Make it stop! What do you mean I’ve got more amps to test….
Head down, it’s the …………….
In real life a hand-wired tone machine, modeled, this is a 2 channel amp with a lovely clean tone. And I mean glassy, shimering, with a lovely clarity, The basic tone is so good that all you really want to do is strum big chords to hear how the notes inteact. This is a lovely channel and is the best for jazz, especially if you like the clean Pat Methany tone. It loves modulation but even a bit of reverb creates a complex, rich tone.
Flick channel 2 and it first appears that little changes. The tone becomes thicker and slightly more compressed but wind up your guitar volume and things become darker and gritier. This is a really good blues tone and is very responsive to your touch. The boost switch adds more thickness and a little more grunt but it never loses definition or becomes muddy, a tubescreamer clone works very, very well here.
In short, this is a very successful model, and is very versatile. Love it.
Another 3 channel model with a layout similar to the 6505. This is subtly different in a number of ways. The clean channel has a lot of thrashy, bright appeal but it’s overdriven that it all really shines with a almost Bluesbreaker rhythm tone and a supercharged Plexi lead channel which has a wonderful looseness to it. It takes very little to make this all very Hendrixy and the whole thing has a late 60’s feel to it, but with an updated density to the tone. There is also a “Loose” switch that add a warmer, organic tone to proceedings.
This is a great complement to the 6505+ as both cover different aspects of the distorted world. This really works.
Modelled on a Diezel, this has 3 channels and a million knobs and looks a bit intimidating. And it is. So let’s start simply……the clean channel. And this is a very interesting tone, thick and very direct and works very well with single coils. On it’s own it’s a very interesting tone but it works especially well with effects as the tone feels clean and yet boosted.
Rhythm and….christ, there is a lot of gain here, this is a very thick tone but an a/b switch can remove some of the mid. This is a very uncomprimising metal tone and it is very effective.
Lead takes everything to new levels of madness, this is pure drive, very distorted but with a lot of clarity that manages to avoid descending into a well of mush. Lead, this is fantastic as it allows the character of the guitar to really come through. A very effective eq helps here and this is one of the best models for actually managing to suggest a big, heavy amp pushing a lot of watts through a huge cabinet.
It covers a lot of the same ground as the 6505+. I think it has a better clean channel and the drives are as good but work in different ways. A big tick here.
This has been a staple of Revalver for at least 90 years and is a model of your classic Fender Bassman. Every sim has a pop at this so lets see how we go. And it’s really good! A bright switch does not do a lot but we have a ton of really rich, thick, buttery tone with the gain turned up that translates into a sparkly Reverb-y tone with the gain turned down.
It feels like a really stripped down design that has that feel that the best Revalver models had in the past, a sense of a signal going though warm circuits and valves. It is a very likable tone and so much better than Amplitube’s Bassman.
Fox AC 30
Guess what this is. As simple as you can get, with the top boost turned off you have a trully stunning clean tone that is incredibly transparent. The character of any guitar you play though it really comes through, it loved my US Special Tele. The tone is too rich for a Fender Twin but with an added sparkle, it just sounds wonderful and is, again much better than the Amplitube version.
Kick in the top boost and it is almost too raucous. It is very bright, very edgy and is not my favourite tone but would be great for a Jam covers band as it really captures that snap that Weller had in his tone back in 1979.
There are a number of very good AC30 models out there (hello Jamup and my new love, Tonestack) and I’m not convinved by the boosted tone. But that clean tone is just gorgeous.
Stay tuned folks for more stuff coming up.