15-watt Class A Guitar Amplifier
Celestion Vintage 30 12" speaker (8 ohm)
3 “ 12AX7 Preamp valves
2 “ EL84 Power amplifier valves
4 Global Tone Settings ("Tone" knob)
Volume (pre), Tone (global), bass, treble, master, presence, reverb
Variable speaker output settings (4/8/16 ohm)
I have had this amp for a short while, and I really like it a lot. But at the moment I am carrying too many amps, so I'm willing to let this one go. Therefore, I'm going to list some information and general impressions below.
The tone voice is probably most similar to a Vox sound, but the preamp volume ramps up into overdrive/crunch much more rapidly than a Vox AC15 might. One of the knocks on this model has been its apparent lack of headroom. And I'm not going to quibble--forget about clean, bell-like headroom with this thing. However, if you are a player who likes to set the amp controls hot, and then use the guitar volume to dial in levels of clean, then you will have more flexibility and a range of clean tones at higher volumes--the range of which is also tweakable via the master tone settings which alter midrange response (it's how I've used the amp--with the preamp set halfway and the master on full, and by working the volume pot on the guitar). But if you're a player who basically plays with your guitar volume and tone controls on full all the time, you will find that your clean headroom ends at about "4" on the preamp volume. But this isn't necessarily a bad thing. You're not getting this amp for a big Fender Twin sort of clean. This is an amp that is designed to rock. If you like fat, greasy, tube tone that breaks up and sings, this is a great amp for that. It sounds particularly great with P90 and humbucker pickups, though it is also a great match for my various telecasters. A word about the amp's "tone" control--this is four presets that you click to. It's not the same sort of rotary control like the others. Most of the time I have used it on full/wide open (the default setting far right) but there are two other settings that sound particularly great with my ES-335. Think of this as variations on the midrange. It can scoop it for you at 3 different levels. A somewhat unique feature that I like. The tube-driven reverb tank sounds great. The presence control is pretty musical sounding too (and I typically hate presence controls).
This would be a great amp for rock or blues. It really sings, and the crunch tone is a great, fat rhythm sound.
It sounded nice with a Celestion G12H30 as well. I ultimately went with the Vintage 30 because it seemed to have better high end and since this amp puts out tons of midrange already, I didn't feel it needed any more enhancement there.
The flexibility on speaker output and the effects loop are nice features for an amp at this price point. I have played a fair number of the high end Bad Cat amps, and they are some of my favorites (and I've played them all). This isn't the same thing as the $3000 version, but the voice and touch-sensitivity are very much in the same ballpark. It's a really fun amp to play. I have used it only for recording in my studio thus far. It would have plenty of balls for playing live though. If I was in a band at the moment, I wouldn't hesitate to take it on the gig, provided it wasn't a jazz gig. It's just not that sort of amp.
If you like switching between two amps, this would be an excellent "lead" channel for your leads or for your dirty rhythm sound. It is designed to produce a beautiful rainbow of overdrive. Very musical feedback too. Put a boost or overdrive in front of it and dig in.
The physical shape is close to "as new." I have put two Duende Criatura tube rings on the EL84s, and will include these as a bonus with the amplifier. They prolong tube life and improve performance. As far as I know these were the original tubes the amp shipped with. I am not the original owner. The original owner was actually using this to amplify an acoustic guitar, so I guess the clean tone has its place. But to my taste this is a sportscar that wants to drive fast.
***I have been using a Fender vinyl amp cover with this amp to keep it clean and dust-free, and will include this with your purchase as an added bonus.
Feel free to shoot me any questions.
This is a great bang for the buck.
Finish:Black & Gold
Made In:United States