Design, components and construction
Kaulbach’s chief designer, Adam Wehsely-Swiczinsky, defined the instantly recognizeable Kaulbach-look. He incorporated both traditional design aspects and a new visual identity, inspired by old steamer trunks – the secret ancestor of vintage amp design.
Finding the “sweet spot” in the cab design was tricky: many instrumentalists and especially guitarists are not widely known for readily embracing new concepts (see also: the Telecaster) but the upholstered cabinets, heads and wedge-style combos combine both functionality, robustness, and elegant looks.
Kaulbach can provide any classic tweed or tolex cab, or our own line of unique designs.
Chassis are custom made from modular aluminum components. We have adopted a general footprint of approx. 45cm x 20cm for our amps. It allows us to incorporate our circuits into a somewhat standardized physical design frame. This makes most of our actual amp layouts interchangeable with any cabinet design, be it a Brick combo or Head, or something more classic like the tweed or tolex covered cabinets. While there are obvious limitations to this concept and variants been implemented, we have found this approach to be essential for keeping our amps extremely compact.
Cabinets are constructed entirely by hand from 15mm plywood, allowing us to reduce weight while retaining maximum stability.
Kaulbach amplifiers use only high quality electronic components from renowned manufacturers. Transformers are generally supplied by Hammond , tubes by JJ and electrolytics for the power supply by F+T due to superior quality and availability. We are also free to use components by other manufacturers like Mercury Magnetics, Weber, EH or random NOS tubes if requested.
An important note on components and tube amps in general: some technically inclined musicians will dive into detaiIs regarding components, hoping for ultimate tone if a coupling capacitor is replaced with brand XYZ, all tubes are NOS or their 5F6A Bassman’s output tubes are replaced with EL34s, magically transforming it into a JMC 800.
It might sound disturbing, but none of this will work as an isolated measure. A tube amp’s tone is always defined by its circuit design, the speaker and the sum of the components used. A different brand of coupling cap will not make a difference, replacing all of them might make a minute difference. Many NOS tubes have higher tolerances than todays, but they won’t necessarily sound better. And putting EL34s into your vintage Bassman definitely won’t make it a Marshall. It might sound slightly different, but, assuming it has been biased correctly, the difference won’t be a whole lot greater than if you had used 6L6s from a different manufacturer.
That said, the essence behind this statement is that we are not after ultimate components but after ultimate circuit design and speaker choice. Putting EL34s into a Fender won’t help making it British but adding an extra gain stage to a Princeton will bring it surprisingly close to a Boogie MK I.