Price paid: $ 339.39
Purchased from: Guitar Center - USED
Features: I am reviewing the new C5-01:
- Made in 2011 in England
- All Tube Non Master Volume Amp
- Volume, Treble, Mid, Bass Controls
- 10" custom celestion speaker
- 2x 12AX&s 1xEl84
- Headphone out/Low Power
- 16 ohm out (can work with 12 and 8 ohm cabs in my experience)
There are 2 things that I don't like about this amp, despite its amazing tone
1) Too bassy, Bass knob MUST be under 3 as soon as you turn up the volume. Its basically a wasted knob.
2) No headroom with a drummer. At all. Although this means that you can get crunch at slightly friendlier volumes.
*** No master volume is not a strike because most of the amps character and crunch comes from the EL84s, which a master volume would hinder. // 6
Sound: I use this amp with my Ibanez RG350DXZ, which is a HSH guitar. This amp loves humbuckers but sounds poor with any single coil I have plugged into it, including American Strats. The music I play includes Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, SRV, Lynyrd Skynyrd, etc
This amp has a very quiet, constant hum whenever on, but I have not played it outside my house, so I may have a grounding issue. I have heard that the OT and PT are parallel in the chassis, and that making them perpendicular gets rid of almost all of the hum, but I have not tried yet.
This amp was designed for Blues and Classic Rock, which is why I bought it, and it is perfect for both genres. Turn the volume to 4 - 6, Bass to about 2, and Treble/Mids to about 5-7. This amp has amazing sustain and crunch, and is very dynamic, even more so than the Orange Tiny Terror, which I compared it to.
As I said, with most drummers there is no clean headroom, but this thing Rocks and is more than loud enough for any rehearsal. Beyond that I always mike my amp for projection, because a 1x10, or even a 1x12, will not project well in any medium size venue. I don't play metal, but you will need a pedal. Best Blues/Classic Rock amp in its price range. // 10
Reliability & Durability: I have not had this amp for a long time, but the tubes don't rattle at all, and everything looks great. Small amounts of tolex were peeled when I got it, so I glued it back on and its fine. The amps OT is obviously durable because I have played the amp through 8ohm cabs many times. Tube life will be an issue because the lone El84 is responsible for all of the crunch. It works much harder than amps with heavy preamp gain. On the flip side, it seems as if the 12ax7s will last much longer than they do in most amps, for the same reason. // 8
Overall Impression: This amp is amazing for what I need - blues and classic rock, and a price tag under $400 used. This is a dramatic improvement from my Line 6 Spider IV, and is extremely touch sensitive to my pick attack. I love the amps growling midrange, and great cleans (when I play alone). I also love that it only weights in at 26 lbs, whereas most tube amps are at least 30 - 35 pounds. As I said earlier, my only qualms are the very small useable range of the bass knob and the lack of headroom. I compared this amp to a Fender Blues Jr, Orange Tiny Terror, and Egnater Tweaker and this amp won against each of them in classic British sound and dynamics. // 9