oneblackened, on september 01, 2008 2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 153
Purchased from: Daddy's Junky Music
Features: Made in the late '90s in the UK. Two channels, clean and overdrive, with spring reverb. For what I play, which is mostly hard rock and metal, it's versatile enough. There is no effect loop, but there is a footswitch input. it's controls are basic-a two band EQ on the clean with a volume, 3 band EQ, gain, and volume on the OD side. I use it for practice alone, and it is more than loud enough. // 5
Sound: I'm using this amp mainly with an Epiphone Les Paul Standard with stock pickups, and it suits my music style well enough. It's a bit noisy with a bit of gain, but otherwise is relatively quiet. This amp can do anywhere from cleans to raging metal distortion, but it doesn't do gain too well at all, but if it's EQ'd right, then it's somewhat usable. The clean channel doesn't seem to be all that loud, and will start to clip if I hit the strings with much force if I use the bridge position. // 5
Reliability & Durability: This amp has broken down on me once. I don't know what exactly went wrong with it, but something started making a high pitched hum, but that went away after a while (and a service, but the repair guy couldn't find anything wrong with it). I wouldn't gig with it, not because of it's reliability, but because it's just too small. a 30 watt solid state 1x10" combo can't really do much. // 9
Overall Impression: I've been playing for nearly two years, and when I got this, the tone was just that much better than my little Fender frontman that came with my pack. Now I realize that there are better amps for the price-the Epiphone Valve Junior, and the Peavey Valveking royal 8, for example. If it were stolen, I'd get something else. I wouldn't even bother tracking the thief down. // 6
unregistered, on september 29, 2011 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Features: This is a twin-channel guitar amp, with separate equalization for each channel, plus reverb. It has a 10 inch speaker. It has line out and headphone out sockets, and a single input. It is compatible with a channel-switching footswitch but this was not included. It says made in England, which seems astonishing in this day and age when everything involving a circuit-board seems to be made in China.
I bought this amp second hand from an online auction site. I got it for the equivalent of US$155, but this price included a Marshall Guv'nor GV-2 distortion pedal. My intention had been to sell the pedal to off-set the cost of the amp (I would probably get half my money back), but I like the pedal so much I'll keep it lol. The amp is replacing a Peavey Envoy that is getting old and noisy.
The name "Valvestate" implies that it is a valve / solid state hybrid but in fact only the 65 and 100 watt models in this series are hybrids, the 15 and 30 watt models are totally solid state. No big deal, and I'm happy with a solid state amp, but the name does seem a little misleading. // 8
Sound: The sound of this amp is surprisingly good. I have seen many negative reviews of this amp, but I suspect most people buy this expecting it to sound like a 100 watt Marshall stack and are disappointed when it doesn't. If you forget your unrealistic expectations, and compare this amp objectively against anything else in the 20 - 40 watt class, it stands up very well.
One disappointment for me is the clean channel, which, the owners' manual advises, will "crunch up your sound" if taken past 5 on the volume dial. I'm sorry Jim, but if I wanted the amp to "crunch up" my sound, I'd use the lead channel. I'd like to be able to get a nice clean crisp acoustic-type sound beyond 5 on the dial, as I could on my Peavey. The lead channel is very good, but I am using the Marshall Guv'nor GV-2 pedal on the clean channel as it has better sustain.
I am playing an Aria Pro II RS Deluxe-V (a 30 year old Japanese single-coil guitar), and have not tried it with a humbucking guitar. I'm not a rock player, more into easy-listening and pop, and all I really want is some nice clean sounds and some good fuzzy sustain for guitar solos. I appreciate that Marshall amps are primarily aimed at rock players, and I think most rock players would be happy with the sounds if they compared this objectively against other amps of similar wattage and spec. // 7
Reliability & Durability: The amp seems well-built. There is some minor noise when using the volume control on the lead channel, but I will apply some CRC / WD40 to this and see what happens lol. I did buy it second hand, so all in all, am very happy with it.
It's made in England, so it has a bit more "cred" than something made in China, although having driven English cars, I know this is not always a good thing lol. // 8
Overall Impression: I really like this amp. It compares very favorably with its predecessor, the Peavey Envoy, which, in addition to being noisy, had fiddly little knobs and poor visibility.
To be sure, the amp could do with a better ergonomic layout (9 identical knobs in a row with no gap between channels isn't especially user-friendly) and I'd like it to be able to keep clean sounds to a louder level, but it seems well-built, is visually attractive, is nice and quiet, and for the most part, sounds great. Also, the brand name has "street cred" and it won't cause you any embarrassment at band practice.
I consider this particular amp to have been excellent value for money (second hand), and I'd recommend this amp to anyone looking for a compromise unit that can be a bedroom practice amp but also a small-gig stage amp. // 8