The Mascot 112 is a completely new Marble design that is based on the old brand Masco. The Marble Mascot has warm and round clean tones with a nice woody character and a modest crispy top, detailed without being to predominant, great for 50ties jazz and blues tunes. The Mascot, when overdriven, produces a compressed and fattened tone with a chimey top end. In addition, it boasts an effect loop and a 3-way power switch to select 10, 20 or 30 watts output.
We have made a big effort to perfectly match the looks and electronics with classic 40ties and 50ties designs. Details such as the Charcoal powder coated chassis and control panels, a silkscreened front grill and a three-tone brown tolex cabinet with white striped trim complete the package.
Masco amps were manufactured in Long Island City, New York, by the Mark Alan Simpson Co (M-A-S-Co). Masco has come to some prominence again largely in vintage-minded blues-harp circles, where vintage-minded blowers are fond of converting Masco all-tube PAs into harp amps. Old Masco PAs can make great guitar amps, too, but the company also manufactures dedicated guitar combos right alongside its PA production in the 1940s and ’50s.
As with many amps of those days, the Marble Mascot has a split pre-amp / power-amp design where the pre-amp chassis is mounted on top of the amp and the power-amp chassis, that also houses the power supply, is located in the bottom of the cabinet. Between those two amp parts, a Classic Alnico loudspeaker finds its place. Looking at the rear side we find a 5U4G rectifier, a duet of small bottled 5881, and two more 9-pin double triodes.
The pre-amp design is based on a double triode (12AY7) with as little parts a possible to catch the perfect and unspoilt tones of your instrument. A volume control incorporates a push pull function for two different tonal settings (tough and tender) and a single tone control that gives just enough bandwidth to achieve that lush tone with warmth and distinction.
The first of the triodes (12AT7) runs a tube buffered effect loop to easy insert effects like tremolo and reverb. Extreme care is taken with the design of the effect loop so that it sounds very transparent and is not changing your original tone. If wanted the effect loop can be switched out of the signal path completely.
The second double triode (12AY7) is the phase inverter of the amp, that drives the power tubes. Marble Amps has chosen a proven old fashioned inverter circuitry, again with fewer parts as possible, pure in its constructional simplicity. Balance and stability are ensured by the use of high quality close value components.
The Power amp is basically a plain simple 50ties MASCO PA design, but Marble Amps has enhanced it with a couple of tricks to keep it as pure as possible but making it a touch more versatile.
The power tubes that are used in the Mascot 112 are small bottle 5881’s, a close relative of the 6L6. Actually the Mascot 112 accepts 6V6, 6L6 and 5881 without any adjustment since the power amp is operated in auto bias mode. The Rectifier is a standard 5U4. To introduce more sag or dirt it is possible to install a 5V4GT or even a 5Y3GT without any adjustments to be made.
A touch of Marble
The back panel of the Mascot 112 reveals the existence of the earlier mentioned additions and tricks. These older amp designs often sound so pure and smooth but… They also were just one trick ponies, with just one good usable sound. We wanted to keep the pure and smooth sound but not get stuck on this one trick.
Why doesn’t the Mascot have any onboard effects like tremolo or even reverb? To catch the tone of the era of the late 40ties and early 50ties we feel that our “old school as few parts as possible” concept really works. Just give it a try and find out that it does without any effects inserted. But it doesn’t stop here, like in the old days. You can easily insert all kind of effects. We have added send and return sockets and a separate effect loop level control. Apart from the effects section there is a line insert which operates like any normal line out but also functions to interconnect one or more power-amps to one single pre-amp.
A master volume controls the amount of signal to pass to the power tubes. The bias control actually biases the amount of feedback that is injected back into the driver circuitry to obtain a tight or more loose character. The 3 way power switch selects 10, 20 or 30 watts where the power tubes are switched to run in different classes of operation and at different primary impedances on the output transformer. This way 3 power output settings are available, each with a different point of break up. In combination with the bias control, the smoothness of the output power can be varied from relatively clean and tight to overdriven and compressed like these old babies did all the time.
We finish off the Marble Mascot 112 with a Weber Alnico Loudspeaker that is designed and tweaked to exactly reproduce those old tones with distinction and authority, but modest and smooth as well.