MESAexplorer, on november 06, 2008 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 1550
Features: I would call this a 2.5 channel (clean/OD1/OD2 but 2 total EQs) 100watt EL-34 powered Marshall eating monster. The tones available are extremely diverse. It has 3 different Drive flavors (gear 1, 2, and 3) and the gain increases, respectively. Also has a solo boost and a 50watt(half power) Switch on the back. Great effects loop as well.
The best feature with the quickrod, besides the tone is how clean and simple it is. The build on this thing is excellent. You can tell just by picking it up that it's a quality amp. So much attention to detail, nothing is thrown together on this amp. Clearly a boutique amp built with lots of time and dedication. You would have to see one in person to know what I'm talking about.
I give it a 10 because if you're buying it, you're probably looking for the perfect Marshall, not a Vetta II with a plethora of features. It's fully loaded for someone Who just wants to plug up and rock. // 10
Sound: First things first. This amp is really f--king loud. This is another tube amp where it sounds rather crappy at low volumes also. The difference between 8:00 and 8:05 is fizzy to roaring and whispering to bleeding ears. On a positive note, if you're playing Live, once the volume is over 10:00 you can crank it the rest of the way and it doesn't get any louder, but the saturation increases. I don't recommend standing in front of the amazing tone it produces at that high of volume levels though...
This is one of the newer Quickrods with the updated clean channel. The cleans are alright. The problem I have with it is how bright it is. To get a rather thick clean tone I have the bass at about 2:00 and the treble around 9:00. It really falls short in this department. There are many amps for a lower price that have better clean channels (Framus Dragon, Mesa Rectoverb, Mesa Dual Rectifier, Vox AC30). That being said, the clean tone would only be noticed as bland by someone testing it out, but not playing it Live. I'm sure the KT88 Pro-mod or Nitro would have an even better clean channel.
I'm mainly a 7 stringer, also have an Ibanez 8 and a few 6s. I typically play stuff along the lines of Metallica, Meshuggah, Tool, Dream Theater, Between The Buried And Me, and Yngwie.
Gear 1: I don't usually fool around with gear 1 very often. It has the least gain of the gear settings but it still can get pretty crunchy. My friends have said "sounds exactly like hendrix, jimmy page, Angus Young". I don't play rock, but I would expect gear 1 to be ideal for classic to hard rock.
Gear 2: JCM rhythm tone. Adds quite a bit more crunch to Gear 1. Plenty of saturation for 80's metal al la Anthrax, ozzy, early Metallica, Yngwie/rising force, and Van Halen. I'm not saying this amp nails the brown sound, but it can convincingly cover HIM well. I typically use this channel as a practicing channel with the gain dialed back, as the amp is rather unforgiving.
Gear 3: This is the highest gain this amp offers. Loads of sustain, harmonics, and midrange cut. I use this channel for the best leads. The amp basically plays itself on this channel. Again, very unforgiving, it lets everything you play stand out though. For 7 and 8 stringage, it has a rather odd tone. It has a really nasally snarl (think Meshuggah). This tone is great for running stereo with other amps as well.
I give channel 2 on all gears a 10/10 and the clean channel a 6/10. Average of 8. If I could change anything about the amp, I would probably add more lows or low mids to it, and defiantly revise the clean channel again. // 8
Reliability & Durability: Handbuilt amp with some of the best parts out there. I wouldn't worry about a backup. With the wait time of about 3 months to buy one new, chances are you won't be using a splawn with a backup anyway. Maybe a roccaforte, Marshall, or thunderverb.
Superb build quality though. Scott is a great guy as well. If there ever was a problem with his amp he would take care of you as quick as possible. // 10
Overall Impression: Originally I purchased this amp with intentions of blending it with my framus Dragon to get a near Adam Jones tone (german + british tones). It exceeded my expectations playing with it alone. Blended, wow, huge thick tone.
