Arrow 16 Review

manufacturer: Kustom date: 01/26/2010 category: Guitar Amplifiers
Kustom: Arrow 16
The Arrow 16 is a self-contained combo amp offering 16 watts of power and an 8" Celestion speaker. It's perfect for rehearsal or smaller performance environments.
 Sound: 9.2
 Overall Impression: 9
 Reliability & Durability: 9.2
 Features: 8
 Overall rating:
 8.4 
 Reviewer rating:
 8.9 
 Users rating:
 7.8 
 Votes:
 18 
reviews (5) 3 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9
Arrow 16 Reviewed by: Kid Fisto, on april 21, 2007
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 150

Purchased from: Music Maniac

Features: My amp was made in 2006, not entirely sure where because I can't find a "made in" label anywhere. It's a very versatile amp, you get everything from enourmously crunchy thrash metal sounds like Slayer, old-school Black Sabbath, Classic rock like Led Zeppelin, Grunge, RHCP sound, jazz, basically everything. I play all sorts of things, and randomly decide to change songs, so this is excellent for me. This amp has two channels, Clean and Lead. On the 16 DFX (which I have) there's a built-in effect box, encompassing a fairly decent bunch of effects. You have your basic delay, flanger, rotary, phaser, chorus, tremolo and slapback, but then you have autowah, RotoVerb, room and hall reverbs, chorus reverb, delay reverb, tremolo reverb and spring reverb. Very decent for $150. The only thing I really wish it had was an adjustable delay timing, because the built-in timing is way too fast. However, I rarely use the autowah, simply because I have a nice Dimewah. I use this amp everywhere, practicing at home, at band practice, Jazz band, the music room hallway after school on fridays. So far, the loudest I've needed it is during a pep rally at my school, where I had to light up a gym with sound, and it performed very well with just 2/3 max volume. Be forewarned, though: if you have the lead on, and the gain and volume higher than 12 o' clock, beware of feedback within 10 feet of the amp. Aside from that, I'm fairly sure that I could easily crank the volume to max, stand back, and be able to do an outdoor show. I can't guarantee the sound would be the best, but then there's always the external speaker output for putting it up to a PA system. Makes a great playing seat, perfect height to be comfortable playing and sitting. And nothing brings people out of the woods after school like a guitar. // 8

Sound: I use this with my Mockingbird, 2 humbucker guitar. I've also used it with some of my friends Strats and Deans, and it performs fairly well. Acoustics do not perform well on it, though. So don't try it. Why? the bass is too strong. Plain and simple. As I said, I play everything from Slayer to Ozzy to RHCP to Jazz. So this works very nicely, as it is very very versatile. The only thing I can think of it struggling with is acoustics. For a while, it was quite noisy with the gain turned higher than 3/4, but I then replaced my bridge Pup and the noise stopped dead. Now there is a barely noticeable hum with the gain to full, but once again beware the feedback. This amp loves to scream if you get too close. This amp does most sounds very well. It isn't the best on extremely heavy stuff, but it gets the job done. I'm fairly sure that with some quality pedals it could easily do just about everything. I've never had the clean channel higher than 2/3, but even then it was clean as can be. My wah crunched it a little, but that's the wah. The distortion is not exactly "Brutal", but it's substantial. I guess my only complaint with the distortion is that when you turn the gain down to zero, the sound just leaves instead of being clean. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I'm fairly sure I can depend on this ompletely. I would and have used it at a gig with no backup. It's never broken down, and there's no tubes or such to replace. It's a fairly beefy design, not the heaviest thing out there, but it can easily survive a beating (it fell down half a stairwell at school, and still works fine). // 9

Overall Impression: I play everything, as I've said, so this is a very good match. I've been playing for about a year, and I own this, my Mockingbird, my acoustic, and my Dimewah. There's nothing else I wish I'd asked before I bought it, I'm completely happy with it. Were it stolen or lost, I would probably just get a larger amp, like a Crate, Vox or one of the larger Kustoms, with more features. I love the simplicity and the sound. When people see it for the first time, they always say something like "Wow, that's a great sound for such a little amp!". I don't really hate anything about it, if I did it would probably be the non-adjustable delay. My favorite feature is the amazing bass end... so rich and sounds awesome. I also love the reverbs, they're just excellent. I compared this amp to several other amps of similar and slightly higher prices-Marshall, Crate, Randall, and Behringer if I remember correctly. This amp's effects and sound blew the Marshall out of the water, and was slightly superior (in sound and price) to the others. I recently saw a Vox Valvetronix for about the same price, and its sound was about the same, but the place I got this one didn't carry Vox at that time. Like I've said, the only thing I wish it had was the adjustable effects. // 9

