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65amps London Head
Overall Rating
Submitted: June 11th, 2005
by LeoFenderBender
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Sound Quality
This amp supplies THAT British sound in 18 watts in two different voicings. Buy it for the clean jangle and find uses for the rest of the sounds that are there. The overdrive in the sweet spot (singlecoils 9 in either channel, ┐buckers 7 in either channel) is classic British. This is NOT a shredder amp (note the period). It is very sensitive to touch - a light touch and it sounds clean, a heavy down-stroke and it sings. The tone controls are responsive and never sound bad. The amp plays especially well with pedals ┐ pedals blend with the amp extremely well. The amp makes different guitars sound more like the guitar it is: strats are more stratty, ES-335s are more jazzy, Humbuckers are more gutsy and creamy. This is a great amp for blues, but could be used for most styles except for Metal. The natural overdrive blooms beautifully when set at the sweet spot. The cleans are pure jangle. The distortion is mostly power tube saturation ┐ sweet sustain, with a transparent, warm grind to it. Lots of range with THE tone. Anyone who wants ultimate tone, this is it. I play blues and jazz and this amp does it all for me. Add a Fulltone OCD, a Menatone Howie, or a Clark Gainster and you can get any natural-sounding overdrive sound usable in any application. Tremolo Channel: The Tremolo Channel is sparkling and chimey, with fantastic bluesy distortion when the amp is at the sweet spot - all delivered at (somewhat) reasonable volume. This is a great recording amp that can deliver the Marshall grunt without shattering the windows. The clean tones chime and shimmer while maintaining a clear and well-defined low end. When at the sweet spot, the distortion is 18-watts of joy. With a Strat, there is warmth and good jangly headroom. With a humbucker, it breaks up earlier, but has a smoooooooth crunch tone - the tone is nicely balanced and warm. When cranking this amp up to about 7, it provides a singing sustaining tone that is really nice for rock and blues. All the characteristic mids are there with lows that aren't overdone and the highs are nicely tapered off so they don't pierce your ear drums - a beautiful sounding amp. As for the tremolo itself, it may be historically accurate, but it doesn't have a lot of range. That could be because I don┐t use tremolo as an effect with much regularity. The tremolo on my Deluxe Reverb seemed warmer and easier to control. Color Channel: THE Sound, WOW, what can I say? Its Voxy and it is awesome. In my opinion there is NOTHING that matches the sound of a Voxy clean ┐ this amp nails it. I've played all my guitars through it and it sounds amazing. Deep smooth bass and treble that most amp manufacturers could only dream about. I've tried a ton of amps and nothing, I mean nothing, will beat the sound of a Voxy clean. This amp maintains a distinctive musical character, allowing for a more individual tone that doesn't make you sound like a clone. This is not simply an AC15 clone channel - the tone is probably more on the Matchless end of the spectrum than an AC15, but all the tones are there if you only look for them.
Being brand new, I've had no problems. It is well built so I doubt reliability is much a concern. It is certain to be more reliable than a Vox.
General Comments
I┐ve been playing since 1971. I play this amp in addition to a Tone King Comet 40B. I have two custom strats, an ES-335, an ES-347, and a Godin LGXT. I use a Framptone 3-Banger that allows me to play both channels in this amp and the Tone King at the same time or each channel/amp separately. PLEASE NOTE: The amp is EXTREMELY sensitive to the type of speakers you use with it. Play it through a cabinet with other than an Alnico Blue clone and a Weber C1230/Celestion G12H clone and you will be disappointed with the amp. Play it with the right speakers and you will be rewarded with the best EL-84 tone for the money. I would definitely buy another one if this one left mysteriously. This amp flat-out kicks butt. There is no reason to look anywhere else for great tone, this is it.
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