Black Label Audio – An Amp with a “Wylde” Story
In 2011, Victory Amplifiers was approached by Survival Management – Zakk Wylde’s management team at the time. The request was to create a custom sample rig for Zakk with the prospect that it could lead to the birth of “Black Label Audio” – an entire line of amps and cabs that revolved around Zakk’s style and tone preferences.
The BLA100 was born – a very unique, one-off head and cabinet designed by Martin Kidd from Victory. The amp was delivered to Zakk in December of 2011, and in April 2012, a member of Survival Management sent an email to Victory regarding Zakk’s opinion of the amp:
“Zakk finally gave me some detailed feedback regarding the amp…he loved it.
He felt the sound quality was very impressive and with minor tweaks (speaker wise), his sound could be more than achieved with your team of engineers.
As for the branding of the amp, he was still happy with all of the details you put together. He liked the use of metal cutouts and unique display of the tubes.”
-Evan, Survival Management
The reason they did not continue with the development of Black Label Audio was for business reasons only, as it was confirmed that he loved the amp very much and used it frequently in his studio.
This ONE-OF-A-KIND amp designed for Zakk Wylde and was in his possession for a total of 5 years.
- Unique, one-off production-ready prototype
- Handmade in England
- The circuit design is based on a Marshall JCM800, but was re-interpreted by Martin Kidd to Zakk’s specifications.
- Complete hand-wired construction to military specifications.
- No PCBs – all components mounted on a thick Turret board.
- Large chassis-mounted RubyTube reservoir capacitors.
- Bespoke mains & output transformers providing 120 watts RMS power before clipping. (Made by Transformer Equipment who supplied all Cornford transformers.)
- Output transformer has 16, 8 & 4 ohm tapping, allowing for any speaker combination.
- Handmade bespoke transformer screening cans, screen-printed with Black label Audio logo.
- 2mm Zintec steel chassis.
- Zintec steel grills front & back to allow maximum air-flow and allow valves & transformers to be seen.
- Bespoke Laser-cut stainless steel logos for amp & cab.
- Amp sleeve & 4×12 cabinet made entirely from 15mm & 18mm Baltic Plywood
- 4×12 cabinet is fitted with Celestion G12K-100s, making for a 400 watt cabinet.