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overall: 7.8
Arrow 16 Reviewed by: perkristian876, on october 26, 2006
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Features: This is first of all a transistor based amplifier. And it's Cheap. But it is Kustom. First of all the amp looks great. It is small and versatile, So you can take it everywhere and it doesn't dissapoint you. The amplifier has two channels. Rhythm (clean) and lead (overdrive). Medium, high and low EQ options and gain knob for the Lead channel. You can also have different volume levels for each channel (Lead and Rythm) wich might be useful and might not. The amp has a headphone jack and a AUX jack so that you can plug in your mp3 player and play along or connect your guitar through a Distortion Modeler pedal if you want to play with your friends on this amp. I use this amp as a practising amp. My regular amp is Vox AD30VT. I have used this amp on a Epiphone Les Paul 100 And a cheap Behringer guitar. This amp has more than enough power for me as a practising amp. What I miss on this amp is Reverb! You can get reverb on the model higher Kustom Arrow 16R. But that is more money. But in cheap amps like this, Rebervb is not always present. So I can always order a reverb pedal! // 7

Sound: Most of the time I use this guitar on a Behringer v-tone guitar. But I've also played with my Epiphone LP 100. And the distortion sound just blew me away! The distortion of this amp is so great! comparing this to other cheap amps, you have to search long to find somone to beat Arrow 16! At some points I also prefer the distortion sound of this amp instead of some of Vox AD30VT's amp modelings. I play most metal music and with this amp it all sounds great! And after having this amp for so long I think I'm going for a Kustom stack when it's time for something new! Now Clean soound on this one is quite standard. Nice warm tone wich is quite acceptable for a cheap amp. But there might be other cheap amps with better Clean/rythm sounds than this one. The distortion sound gets better if you turn the gain to 12'o clock. It might get to much if you turn gain on full. But the amp definately can handle it. Now about volume this amp might not support you at the very highest levels. The tone gets a bit crunchy and the celestion speaker begins woofing to much. So That makes this a practise amp. don't go on stage with it! The EQ works fine and can give you many different tones! The distortion is very "clean" Wich makes it perfect to many Metal songs. Especially Sandman. If you want it more brutal, Turn up the gain and start playing along! // 8

Reliability & Durability: I haven't put this amp to the ultimate test. It has never broken down for me either. I would say it's very dependable. But the only thing I'm worried about is the speaker. When I play at quite high sound levels, it seems to have a hard time playing along. So be careful with the volume. I think using this in a gig would make no trouble. It seems very reliable and handles a fall or two. // 8

Overall Impression: This amp is very standard so don't expect too much of it. what you see is what you get. But considering that it has external speaker output and AUX input you can get more out of this amp. But this includes more equipment. I've been playing on this amp for about a year now. And it has always supported me! I mostly use this amp on a cheap Behringer v-tone guitar. But I've also used my Epiphone Les Paul 100 from time to time. This amp is worth the money paid! You get a good enough Clean sound and Very good distortion! But the lack of reverb makes it a bit sad. The amp fits very good for classic rock and metal. I love the distortion, But the speaker output levels seems to be too much for the amplifier! So don't start playing very loud on this one. I compared this to a Behringer Vintage amp and a SX G-Pack amp. The Sx amp was horrible and lacked gain. The Behringer amp seemed cheap and the sound was downright boring compared to Kustom Arrow 16R. Comparing this to my existing Vox AD30VT amp the Kustom impresses with it's distortion. However the Kustom has very small sound picture. So Vox is more exiting for it's effects. All in all: I recomend this amp to all rookie guitarplayers that needs good Amp sound for a fair price. Also for those Who travel a lot and need a amplifier to go! // 8

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overall: 9.3
Arrow 16 Reviewed by: hminh87, on september 01, 2008
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 100

Purchased from: 4Sound

Features: This camp has two channels, lead which has gain and volume knob and rhythm channel for clean sound with its own volume knob. On board 3-band EQ (low/mid/hi). My version is 16DFX, means that there is effect built in. There are 8 different effects available (hall reverb/spring reverb/slap back/delay/chorus/chorus+reverb/flange/reverb/tremolo). Hidden on the back is a external speaker and headphone output. Very standard for a practice amp. // 9

Sound: This amp has the warm sound characters of a tube amp and surprisingly very 'organic' and 'lively' for a Solid State amp. I can't hear any digital clipping or so whatever, the sound comes out smooth as silk even in the dirty channel! The 3-band EQ works well and can give me quite wide range of sound variations. This amp takes my Ibanez TS7 Tubescreamer in a very good way and together with my Line 6 Pocket POD, I can pull off almost any sound I can possibly desire. There are of course a few things that I didn't like from this amp. No noise cancellation or gate built in so it picks out every single bit of noises coming from the guitar input. Some 'hall echo' mixed in the sound that I can't get rid of. The effects are pretty generic, the only thing that is editable is the volume. This is solved with using my Pocket POD effects instead. Not a big deal. The sound coming from headphone jack on the back is really bad, distorted and loud. // 9

