#1
So I went to the music store, and tried out a few amps. Found one I liked, gave the salesman some money, and he gave me this box.



I wonder what's inside? Hang on a tic, I'll get the scissors.



Let's open this baby up.



Oooh, looks pretty.



A fancy Kustom badge! And a tag! And a 64 controller that somehow got in the pic!



Viola! It's a Kustom '72 Coupe combo. 72 watts of sexiness. Also, I'm digging the car-styled cover on the front.

Let's have a look at some knobs.



Firstly, from the left, we have two inputs. As you might expect, Input 1 is normal, whereas Input 2 has a 6db gain cut. Next we have two channels, Rhythm and Lead. Each channel has its own master volume control - something I've been looking for in an amp for yonks - as well as a gain knob, which also has a pull-bright option, which cuts the bass and boosts the treble and high mid. Also, there is a blue light behind the 'Rhythm' and a red light behind the 'Lead' to indicate which channel is selected.

Next, a shared passive EQ as well as reverb controls for intensity and tone. The reverb comes from an Accutronics spring reverb pan. Sounds delicious, and doesn't swamp the signal even when both knobs are dimed.

Lastly (on the face) we have tremolo and vibrato effects - two knobs for separate intensities, and one shared knob for speed, which is pull-to-engage to turn on the effect. Then a pretty little jewel light, and on/off/standby switches (duh).

Here's a footswitch!



Three switches; the first one switches between channels, the second engages the boost (more on that later) and the third lets you either turn reverb on and off, or keeps the reverb on and turns tremolo/vibrato on and off (again, more on that later).

Let's have a look at the back:



From left to right: I accidentally cut it off in the picture, but there is a push-in switch identical to the Ground Lift switch that lets you choose the footswitch effect options - pushed in, you can control the reverb on/off from the footswitch; when not pushed in, the reverb is engaged, and you control the tremolo/vibrato on/off from the footswitch. Next, a footswitch input - self-explanatory.

Next, we have a ground lift switch, a speaker emulated direct out XLR output and a direct volume knob. The ground lift switch disconnects pin 1 of the XLR output to eliminate ground loop hum; and the direct volume knob adjusts the output volume. Recording stuff blah blah blah.

Then we have a boost volume control; the in-built boost is 12ax7 driven, and provides up to 10db of clean boost. Lastly, the effects loop, which is driven by the same 12ax7 which drives the boost.

Speakers: Two Kustom Eminence Integrated 12" speakers. I don't think I'll be replacing these in a hurry. Very clear and articulate.

REVIEW:

EQ is flat, playing through an Ibanez RG1570 with (sigh) stock pickups. No clips though, I've yet to attain decent recording equipment.

Rhythm channel

Naming this channel 'Rhythm' is misleading - it can give one the impression that this amp doesn't do clean cleans well. They are boomy, smooth and warm, and retain quite a bit of headroom. This amp is also very dynamic - hit the strings hard, and the cleans become sparkly and crunchy. Switched from the bridge humbucker to the middle single coil - very articulate and punchy. Very nice. I pulled up the bright switch, and noticed a lot of the bottom end disappeared, and the higher-end frequencies were boosted - resulting in more articulate cleans. Overall, I can't decide which setting I like the most, as with Bright engaged made for a nice clear jangly acoustic guitar sound, but on the normal setting, the velvety rich warm cleans made for some lovely jazz tones.

Lead channel

Right, in a nutshell, this is a crunch channel. But oh lawd, how it does crunch. Without the Bright switch engaged, this channel is very bassy and dark. You'd want to do some EQ tweaking if you want to stack a pedal on top of that. Engage the Bright switch, and you're in metal crunch territory. I decided at this point to add my BBE Green Screamer as a boost (all controls at noon), and suddenly I had articulate crunch tones which reminded me a whole lot of Battery and Master of Puppets chugging tones. However, one thing that you'll quickly learn with this channel is that you'll need to fiddle around with your gain and master volume, as too much of a gain to master volume ratio encouraged fizziness; I found that backing off the gain and increasing the master volume a bit got rid of the fizz and tightened up the sound. My overall impression is that you'll need a pedal to get into some more higher gain stuff at lower volumes. This amp is loud, and the more you dime it, the better it sounds, but eventually starts to hurt the ears and piss off the neighbours. EDIT: After playing around with this amp for a while, I found the lead channel does NOT get fizzy at ALL. The perceived fizz was due to me not being in front of the speaker while I was playing it.

