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65amps London Head
Overall Rating
Submitted: May 3rd, 2007
by Dave-0ClVe
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Sound Quality
With strats, les pauls, 335's, and a vintage Epiphone Casino has this amp thus far been used. I have the head version. The 2X12 cab with a Celestion blue and G12H complements the dual sides of the amp wonderfully. The EF-86 channel sounds very chimey and Voxey, and really satisfies my Vox AC-15\30 cravings whenever they come on me (almost daily). Amazing clean tones!! It is also a lot more flexible than the old Voxes with the boost switch and the color knob. With the color knob I can also get it to sound slightly Fender Tweed like, or even blackface fender like if I manipulate it to the correct setting- but it always has a Voxey thing going no matter what I do. This is what I bought the amp for mainly. The boost allows me to take it to higher levels of OD than I used to get from my Vox if I choose.....but I rarely use it. It sounds great though, never overly saturated or muddy, and always has a great vintage vibe to the OD. The Marshally side came as quite a surprise bonus to me. It really sounds incredible clean or dirty- with a lot more sparkle than the old 18 watt Marshall combos on the cleaner settings. It comes to life so much sooner on the volume dial than the old Marshalls- and sounds better and better as you turn it up. Overdriven- this channel is astoundingly good for lead work, and it really nails the old Marshall overdrive sound- although it sounds better than any Marshall I've played. I've never been a huge Marshall fan... until now! This channel is all that a Marshall should be! The tremolo is the most intense I've ever heard. In comparison to what I'm used to it seems almost TOO intense, even on low settings- but once I adjusted to it, I find it completely exciting to play with, and it allows for interesting riffs to be written using this intense trem as an effect to build a song around. If I want a less intense trem sound- I'll switch over to my original blackface deluxe reverb- but I rarely do these days. All in all- I have to say this is my very favorite amp to take to my gigs. It nails so many wonderful tones between the two channels that I rarely need anything else- and all at volumes that allow me to push the amp into its sweet spot at almost any venue. Mic it up at bigger venues, and it is more than sufficient. I have to give it the highest marks for tone!
I've only had the amp about 6 months- and so far have had no issues. I am fairly nervous about the EF-86 preamp tube because these are historically problematic for microphonics. So far- not a hint of that issue in this amp. I'll leave this a no opinion for now and update you after another 6 months or so. So far so good! Built like a tank and hand-wired, so should be easy to fix if any problems ever do arise.
General Comments
I have to say that at this point I definitely give the amp a 10. It's been on a dozen or so gigs with me without the hint of a problem. The tones are absolutely stellar, nailing all vintage British tones with the highest marks! I do bring my old deluxe reverb out if I'm going to be playing a lot of tunes with reverb - which is the only thing this amp lacks. The amp was very expensive, but in comparison to picking up a vintage Marshall and a vintage Vox-was actually quite a deal. And while it may not possess the collector value or investment level appreciation of those vintage amps we all lust after- it does a hell of job nailing the tones. I'm at the point where the tone is all I care about- and have learned to live without the vintage Voxes I desire- thanks to this baby!! If you can find one of these- plug into it, and you'll see what I mean!!
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