44 Magnum Power Amp Review

manufacturer: Electro-Harmonix date: 12/13/2012 category: Guitar Amplifiers
Electro-Harmonix: 44 Magnum Power Amp
I realize that this thing is in a pedal-sized enclosure. And that it's probably already been said, but this is no effect pedal, IT'S A POWER AMP. It has a super-simple feature set.
 Sound: 9.3
 Overall Impression: 9
 Reliability & Durability: 9
 Features: 8.3
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reviews (3) pictures (2) 6 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9
44 Magnum Power Amp Reviewed by: Strangeman86, on october 10, 2011
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 144

Purchased from: ebay

Features: I realize that this thing is in a pedal-sized enclosure. And that it's probably already been said, but this is no effect pedal, IT'S A POWER AMP. It has a super-simple feature set. A volume knob and a bright/normal switch. I was skeptical at first, not sure whether a '44 watt' amp such as this would be loud enough for a band setting, but I was pleasantly surprised at the volume. In other words, it's pretty freakin' loud. About the only thing I could wish for would be a more versatile EQ, but life goes on. It's simple, has a wonderful taper to the volume and the bright switch is useful if you have a dark sounding guitar. Granted this is all just my humble half-cent of an opinion, but I like it. // 8

Sound: I'm using this with my Warmoth tele (it has a single humbucker in the bridge, a HighOrder Pickups A5 T-top replica, which is wired straight to the output jack) and I'm sending the signal into a Seismic Audio 'Cube' 1x12 (cheap, but sounds good and suits my needs) loaded with a WGS Retro 30 speaker. Since this is made by EHX, it's not just a clean power amp, it acts like a tube power section and overdrives when you crank it up (actually, with my guitar it starts to overdrive at about 9:30). It will go from a nice and punchy clean to the edge of breakup and all the way to a medium crunch, all the while being very, very touch sensitive and responsive to your playing. The overdriven sound of this thing reminds me of an old Fender Musicmaster bass amp I had a while back. It's a fun sound to play with, something I'm not used to. Every time I turn it up I have the urge to play AC/DC all day. But on to the question everyone's probably thinking of, does it handle pedals? The answer is yes, and quite well (of course, EHX being a huge pedal manufacturer, it would just be silly for them to make a power amp that didn't handle pedals). I've run a Mad Professor Stone Grey distortion through it, as well as a Danelectro Cool Cat Transparent Overdrive and both sound wonderful through it. I will warn folks though, if you have a bright guitar this little amp can get BRIGHT. I toyed with the idea of getting an EQ pedal to rectify this, but I figure in a live setting it will be very articulate and probably help my sound cut through the mix. I have had no noise issues, and unless you've got a house (or you're playing a gig at a place) with grounding issues I doubt you'll have any noise issues either. I do suspect this will either be a sound that people love, or just plain don't like. Thankfully I'm in the love category. It just works for me. // 10

Reliability & Durability: EHX has been around for a long stinkin' time and I don't know of any crazy issues they've ever had off hand. I've had this for a couple of months and I often play it very loud (much to my wife's lament) with no problems. I've never noticed it getting HOT or making any noises after extended playing times. Even if it did have any issues after a few years of playing, the darn thing only costs $144!! // 9

Overall Impression: I think this little guy is a great idea, and that EHX has wonderfully executed it. I like to play whatever's in my head at the moment, and while this amp on it's own won't do much other than rock or dirty jazz, the ability to throw a great Drive pedal or any other effect in front of it (please, don't put any effects after it, you'll kill them) you can get pretty much any sound out of it you'd like. I think this thing provides a wonderful option for folks who don't have the cash for a tube amp but need the basic tone of one. It's light weight, small, and sounds absolutely fantastic for the price! I'd definitely replace the thing in a heartbeat, and my wife wouldn't even be mad about it! // 9

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overall: 9
44 Magnum Power Amp Reviewed by: unregistered, on june 27, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 129

