Submitted May 18, 2015 by Tim M in Grayslake, IL
"A Super Versatile Amp With Great Tone, Feel and Dynamics"
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My first impression was kind of Meh. Tone was okay, not real special. No bottom end and harsh top end spike when distorted. Overly bright clean. Really little character and dull where it wasn't annoying. And the Headphone out and DI out sounded bad. HOLD THE PHONE.Amp was biased WAY too cold. %48 at idle. Blech. Biased it up to 60% and a WHOLE world of difference. Missing bottom end was there. Amp NOW had character, harmonics, liveliness, TONE. While I am on the topic, a LOT of range to bias here. I have run through NOS GE, NOS Amperex, EH, Mullard RI, JJ, the stock, Svetlana. They are all over the place as far as where they need to be set MA range. Also, real pain in the but to get to the tubes, and pot. TO take the top off takes removal of 12-16 bolts. May not have needed all of them to slide the top cover off, ah well. It's at least 10-12.Build Quality Amp is well built. It is Chinese manufactured, UK QCed/checked out. But, it's about as good as you see as far as Chines, PCB jobbies go. PCB itself is better quality than Bugera uses for instance. Assembly, soldering, shielding, etc are all noticeably better done than Bugera. Peavey Chinese made, my other Chinese tube amp, is on par. However, I think Laney uses better quality parts top to bottom. Pots are very nice as far as feel. Very good pots. THAT SAID, the push pull on both Mid pots are a little stiff. SO much so, wasn 't sure I had it pulled, and pulled the knob off. Wow are the tube sockets nice quality. Even JJ tubes fit nice and snug and fast (THey are notorious for using thinner legs). This is a plus, considering this is supposed to ne a mobile, easy to transport amp, from studio to gig. It WILL take a lot of rough handle. However, that is also a little bit of a problem. The preamp are mounted to the board. Removing tubes is a little bit of a core. You really need to grasp the metal socket surround with one hand, and remove the tube with the other. Else you get a lot of pull on the board. See the pic, not a lot they could have done. Me, I'd have mounted them with the output tubes. As to the O Tubes. With my Bias probe, it is a TIGHT fit back there, have to finagle it in there with the ice cream cone tip of the tube in the cooling slot. Very quiet for a high gain amp. Hiss doesn't even start until Volume above 7 or 8 on either dirt channel. Or gain up there, or gain at mid and onboard boost going. Still, it is a LOT quieter than the Bugera (with the Noise limiter on). NO pops, sounds, whatever when changing channels. Tone just changes. THAT is very nice.How Does it Sound? Clean Channel - is a good clean Channel. It is clear, good string separation, chime, you name it. YOU can dial in a nice Jazz smooth, warm tone, all the way to fairly sparkly. It is an above average to very good clean channel for any amp. For a high gain amp it is surprising. At the
Ameteur home recordist and player
Classic and Vintage Rock, punk, Classic Metal
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