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Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Jakedog, Dec 14, 2017.
I came close to ordering that amp. I may still get one someday.
I was checking out the manual and you can use a dual footswitch,which allows you to switch channels and also turn reverb on or off.
I'm aware. I'm just looking for a one button to switch channels. I don't have any need for reverb switching.
Update- I've had the amp over a week now, and have done five gigs with it.
I'm sold. It's so easy to move, small stage footprint, power to spare, and sounds GREAT.
I've had nothing but compliments on it. From everybody. Audience, other players, other musicians, everyone agrees it's badass.
Did a Christmas reunion show/party thing last night with about a dozen friends all in town for the holidays. Some local guys, some guys from Nashville, Austin, NY, etc.
Several people played through the amp and all of them loved it. My Nashville buddy said "I've never heard of that brand. It sounds great, but it sounds heavy. At 120 watts it's gotta weigh a ton."
I said pick it up. He did and about lost it. Wanted to know how anybody could build a tube amp that light.
When I told him it was SS he didn't believe me. Said "no way is that a solid state amp!".
I'm very happy.
I have the DV Mark Little jazz .Its a great little combo ,very light and sounds great .The volume is good for live jazzy cellar and bar room type gigs .
I'd never heard of these amps until the last week or so. I had no idea what they were about. But that sounds like it could be a perfect gig amp. The weight factor is a big issue for me. How is it with a Strat for Mark Knopfler type tones? I was looking into a Blackstar Club 40, but your review has peaked my interest. The Guitar Friend looks cool, but it doesn't have an effects loop.
The Guitar Friend does not have a loop. But it does have a bunch of other cool features. I'll be getting one when I can swing it to use for smaller stuff and for rehearsals and such. And just to have a backup.
I'm pretty convinced the Gambale can do just plain great sounds. As I've mentioned, it will seem a tad dark for people really used to BF and SF Fender cleans. It's a more mid-forward amp. That said, it works in a mix EXTREMELY well. Slightly reminiscent of an early Mark series Boogie.
The gain control is really the big factor on the clean channel.
Keeping it low, this amp stays clean to the moon. I really can't give an adequate description of the power and volume this amp puts out. Whatever I tell you, you won't be expecting what you get. It's brain bending. It honestly doesn't make sense.
Turning up the gain some and keeping the master low gets some hair on it when you dig in. I generally run the gain between 10 o'clock and noon, and the master between 1 and 2. Not "o'clock", like 1 or 2 the dial. At just a hair past 2, it was loud enough the other night to play in a ridiculously loud cow-punk band. I don't see it ever running out of room.
The biggest difference for me between this and actual tube amps, is that-
1. this is WAY more dynamic. It does not compress or flatten out. At any volume on the dial, pick attack can control the actual volume from whisper quiet to whatever the level is set at. Spikes and peaks will stick out. It's helping my playing a lot. And I like that I control what's happening, not the amp.
2. The attack is wicked immediate. With the high powered class D power amp and switch mode power supply, that's what I expected. There is no sag, no delay, no waiting for the power section to catch up. When you hit a note, any note, soft, hard or otherwise, it's right in your ear. Bang.
This amp is making me very happy. I can't even say how much. It's doing things I've wanted an amp to do my whole life, and could never get anything to do. SS amps were sometimes good at some of it, but lacking in other areas. Tube amps sounded better most of the time, but didn't behave properly.
This amp is doing everything I want it to.
You have to set the controls with your ears. Not your eyes. The bottom is wicked tight and focused. To get what I wanted out of it, I'm running the bass control mostly about 1 point shy of full out. The treble control is voiced in an odd spot. A little goes a long way, and it can get oddly spiky if your not careful. I find I get my best results running the treble a little lower, and using he presence to add top. Which is odd for me because I never use a presence control at all. I find them like dog whistles. They hurt my ears. This one is rather musical. Works well for me.
Reverb is good spring emulation. Even has the "boing" as you turn it up too high. It sits more behind the notes. Doesn't wash over everything like a Fender 'verb, but more present than a typical Vox or Marshall 'verb.
Hope this helps.