Alone it was great for playing stuff in standard on the 6 string, or playing leads in general. If it were lost or stolen I'd probably experiment with something like a Mojave, Roccaforte, or some other El34 high midrange amp, but I defintly would be looking for an amp with the same features and a nearly identical tone. // 9
unregistered, on june 10, 2011 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 1800
Purchased from: Splawn
Features: Mine is a 2007 model with the clean channel, I bought it new and was very impressed. Nailed EVH oversaturated tones, Dokken, etc. Also could be cleaned up to a nice bluesy sound. The clean side was a little dirty but sounded wonderful to me (again bluesy clean, if ya know what I mean) plenty of headroom to get over the hard hitting drummer. Lets see... Effects loop, quiet switching between 6 different overdrives and a clean. 50 or 100 watt. Built like a tank... Well worth the money // 10
Sound: This amp was built with pride and well worth the price. It basically has several Marshall sounds... Plexi, Hotrod Plexi, JCM 800, Hot Rod 800, and another couple of step ups in the gain channels, and then the clean. I ran the tubes hot, controlling volume with a HOT plate. I love this amp. Its like having several old school Marshalls to choose from for 1800.00. Even in the higher gain settings it was very quiet. Impressive. // 10
Reliability & Durability: Built like a tank with pride and only the best parts. In four years I replaced one preamp tube. I giged it with no backup and no problems. // 10
Overall Impression: Awesome... If it gets gone I would have to have another. Scott Splawn is great to work with. He hand builds these amps in N.C. In a small shop with @4 employees, and stands behind his work period. I play classic rock and blues, I've been playing for 20+ years. // 10
311ZOSOVHJH, on january 20, 2014 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Features: The Splawn Quick Rod is a 2 channel amp with separate EQs and channel volumes but no overall Master volume. They are hand built one at a time in North Carolina by a small crew consisting of Scott Splawn and a few other guys. These amps are custom built per order and have an average wait time of 12 weeks. All of the components are high end including the Heyboer Transformers. They are an EL34 based amp but can be converted to KT88/other with a screen grid resistor swap/piggy back. The amps also have a 1/2 power switch, Solo boost, and the "Gears." The Gears (1,2,and 3) approximate a Marshall Plexi, Marshall JCM800 and a "hot-rodded" JCM800 respectively. The OD channel includes a Presence control and the Clean channel lacks a Mids control. In addition to the above features the amp also includes an OD1/OD2 control which is only foot-switchable and provides an additional level of boost. The Footswitch also controls channel switching and the Solo boost, so you pretty much have to have this footswitch to get the most of the amp. Unfortunately, the footswitch does not allow for the switching between Gears, although there is mod for that. I personally prefer Gear 2/OD2. Additional features include a Series Effects Loop - w/ true-bypass and adjustable +4db/-10db switch as well as a Mains power selector. Although on the surface, it appears that there are a lot of features, compared to other amps in this price range. // 7
Sound: The Splawn family of amps is primarily driven around that modded hot-rodded Marshall tone. For many it is the tone that Marshall should have morphed into after the JCM800 series. The amp is capable of of very suitable (although dry) cleans to classic/'80s rock to metal. The amp excels at classic rock/'80s metal. The amp can do modern metal but only with the addition of some pedals - for me anyway. The Quick Rod has a pronounced upper mid frequency and the amp's overall tone is shaped around that. To get more low end or a scooped feel an EQ pedal in the loop is essential IMO. The good news is that the amp is super articulate and touch sensitive. Therefore, it handles drop tunings extremely well. It is almost impossible to get this amp to flub out. The amp is also pretty bright. It will accentuate every mistake/note you play. There is no hiding behind this amp. The takes OD pedals very well and I personally use a DigiTech Bad Monkey. Splawn also makes very good speaker cabinets and the Splawn Small Blocks are the speaker of choice for most Splawn owners. Some speakers, like the Celestion Vintage 30 for example, do not sit as well due the Splawn's pronounced middle frequencies. For the hot rodded Marshall tone - Splawn amps are hard to beat, especially for the price. // 9
Reliability & Durability: Reliability wise, you just can't get much better than these amps. I've never owned a Diezel or a Bogner or some of the other high end amps but I've played quite a few amps and I've done a fair bit of my own research. Splawns have a worldwide reputation of being one of the best amps you can buy quality wise. All of the components and wire dress are top notch. I see very few quality issue reports on the web. Additionally, Scott Splawn provides some of the best customer service out there. That is a global opinion - not just mine. He is very responsive and has spent quite a bit of time even talking to me and I bought my amp used. The amps come with a Lifetime warranty although that warranty is not transferable. // 10
Overall Impression: Overall impression is that Splawn amps are brilliant. They are not for everyone though. They excel at certain genre of music which is primarily '80s hard rock/metal. That said, I've seen plenty of good clips of people doing excellent cleans, blues, and modern metal with them as well. I do wish that the features were a bit more deep or useable but compared to the stock Marshalls this amp clones - I really can't complain.
For pics and clips of my amp you can see my profile. For additional information on Splawn feel free to visit UG's Only Thread for Splawn Amplification here. // 9