Close-up: The Royal Guardsman Control Panel and Preamp Features

The Royal Guardsman had three channels on the upper control panel, while the tremolo, reverb controls. MRB selector, and "E" tuner (V1133 model only) are located below these controls. The earliest models of the Royal Guardsman, the V13 and V113, may have a different connector arrangement for the foot pedal.

The "Normal" or first channel offers a wide range of tonal control with both full bass and treble response. A "Top Boost" switch accented treble frequencies and was a tip of the hat to the "top boosted" AC-30.

If equipped with "Distortion" or fuzz, this circuitry was also in channel one, but there was no control panel switch to actuate the effect. The "fuzz" was turned on using the remote foot switch. The foot switch included a red pilot lamp to indicate that the fuzz was on. The V13, V113, and V1132 models did not have the built in "Distortion" effect.

Other available effects in channel one were reverb and tremolo.

The "Brilliant," or second, channel utilized a high pass filter circuit to effectively reduce bass response. The owners manual that came with these amplifiers suggested that channel two had "top boost" circuitry. This seems a little humorous as channel one actually has a switch labeled "Top Boost." Channel two is very trebly and thin when compared to channel one.

MRB (mid range boost) can be found in channel two. MRB used a .5 mh coil along with three different value capacitors and a small preamp to boost frequencies 6 db selectively at 450, 600, and 750 hz. A three position rotary selector switch for frequency selection was on the lower control panel, and a rocker switch on the upper panel engaged the effect. MRB could also be actuated from the included pedal by depressing...and holding down...a momentary foot switch.

Reverb was also avaiable for selection to channel two.

The "Bass," or third channel three had only two controls, Volume and Tone -X. This was the "bass guitar" channel.

Tone-X was a tone control that replaced the normal bass and treble control. Tone-X was a sweepable EQ control that offered about a 6 db boost from approximately 50 hz (control counter clockwise) to 300 hz (control clockwise).

The rotary power switch had three positions. When rotating the switch from "Off" to "Standby," a green pilot lamp illuminated and the amp was turned on. The speakers were muted. In the "Operate" mode, the speakers were introduced to the circuit.

One wafer of this power switch frequently broken, and the standby funtion is non functional. There are no replacements available for this switch.

North Coast Music offers the original green and red pilot lamp assemblies for this amp. Click here to be taken to the web page in the North Coast Music web site that offers these pilot lamps.

The tremolo effect is only available in channel one.
The rotary MRB switch selects between three "center" boost frequencies, 450, 600, and 750 hz. The MRB effect is engaged by either depressing the rocker switch in the channel two area of the control panel, or by depressing the MRB foot switch on the remote floor pedal.
Reverb was assignable to either Channel One or Two. A Blend control increased the amount of reverb in the output signal. A two spring Accutronics reverb pan was utilzed in the reverb circuit.
V1133 model only: "E" tuner

Flipping the switch for the "Tune-E" circuit played an audible "E" note to help tune your guitar. The loudness of the "E" tone is adjusted using the volume control on the bass channel.

Anyone who used a Thomas amp head back in the sixties will have a story about the "Line Reverse" switch. These heads did not have a grounded AC plug, so you could get a searing shock when your lips hit the microphone while your hands were on your guitar strings. Flippng the "Line Reverse" switch eliminated that shock. The amp was quote normally a little quieter when the "Line Reverse" switch was in its proper position, as well.


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Photos and editorial content courtesy Gary Hahlbeck, North Coast Music

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