Purchased from: net

Features: Simple little amp. I am a professional musician, and when I have time off I like to hit some local jams. I bought it for the sole purpose of having a backup to my backup tube amps, and have really enjoyed bringing this to a jam, and get the baffling looks. I have used it on some smaller intimate gigs, and it performed beautifully. At jams, I just plug straight in, and at gigs, I have my wah, MC 402, and Boss tuner, then to amp. // 9

Sound: I play swing and jump style blues, and like a clean tone. I mainly play arch-tops, 6120 Gretsch, is my main guitar. I plug straight into the amp, no effects. I have been really freaking jammers out with this little thing. I bring a little 12 inch cab that I made, and that is it! I don't have any problem competing with a drummer, and the tone is just fine. I don't think I have had the volume up more than eleven o'clock, and I keep the toggle up to bright. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I can't see this amp having any problems. I suppose the weak link I see is the power chord it comes with, but if careful, should last years. I play professionally, and have learned that you have to take care of your equipment. Loading and unloading on the road creates alot of wear and tear. I keep extra tubes for all my tube amps, and rarely have had any problems. This little 44mag seems like it can take abuse and keep on going, though I won't test it on abuse personally. // 9

Overall Impression: Blues, old school, not blues rock. Been playing over 35 years. If this were stolen, I am sure I would get another. I love my tube amps, Fender Vibrolux Reverb, 1963 Fender Bandmaster, customized tweed Peavey Delta Blues with 15 inch speaker, and a Fender Blues Jr, with heavy duty tranny. What I love about this little amp is size compared to amount of clean volume I can get. I take this and my little cab with two cables and my guitar, how much simpler can you get? I can't be picky about features, how would a reverb chip sound in this? // 9

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overall: 8.8
44 Magnum Power Amp Reviewed by: Tubemsterof0, on december 13, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 150

Purchased from: ebay

Features: Features... Hmm... It's a power amp that's both an amp, and powerful. I doubt anyone could expect many features from this amp, really the only thing you could ever want was a little more tone control, but this is nothing a simple EQ pedal out front (or something like a tube screamer) can't address if needed. If I was really pedantic, it would be absolutely perfect if it could use the power from my usual pedal power outlet. For example, I use a Dunlop multi-outlet. I understand it needs a lot more juice than your average pedal though - but that would be ideal. Even if it could somehow use 3 of the 9v sockets? // 8

Sound: I actually bought this pedal for the sole reason of putting on my pedalboard to power my Heil talkbox. I use a a/b switcher to go between my normal amp and this pedal for the talkbox. For this purpose by the way, it's awesome. Diverting straight into this with no effects - the power and breakup is perfect for a talkbox (around 10/11 o'clock). But it is when I plug this into my cab (greenbacks) I was actually blown away by the tone and sound of this little thing, I liked the tone so much it was good enough for home and rehearsal I usually find myself using it instead of killing my tubes. Through a 2x12 Greenback cab, I always leave it on bright setting (I usually play Vox tube amps and am use to the so called "Vox sparkle") through both my Les Paul and Tele I am amazed at the sound it produces. Breakup sounds really good, and with a tube screamer out front it can wail. Pedal board / preamp / eq in front, you can make this sound great. Is it loud, yes. Loud enough to rehearse and gig? Yes. Keep it clean with the volume control on your guitar. VERY highly recommended - if even just as a backup amp! // 9

Reliability & Durability: Can't really complain about reliability at all. I have had issues with some EH pedals in the past (humms, power supplies etc.) but the last few I have bought including this (e.g. Holy Grail, Nano Chorus) have been without fault. // 9

Overall Impression: For rock, funk, pop and probably jazz - this is great. Potential uses: 1. Your main amp on a budget (Yep, especially with some pedals and eq in front. Provided you have a decent cab/speaker) 2. Powering a "non powered" talk box like a Heil like I have. 2. Spare/backup amp. The amp I used before this to power my talkbox was a Vox Lil' Night Train, which is a 2 watt tube amp. But I felt a little overkill and annoying as part of my rig just for the talkbox. So the beauty of the 44 Magnum is that it is so small and can just take up a spot on your pedalboard. And then, worst case, it doubles as a spare amp you always have with you!

// 9

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