N-30 Dirty Thirty review by Danelectro

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  • Features: 4
  • Sound: 4
  • Reliability & Durability: 3
  • Overall Impression: 2
  • Reviewer's score: 3.3 Poor
  • Users' score: 8.3 (6 votes)
Danelectro: N-30 Dirty Thirty
1

Purchased from: Local Brick and Mortar

Features — 4
Includes an input and headphone jack. Dirty-Sweet (distortion) knob, Level (volume) knob, and Tone knob. Also a handy dandy on-off switch. If you're looking for a wide variety of tone options look elsewhere. Leather carrying strap gives it a classy look and feel, and in all honestly it is a pretty handsome amp. The big Danelectro brand on the front looks pretty tacky to me. It was also made in China, guessing in 1999 give or take a couple years to either side. I'll give it one point for every knob it has, plus one for a headphone jack.

Sound — 4
If you play anything but vintage-styled rock rhythm guitar, this might not be the amp for you. It honestly, doesn't even do that very well. The "Dirty-Sweet" is a very VERY vintage sounding distortion. Not vintage in a good way either. You'd be hard pressed to get any blues are hard rock tones from this amp without pedals. The tone needs to be set at 3 o'clock or higher or it sounds like you have covered your amp in blankets and faced it up against a wall. Has a light hum to it, I've heard quieter and noisier amps. For the bedroom, it isn't bad if you're learning how to play guitar, but if you want any amount of tonal variety, you'll need to add some pedals (overdrive, distortion, reverb, ...) or get a different amp. I would never recommend going out and spending money on pedals if this is the only amp available to you. Save up for a better amp. That being said, if you have an overdrive pedal laying around, it will breathe some new life into this one trick pony.

Reliability & Durability — 3
I would never take this live. The "cabinet" feels heavy duty and could probably take a beating. If you turn it up past 3/4 volume with the tone up and any amount of distortion you can smell the amp, and in my book that is never, ever, a good sign. Would never depend on this amp to do anything besides being a cheap little bedroom amp to decide if you like playing electric guitar or not before moving up to the big leagues. after ~15 years of owning it, the knobs and jacks are still sturdy, and it hasn't caught on fire yet... but that's because I've always taken care of my toys lol.

Overall Impression — 2
As I've said in the Reliability & Durability, I would never depend on this amp to do anything besides being a cheap little bedroom amp to decide if you like playing electric guitar or not before moving up to the big leagues. It came free with my very first guitar, which was a single humbucker JR sized Epiphone, in a $100 kit. Almost any amp would be an upgrade from this amp, and I wouldn't own it if it wasn't free. I've taken it to pawn shops and brick and mortar guitar stores and couldn't even give it away.

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