The Roadhouse 50 is a more brutal version of its 30-watt sibling. The Cornford Roadhouse Series of guitar amplifiers are stripped down and simple to operate: simple yet very versatile. The Roadhouse 50 2×12 Combo offer a little extra power, for those players that need extra punch; the Combo also having the extra 12” Celestion Vintage 30 to shift more air!
Point to point hand wiring an amp takes a long time and as such, the cost of the hand wired Cornfords will put them out of reach of many players. The design team at Cornford began planning a PCB (printed circuit board) valve amp quite a while ago, and have taken the time to ensure they get the design right and find the right company (also UK based) to manufacture the boards for them. Whilst there is still something special about the hand wired amps (call it “Mojo”!), Cornford have managed to design and produce a PCB based tube amp that creates some fantastic tones, has almost no background noise (a good sign that the components have all been well placed and shielded on the PCB), uses the same cabinet construction and speakers as the hand wired amps, and yet is less than half the price of the equivalent hand wired model.
The controls are typical Cornford – simple and easy to understand, yet deceptively versatile. It’s a single channel, with gain, master volume and a standard three-band EQ. The versatility comes in the shape of a footswitchable boost with its own gain control, and send and return sockets for the Roadhouse’s series effects loop.
With plenty of range from that superlative EQ, any good guitar is going to sound great – pushing the mid-range up just makes everything thicker and punchier, with none of the nasal honk that many amps deliver when you do this. With the boost engaged, you can add as little or as much filth as you want for lead work. This is, after all, a Cornford, and so it’s easy to get practically any lead effect you want – from mean stabbing highs that really cut if you plug in a good Tele, to fluid sustain that begs for a good humbucker and a tasty, soaring ballad solo.