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Fractal Audio AMP models: Comet Concourse (Komet Concorde)

yek

Moderator
Moderator
* EDIT: Up-to-date information is available in Yek's Guide to the Fractal Audio Amplifier Models *


Comet Concourse: based on Komet Concorde

After Dumble the most expensive guitar amplifiers are Trainwrecks. That boutique amp with its eye-catching looks was created by (the late) Ken Fischer. He also designed amps for Komet, which are held in high esteem and sound similar to the Trainwreck amps.

Komet’s design statements:

“The Komet is a 100% new design, but is built along traditional Trainwreck methodologies. Like all "Wrecks", the Komet is a single channel amp. It has NO reverb, master volume, effects loop, foot switches, pull pots, transistors or chips ANYWHERE.”​

“The amp should produce about 50 to 60 Trainwreck watts of power. The amp must have plenty of headroom. The amp must use a 5AR4/GZ34 tube rectifier for the feel and sound this tube creates without themushy sag usually associated with tube rectification. The amp's bass response must be big, bold, clear and tight. The amp's touch response must be adjustable from gradual, like a fifties or sixties amp, to fast, likea Trainwreck amp. The amp's workmanship is to be second to none”​

We already discussed the Komet 60. This edition is about the Concorde. Its specs are quite similar: EL34s (not swappable), 50/60 watts, etc. More than the 60, the Concorde is positioned as a rock amp.

Komet:

“Traditional Trainwreck principles are followed in the design and construction. The Concorde is a single channel amp and does not have reverb, a master volume, an effects loop, foot switches, pull pots, transistors, chips or anything else that would degrade tone, harmonic complexity or touch sensitivity.​

The head box is constructed with top quality Baltic Birch covered in vintage style black levant tolex. The front panel is made of solid Padauk hardwood, hand finished and centered by a 1/8th-inch stainless steel etched plaque which displays our traditional Komet "V". A simple, yet efficient Padauk back panel allows for optimum tube protection with plenty of ventilation to spare for the amplifier. Like all Komet amplifiers, our chassis is laser cut, solid 1/8" welded aircraft grade aluminum. It features completely sealed military-grade 2 Watt potentiometers and ceramic tube sockets with gold plated contacts. It is hand built with only the best sounding and most reliable parts, and as with all of our amplifiers, is completely hand wired.​

This Trainwreck circuit, which includes Ken Fischer's specially designed power and output transformers, offers an exceptional sound. The Concorde is designed to operate exclusively on EL 34 power tubes. Ken has achieved the very best from this tube compliment without any compromises. The Concorde has more gain than Ken Fischer's other designs for Komet and incorporates a solid state rectifier. A new circuit in conjunction with new transformers and the careful selection of only the finest components allow the Concorde to offer benchmark EL 34 tone with rich complex harmonics, creamy rhythms and singing leads - all reinforced with a strong, bold, tight, low-end response. The Concorde follows the Komet / Trainwreck tradition of creating an amplifier with rich, balanced sound and unmatched musicality including superb touch sensitivity, note articulation, string to string separation and dynamic response.”​

The controls: Hi Cut, Presence, Bass, Middle, Treble, Volume. The relationship between Presence and Hi Cut isn't clear to me but that doesn't matter because the Hi Cut hasn't been modeled.

The amp has a Touch Response switch that lets you choose between Fast and Gradual sponse. The model is based on the switch in the “Fast” position. You can replicate the “Gradual” position by by decreasing Input Trim to .25 (source: firmware 10.06 release notes).

The Comet 60 and Comet Concourse amp models sound VERY similar.
But while Komet writes that the Concorde has more gain than the 60, it’s the other way around with the amp models; the “60” model has (slightly) more gain than the Concourse. IMHO.

Like the Comet 60 model, this model doesn’t need a lot of EQ-ing. I have everything at default, except for Input Trim (see above) and Input Drive at around 4.

Personally I prefer the Concourse model slightly over the "60" model.

Curious about @SimonGotthelf 's comments on both amps.​

Komet builds 4x12 cabinets with a choice of the following speakers: G12H, G12M (greenbacks), AlNiCo Blue or Gold, or G12-65. Take your pick from the stock cabs.




 
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Coby

Inspired
Personally, I prefer the Concourse to the 60, I hear it more open and a bit less mushy.
I use it with a Marshall V30 loaded (OH), Bass around 3,5/4 and gain around 6, the rest quite standard.
And yes, is surely a rock amp! ;)
 

AdmiralB

Experienced
So this does, or doesn't, have more gain than the Comet?
In purely technical terms, neither. They're almost totally identical. The differences are, the Concorde has:

- a cathode follower in front of the PI (this is theoretically 'gain neutral', although in practice they usually attenuate signal a tiny bit);
- a solid-state rectifier;
- somewhat lower primary impedance on the OT.

The cathode follower is only there to be overdriven - part of "the Marshall sound" is an overdriven CF.
 
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