For features- the Gambale has a loop. The Guitar Friend has an ext speaker jack. That would be nice. The speaker in the Gambale is hard wired, so it rules out using other cabs. The bright side to that is, it's such a nuke you'll never need an extra speaker. Lol.
Guitar friend also has the aux in and headphone out. That's one of the big reasons I want one. Great practice tool.
For around $500 it seems like a no brainer. I'll have to see if the local GC has one to test drive. I could sell my Meas Studio .22+ and come out pretty much even. Soulman696 and I are plotting out a new band and this might be the perfect amp for it. While I'd like to use my Rivera, it's weight makes it hard to deal with even though it sounds so good.
I was talking to the guys in the Dead band I've been playing with the other night. The tech has been coming, now it's here. And the sound has caught up with the innovation. This is a great sounding amp, with virtually unlimited power and headroom, and it weighs nothing. I'm never going back. I'll miss things that say "Marshall" and "Rivera" and "Mesa" on them. But only for nostalgic purposes.
Merry Christmas everyone !
You've got me intrigued for sure Jakedog.
The market is there for a lightweight,good sounding kick ass amp.
I know Randall from Mesa could come up with an amp like your new DV.
He must know that a substantial part of amp buyers want a quality, lightweight combo.
I've been considering a Blues Cube Artist,but your amp is half the price and meets my criteria.
My local shop is carrying some of the DV line.
I'm going to check if they will get one of these puppies in.
I'm sure Randall *could* come up with one. But I don't see Mesa going that route. Maybe as a special product line marketed to Jazz guys or something. I just don't see them straying from tube design. They own such a huge share of the market. It would be a real departure for them.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see an effects loop in the next generation “Guitar Friend”. It looks like the combo is a micro 50 head simply mounted in a 12” speaker cab. I have the 2nd gen micro 50 (micro 50 ii). It has aux in, headphone jack, 2 speaker outputs, effects loop and footswitch jack.
I love the amp. Great clean tone. Dirty channel is basically an integrated drive pedal that front ends the clean channel — it works well and has plenty of range for me, but I doubt if it would please a Marshall hard rock/ metal player.
They have the "M" version of the Micro heads now. "M" is for metal. So for players who want high gain, they have an option.
I see that there is a new Guitar Friend 12 II that has an effects loop. If I can find one, I'm buying it. It sounds like the perfect amp for my needs these days. Thanks for posting about the DV Mark amps. I knew next to nothing about them a couple of days ago. Now I want one.
I've got a Mackie 24 channel mixer or a Mesa Studio .22+ to sell and I'll have the cash.
Top shelf SS amps may not do everything a top shelf tube amp can do but they do have some distinct advantages and the differences between the two has become significantly less. I've been a SS fan ever since the days of the original Blues Cubes.
Glad to hear the new amp is working out well G. Given your schedule I can see just how practical it is for you and for $5 bills it's pretty much a no brainer. If GC stocks them hopefully I'll get a chance to play that Gambale soon. I'm curious about it too.
SS amps (even top shelf) will not do everything good tube amps will do. However, the reverse is also true. I tend not to think of them anymore as one being "better" than the other. They are different animals. For me, making the move to this amp has eliminated soooo much frustration.
I like the overall warmth and tonality of tubes in most cases. However, the behavior inherent in most of those designs has driven me nuts for decades. Now I've found an amp that sounds nice and warm, that also behaves in the way I've been looking for when I play it.
I'm seriously lucky it was $500. Cause even if it were $5k, I'd have to have it after playing it for a while. It's a life changer. Just in the way it responds and reacts. I'm now in control of everything, instead of being at the mercy of an amp that wants to break up, compress, sag, flatten out... its so nice that I make those decisions, and can get what I want for any gig, out of ONE lightweight and portable box.
Have you tried out the loop yet?
I have not. I don't generally use them. I like my effects in the front end. I'll give it a go in the basement if I get time in the next couple days.
Quick question: a little while back, you were raving about Marshall Valvestate amps; curious if changed your mind about them.
In any event that DV Mark sounds like an amazing amp, very good info, thanks!
That thing looks like some kind of arc welder! I love it.