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Old February 14th, 2012, 07:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Kustom defender?!?!

Anybody know anything about these amps? I see them going for about 90$ and its an all tube amp! If it decent I think it would be great to mod and experiment on. Has a 12ax7 and el84.


I must admit I'm really intrigued, its begging for a tone and gain control. Maybe even a second input or standby...

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Old February 15th, 2012, 01:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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There is a definite possiblity that that particular Defender is all-tube. I am going to doubt that the larger ones are all-tube. The larger DEfenders that have reverb are definitely not all-tube amps.
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Old February 15th, 2012, 01:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Looking at the specs on their website they appear to be all-tube. But I guess when i say "all-tube" I just mean power and pre-amp sections. It does not appear the reverb and tremolo are tube powered.

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Old February 15th, 2012, 02:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Sammy, imho 'all tube' means that all signal processing is in the tube domain...preamp, power amp and all on-board effects. IMe, this is how most techs look at amplification methods.
None of those Kustom amps is all-tube. In fact, many modern amps that are purported to be 'all tube' are not in fact all-tube amps. Fender Hot Rod and Blues Deluxe/Devilles are not all tube in that the reverb is in the solid state domain. Peavy Classic 30's and 50's are the same way. Many of the big Marshalls process the reverb in the solid state domain. JCM 900 Dual REverbs process not just the reverb but much of the gain stages in the solid state domain. I find it informative to soem extent to count the number of preamp tubes. IF an amp does reverb and some extra gain but only has one tube, it is in effect a hybrid amp to some extent. IF it does reverb and gain but has 3 12A_7 tubes, it is qeustionable that it is all-tube.
LOok at a vintage Fender REverb amp. IF you did away with the Normal channel;, you could do away with one 12AX7. You would still have 5 12A_7's in the amp...and there is no hi-gain going on. It takes 5 12A_7's to do the preamp, the reverb, the vibrato and the PI in that single channel, non-switching gain type of scheme.
this 'all-tube' hype or simply 'tube amp' thing from manufacturers is much like the Class A hype....it usually isn't a case of the 'truth, nothing but the truth' type of claim. Buyer beware, right? That is, beware if all-tube makes any difference to you. I hear that SS reverb.
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Old February 15th, 2012, 02:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I wouldn't get it unless you were happy with what it did without any modifications or experiments
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Old February 15th, 2012, 02:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm intrigued by that one, too. In fact I posted a thread, but only got a couple of responses. For $90, how bad could it be if you have a decent extension cab to plug into. Looking around the net, the reviews seem to be ok, but nothing to write home about.
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Old May 8th, 2012, 09:33 PM   #7 (permalink)
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FYI, Hello Music had a deal on these -- $122 for the Defender 5H head with a 12" cab. Since I've been looking for a cab to plug a Fane speaker I traded for anyway, I figured WTH. I've got to say -- it sounds very nice. The tone is reminiscent of my late, lamented Pro Jr. except that the 12" speaker gives it a roundness that the Jr lacked. Also, the poster above who complained about non-tube effects: There are NO effects! No Reverb, NOTHING! This thing is (like the Pro Jr.) simplicity itself -- there is an on-off switch, a volume knob, and three outputs in back for 4, 8, or 16 ohm cabinets. I'm pretty pleased with the deal.
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Old May 8th, 2012, 09:45 PM   #8 (permalink)
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There's a positive review in the new Guitar Player.
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