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Sound Quality

Guys you must get one of these. One of the best kept secrets out there in the used market I think. I am lucky and have many tube amps. Mesa's, Egnaters, Framus, Marshalls, Orange, Rivera's and the list goes on. I have some truly landmark amps among them and they all sound great in their own way. I have also made some great tube amp clones over the years so I know a bit about amp tone! But I am partial to huge flexibility, channel switching and of course great sound and I haven't found anything as good as this when you factor all this in. I was hesitant to take the plunge as I previously owned a Switchblade and Coreblade. I had reliability issues with both of these. I also own a H&K GM36 and this is a great amp overall, but didn't have the 'tones' to me - its not fully tube path. But I took the plunge and damn am I glad I did. This amp has six basic tones that can be switched via FS or Midi and a superb tube FX loop (better than any of my others). I use Midi as mine came with the optional midi MSM interface. I use all the channels and have found them all great. The only one i'm not 100% sold is channel 1A fender style clean. It's very good, just not as good individually as some of my other amps mentioned above. But its very usable. Every other channel is not just great but spectacular. I'm not sure what trickery they have going on here, but for a 100W tube amp this thing sounds killer at all master volume levels. With no attenuation and the 50W setting I can get power amp crunch in the lower gain channels at silly quiet. None of my other amps can do this in the studio without an attenuator. At full tilt it just sings. Channel 1B has a wicked slight grit that I cant find in any of my other amps. Channels 2A & 2B are dead on old school marshall's done better than marshall. Killer sounds both of them. Channel 3A is kinda modern marshall mixed with mesa. Again killer with a massive range of gain availability and tone shaping. 3B is like a more articulate version of my mesa rectifier. Seriously killer again. I have found that my Orange PPC 212 cab works well with this (Vintage 30s closed back). Even better all round is my Framus 212 open back with G12H anniversary and Greenback mix. Wow with this. For stage and bigger use I use my Budda 412 and crank down the presence as this is a bright cab. Go and try one. you wont be disappointed. I have no idea if this sounds like a version 1 or 3 as this is Mk2 version but it just plain sounds fabulous. 


Amp was made in 2007 I think and still going strong. Built like a tank. Only issue is that my cold cathode blue lighting failed on side. To be expected and can be swapped for LED. One word of caution is to be careful with the preamp tubes. I fully re-tubed a while ago with variants and it lost some sparkle. I put the original yes original TAD selected tubes back in and there it was. I use TAD power tubes also as factory intended but not as picky with OT tubes if you get the bias right.


I bought this insanely cheap. If I paid full price for it I might be crying but would still love it...This is my number one and not going anywhere.

General Comments

Get one for all the reasons above. I guarantee this the most flexible and killer sounding amp that you can buy. Bear in mind I have a Mesa Roadking and Mark V and this is markedly better in virtually all aspects. Not knocking Mesa's though I still love you also! 

Reviewer's Background

25+ years as a guitarist who owns many many amps, guitars and gear. To be honest i have pretty much owned or still own most of the big high end stuff from old to modern. I am fortunate enough to be able to own this wonderful equipment.

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