Reliability & Durability: It's a solid state amp so I don't expect it to be as sensitive as tube amps. The thing built sturdy and feels solid. The knobs has nice quality feeling to them as they are not loosely. Under two years it has not given me any problem. This amp might not be loud enough for a medium gig but small ones would be perfectly fine. It's so small and light, very easy and simple for mean of transportation. // 10

Overall Impression: I have been playing for almost two years and this was the amp that I started out with. From the beginning I have always judged it based on price so it was a 'bad budget amp' that I just happens to own. It was left collecting dusts in a corner for half a year until recently when I just sold my Vox AD50VT and picked it up again. Now that my ears are little better trained this thing sounds wonderful! It brings me joys to see that I could find my sounds within' this amp I've been having the whole time. I just wish the effects name were writing on the front instead of the back panel and that they would be more customizable. Maybe a noise gate built in would be nice but I understand that it is not a feature an amp of this level would normally have. // 9

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overall: 9.3
Arrow 16 Reviewed by: NothingButRock, on june 04, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: A$ 299

Purchased from: Tandy

Features: This amp is very versatile and suits my needs and style very well. It can handle my dark modern tones very well. I've also used it to play punk, blues, funk and rock n roll all of which it did exceptionally well. The amp has two channels lead and clean. I don't need to go into that too much as everyone else here already has.. the only major downside is that the feedback on the lead channel is terrible. It's not a big problem for me as I've incorporated it into my style. I use this amp every night at home and really give it a beating at practice every weekend and it handles it fine. // 8

Sound: I use an Epiphone G400 with two humbuckers. As I said before it suits my dark modern sound extremely well, in fact I could not ask for better. It also suits the punk rock which I often drift into. The only thing you have to watch out for is the feedback when the gain is over about half way. The clean channel seems to be perfect except for a very slight distortion when cranked all the way up. The distortion suits me perfectly and can even get up to the br00talz death metal sounds. All in all I love it! // 10

Reliability & Durability: I think I've had it for about 7 months and it's been great for me. I've taken it to an outside gig at a pub, band practice every weekend and playing it in my room every night and I have not had one problem. I have gigged it without a backup and it didn't let me down at all. I'd do it again in fact. // 9

Overall Impression: As I've said previously it suits my style perfectly. I've been playing for four years and have owned some pretty budgey amps, an 80 watt RMS amp and this, this has by far been the best. If this was stolen I would most definatly buy another without a seconds thought I just love it. I just wish it was a bit louder, but hey, aside from that it's perfect for me... Clearly it's not the greatest amp in the world, but as far as solid states go I think it's great. // 10

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overall: 9
Arrow 16 Reviewed by: unregistered, on january 26, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 75

Purchased from: Another musician

Features: 16W power; 8" Celestion speaker; 2 channels (rhythm and lead); 3-band EQ; Headphone jack; CD/tape input(really like this one, plug in your ipod, CD player etc and Jam along! ). 20Lbs... For a solid state amp at that price range, all these features are pretty legit. If they could add an extra input I'd be really happy. // 8

Sound: I've only had guitars with 2 humbuckers, through my Zoom G1 and G7 multi effects. My impression compare to all the amps I've owned is, it gives a bright, really warm sound. I don't play blues but I know it has to sound amazing on blues. I play this mostly in my acoustic or metal distortion presets, and it sounds amazing. The difference between lead and rhythm does make a difference, and you get the EQ for both channels, which I thought was pretty neat. You can really get alot of different sounds with this thing. The most distinctive thing about this amp, to me, is the bassy tone it gives, and makes all the stuff I recorded with sound warm and full. By the way, this thing can get LOUD. // 9

Reliability & Durability: It 20lb according to the specs.I move this in my house up and down, and nothing has fellen apart or anything... Strap is nice and firm.I had this for a really long time, but I take good care of my gears, and nothing has failed at all. There was actually that one time, when I plugged in an acoustic electric into the amp while the gain switch is all the way up, and the feedback shook my room, didn't blow a speaker, thanks for not breaking on me =) // 10

Overall Impression: This baby can take down any genres of music I guess... But I think it would sound amazing in blues/jazz music. I play with heavy distortions alot, and I can honestly say I'm satisfied with the beefy tone I get on it. If there's anything I wish it had, why not build 2 input jacks? It's not an expensive amp or anything, so if its stolen I wouldn't kill myself, probably just buy another one in the store. // 9

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