Effects

Reverb is lush, sits back in the mix nicely, tone knob takes it from shrill to warm and dark. Crank the intensity and dial down the tone, and you have some lovely barely-oscillating spring reverb trails that remind me of some early White Stripes.

Tremolo/vibrato - I must admit I have not had any experience with tremolo/vibrato pedals, but they both sound warm and lively. No problems here. However the speed knob is very sensitive, and sometimes it can be a bitch to fine-tune in the desired speed.

Boost - It's a boost, what can I say? One thing that stood out was when engaged on the Rhythm channel with the Bright switched engaged, it certainly warmed up the signal. Very handy to have.

Things that I could be happier about

Not much in this department; however, all the knobs on the amp are simply push-on - i.e. they don't have a screw in the side to anchor them to the pot shaft - which is a problem considering three of the knobs on the amp are push/pull pots. I had to switch around the tremolo/vibrato speed knob and the lead channel's gain knob because they wouldn't stay on when I pulled them to engage the respective switches. That pissed me off.

Also, as I said before, you need to tweak with the Lead channel's gain and master volume to avoid fizz, HOWEVER, I DO REALISE THAT THIS COULD BE THE FAULT OF MY SHITTY PICKUPS. When I replace them, I'll see if there's a gigantic difference, and post back if there is.

Now, here's my personal triumph

These amps in Australia retail for just under $3000. This music store had them on special for $1800 for some unfathomable reason. However, I managed to talk them down to $1600 if I bought it on the spot, and I also got them to throw in a free hardcase for my Squier Standard Telecaster that i had bought second-hand about a week ago (it came in the worst freaking gig bag known to man). Awesome freaking deal.
Last edited by NakedInTheRain at Oct 22, 2010,
#2
I wanna use the front of it as a pillow

HNAD!
Rigz.
SX Furrian
Eastwood Mandocaster
Bugera v55
DigiTech DL8
Boss BD-2
Dean Markley Tuner
Ebow

Gear Hitlist:
2x12 Cab
#3
HNAD
Looks a really nice amp actually, not heard anything of Kustom's tube line.
LesPaul
Pedals
OrangeRocker30
My band
PBT Native: Resident Graphics Monkey

#4
Why does every Kustom look like a damned sofa?

HNAD.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

Feel free to express yours so I can make an informed judgement about how stupid you are.
#5
to be fair they don't all look like sofas.



Jumping on dat gear sig train.
PRS Hollowbody II / BKP Warpigs
Strandberg OS6T / BKP Aftermath
Strandberg OS7 / Lace Poopsticks
Skervesen Raptor 7FF / BKP Warpigs
Skervesen Raptor 6 NTB / BKP Juggernauts
Hapas Sludge 7 FF / Hapas Leviathan
Anderson Baritom / Motorcity Nuke BKP Sinner Anderson H2+
Warmoth Baritone / BKP Piledriver
Ibanez Rg2120x / BKP Nailbomb

Blackstar ID:Core Beam
#7
I gotta say, Kustom amps' aesthetics are among the best.
Fender 1996 Floyd Rose Standard Stratocaster
Epiphone SG G-400

Laney TT50-112

Ibanez Weeping Demon
Marshall RG-1 Regenerator
Electro-Harmonix/Sovtek (Black) Big Muff Pi

Visit my site for some FREE RE-AMPING! http://www.wix.com/reamps/reamp
#8
I gotta say Kustoms are some of the classiest looking amps out there. Nice tone too. HNAD!
Epiphone Dot
DIY Esquire w/Neovin Power Rock pickup
Vox AC30VR 212
Arion MTE-1 (LED clipping diodes added)
Vox Tonelab LE
Roland SDE1000 delay

Quote by DaMarsbarPerson
By high-gain I don't mean stupid stuff. I just mean styles like Motley Crue or Iron Maiden
#9
Looks great, I like the leather.

HNAD!
2012 Gibson Les Paul Custom Classic
2001 Schecter C-1 Classic
2007 Yamaha APX500
Vox AC15CC1 w/ Eminence Tonkerlite
Assorted Pedals!

All for sale!

Call me Matt!
#12
Kustom Coupe = The awesome.

Clips please.
Recognized by the Official EG/GG&A Who To Listen To List 2008
Quote by utsapp89
^I'd let a pro look at it. Once you get into the technicalities of screws...well, it's just a place you don't want to be, friend.
#13
HNAD! I didn't know Kustom had a high end line- the only ones I'd seen over here in the states were cheap practice amps, which I would venture to guess they didn't design or produce anyway.