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Sound Quality

Clean channel has a hi-fi like circuit. Rare... it would not be a problem, but it determines the sound of Distorted channel, which sounds like the 70s. If you have seen the movie Still Crazy then you can imagine its fuzz-like sound :) Or like Led Zeppelin. Actually I have used its clean channel with several units, tube preamps (eg. HK Tubeman 2) or even modeling units (eg. Boss GT-6). For this purpose it is very good (kinda Atomic Reactor), it can serve several styles, from light rock to even heavy metal. Its own distortion is a matter of taste... I do not play 70s, so actually I have modified preamp circuit of mine. I have changed speaker to Vintage 30, because Modern Lead had much treble (and bass) for me. I recommend power tubes Sovtek 5881/6L6WGC. Do not use power tubes with lots of bass (like TAD 6L6GC-STR) because you will have resonance problems, I mean lots of bass which you need to cut with EQ or open its back. It is a closed back cabinet. If you open it, it sounds even better. Like ALL older units like this, designed to work at 220V or 240V (switchable). Actually in EU there is 230V for many years, so you have to think about it. I recommend to set such units to 240V. Tubes will be a bit underheated (5.9V instead of 6.3V) but it is still better than overheating... as an extra, you can get closer to Brown Sound of Eddie van Halen :)

Reliability/Durability

Very good, very heavy, never had any problem. I miss some extra support for (power)tubes, because they are just plugged in the socket. I would also recommend to change speaker wires to thicker ones. In general they do not recommend to put spring units over the power tubes (like in this unit) for safety and sound reasons. This unit produces much heat, and holes in the top, so be careful.

General Comments

I would recomment it to anybody who wants to use their own pedals or modeling effects. It serves them very well.

As I mentioned, I have already modified this combo, so now i am happy with its distortion (I am a guy from the 80s :)

I think I would but it again. This was my first tube combo, and I have learned many things during maintaining, tube changing, biasing this combo. I often use it when test/try preamp tubes.

It is rare, and it is cheap.

The only thing I miss so far (except I have already modified :) that this combo were an open-back type. I do not like closed cabinets in general, but it is a matter of taste. Of course I could open it, modify it, but due to its construction, it would require some extra protection for the circuits (eg. power amp is in the bottom of the box, so avoid to drop anything into it :)

 

again:

Like ALL older units like this, designed to work at 220V or 240V (switchable). Actually in EU there is 230V for many years, so you have to think about it. I recommend to set such units to 240V. Tubes will be a bit underheated (5.9V instead of 6.3V) but it is still better than overheating... as an extra, you can get closer to Brown Sound of Eddie van Halen :)

 




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