The Archon has remarkably responsive tone with incredible note separation, whether you’re playing on the clean channel or chugging on the lead. Bottom Line: The Archon 50 delivers full, lush gain, a remarkable clean channel, and a versatile control layout that players of all genres will appreciate.
Greek for “ruler” or “lord,” the PRS Archon is a commanding 2-channel amp with versatile overdriven tones and sparkling cleans with plenty of headroom. Designed with five gain stages before the master volume, the Archon’s lead channel is voiced to cover everything from Classic Rock to Metal with full, lush distortion. The clean channel provides rich tones that retain clarity even at high volume, and there is ample headroom, creating an excellent platform for pedals.
The PRS Archon is powered by two 6CA7 power tubes, which fall between EL34 and 6L6 tubes, offering the best of both worlds. 6CA7’s are warm, full, and articulate with smooth high end and tight low end. They chug, distort, and get heavy without over-saturating, and they sing without becoming harsh.
Utilizing a ‘no flash or trash’ approach, the Archon’s control layout allows for detailed and intuitive tone shaping. Each channel features volume, treble, middle, bass, and master volume controls as well as a bright switch. The 3-band EQ lets players better dial-in their desired tone, while the volume and master controls work together to command the amp’s distortion and loudness. The bright switch acts almost as a treble boost, putting a shine on the amp’s high-end without going into icepick territory.
The global presence and depth controls in the Archon’s power amp section both work to modify the feedback network of the amp to unleash the potential of the high- and low-end respectively. Turning up the Presence control releases more high- mid and treble frequencies, bringing the amp’s tone forward. Depending on the tone stack and volume settings, the Presence can change the gain/ texture and loudness of the high-end, making your tone wilder and more 3-dimensional (or more “present” sounding). In addition to adding low-end, Depth adds a resonance to those frequencies that more 3-dimensionally shapes the Archon’s tone.