Yerasov Igor Boiko Signature valve combo amp


Igor Boiko

We reviewed the Yerasov GTA15 combo all-valve amp with its Jensen 10-inch speaker in our July 2014 issue, and came to the same conclusion as our colleagues in the rest of the music press, promptly adding one to the Jazzwise equipment arsenal. The GTA15 is strikingly similar to the Fender Pro Junior, more solidly built perhaps (it’s Russian after all!) and with a few choice upgrades. This Igor Boiko hails from the same stable and has much the same sort of pedigree taking its lead, from among others, the Fender Deluxe Reverb.

igor boikoWith its buff tolex skin, real leather grab handle and cream ‘chicken head’ controls offering master volume, treble, middle, bass, reverb and gain set on a simple angled panel above the woven grille, it looks every bit like an original 1950s/60s combo. The amp comes with a 20 watt point to point hand wired construction, together with two 6V6 power valves and two ECC83 and one ECC81 pre-amp valves, a combination favoured by many of the early jazz greats for their clarity and warmth.

There is also a valve spring reverb for that true vintage vibe and American Classic tone transformers (weighty!), all coming through a Celestion G12 Anniversary speaker. Plugging in the Burny archtop with its pure nickels produced a velvety sound with a warmth, depth and brightness to die for – it reminds us of those early Gibsons. There’s a real valve ‘live’ quality and digging in can make this amp really speak.

Headroom, as you might expect is impressive – this amp is about as clean as it gets; unless of course you want to dirty up the sound by increasing the gain, which even at low volume levels brings in that subtle edge and bite that lifts the sonic response onto yet another level. And all this for a whisker under £800 including a reverb footswitch.

Igor Boiko

Are there any negatives? Well, at 22kg it’s not the lightest all-valve combo in the land, and we would have liked to have seen an all-weather cover. But hey, this is a sonic blast from the past that will really capture the imagination and if you’re looking for that authentic 1960s jazz sound, this is just the ticket.

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