Superdrive 18 Series II 1x12 Combo review by Budda

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  • Features: 10
  • Sound: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 9 (4 votes)
Budda: Superdrive 18 Series II 1x12 Combo

Purchased from: Music store

Features — 10
Made in '08, a really great amp starting point for me has been an open Gadd9 on clean channel. This amp was very impressive, Fender-esque but definitely AC 30 chime & EL84's. Perhaps a tad dark for some but easily eq'ed out. This is one LOUD amp as so many have discovered & almost keeps up with my Boogie Rectoverb 50! Two channel setup, staying on clean side it really brings out the character of the guitar used. From '53 Tele, a real one, to '87 PRS, Stratocasters it rings true to each wide variety of guitars & pups! Effects loop sounds great & a direct out with level control for going straight to the FOH board. No reverb, but loop fixes that. Pre-Peavey model as Peavey bought them about 5, 6 years ago... Have no clue as to that event either way! Feature-wise I give it top score for simplicity. I grew very tired of too many push-pull pots, graphic EQ's with wide "V" slopes & tiny toggle switches, etc. Change one by accident & good luck at gig getting back YOUR sound at the gig downbeat!

Sound — 10
Vintage rock & dance band, the guys love this amp. All better players than I, they believed it was a 50 watt first gig, until I revealed the truth. Clean sound very warm, swirly & some of the 3D depth of sound... hard to describe but "deep, fat, & complex" comes to mind. Channel 2 will go from light breakup to ZZ land & this little sucker projects clearly, very smooth mids. It takes pedals very well & just has its own sound. I play as much slide as music allows & this is a great rock slide amp ala ZZ, & others. Dead quiet amp, full drive, TC stomps, passive effects loop. If verb is important plan on looping a descent one through loop. I would buy it all over again, won't be selling it.

Reliability & Durability — 10
It certainly seems very well made but only 42 lbs or so. The Budda Phat speaker has a lot to do with the sound of course & I don't know who makes it. I love it though as it is well voiced & suited for this amp. Warning: it will play soft, but this little badger can get LOUD & most will be blown away by that reality. Comes with nice vinyl cover, & the triangular knobs are a practical & ergonomic. It does run the El-84's very hot & goes through tubes a little faster but not bad, & moreover very well worth it for this tone monster. About 60 gigs & no problems. No clue as to Peavey purchase effect, haven't googled it, I did speak with Jeff at Peavey & they have a totally separate building for this amp. If you want pre-Peavey the dating is easy as big serial number on back!

Overall Impression — 10
Seems well built, with off - on, Standby on FRONT panel! Yes, no fumbling behind amp! 3 push/pull knobs: Master = volume/channel... Mid pull takes tone stack out, very cool, separate Rhythm level knob = rhythm brite, lead channel level knob. The rhythm bright or not, is more than subtle going from buckers to single coils pups. :-) Foot-switch is channel & tone stack control. The direct out with level knob can also go to another amp, say big gig over by keyboard player as 8 of us are on stage at big gigs w horns. This amp has it's own vibe & takes EL84's to a whole new level of "chime" yet very warm cleans! Like many great amps, the constant "new design - amp of the year companies syndrome" makes for viscous competition for our $$. I am gigging with Fuchs ODS30 now, but the Budda is a keeper as a backup & a very unique sound I really like.

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