I can still recall the first time I ever saw and played this amp at my local Guitar Center. It sounded so damn good, and the price was absolutely excellent that I knew that getting it would be a no-brainer. Then after I got home that day, I looked the amp up on the DV Mark web site, and was astonished at the features for a sub-$800 amp! I’ve written about this amp before, and the two features that sold me on the amp (besides the great tone) were the Continuous Power Control (CPC) and the automatic and continuous biasing of the power tubes.
The auto-bias was a HUGE factor in my decision. As long as you get tubes that are matched within 20% of each other, the amp will automatically bias them to the optimal operating settings. Imagine not having to bias power tubes. Just get a matched set, plug them in, and you’re good to go! And you can use any socket-compatible tubes like 6L6’s and even 6V6’s as long as they can take the plate voltage. Freakin’ awesome!
The CPC was also a kicker for me in that I could lower the power output of the amp to control when I get breakup. But unlike other variable power controls I’ve heard or played with, there was little discernible difference in tone, whether I had the CPC all way up for maximum clean headroom, or dialed all the way back.
I know, I don’t have sound samples – yet. But they’re on their way. I just don’t have enough time before my gig this evening to get clips.
As far as dynamics are concerned, this amp is extremely expressive and super-responsive to pick attack and guitar gain. One thing I noticed when I had the master cranked, and the gain just past 2pm, when doing leads, this amp absolutely sings. I noticed some very very cool high-frequency artifacts that really added some complexity to the tone. I could’ve played this amp for hours, but alas, I had to turn it off so I could release this article and then get ready for my gig.
Check back to hear clips this weekend!