for different amounts of sag & compression with the Pug.
Since then I’ve also added the Pug Reverb to the build list. It’s the only amp I offer with reverb, and it’s the tube driven 3 knob circuit with enough ‘verb for an elephant to swim in.