Valve Standard review by Epiphone

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.1 (21 votes)
Epiphone: Valve Standard

Purchased from: Ax In Hand

Sound — 9
I've used it with a variety of guitars, namely a Schecter Gryphon with Duncan Designed pickups, a Schecter Hellraiser w/EMG (81/85), and a Greg Bennett Semi-hollow with Duncan Designed humbuckers. I played a varying array of music from soft rock cleans and dirty blues, to stone hard rock. One thing I noted when playing each of these guitars through the amp, was that it portrayed and showcased quite well, the individual nuances of each guitar. From the high output/tone of the EMGs in my Hellraiser, to a very warm and mellow town from the Greg Bennett semi-hollow. Where on another amp, each of the three guitars may sound quite similar and harder to tell apart, the Epiphone Valve Standard let each guitars own individuality stand out. The tone of the amp, probably due to it's speaker, is a little heavier on the bass, but that can be adjusted easily with the EQ. The almost entirely closed back of the cabinet may contribute to the bassy sound as well. Like I said earlier, between the master vol., gain, EQ, and guitar controls, any tone up to hard rock seems possible. The DSP effects, while not particulary noteworthy as far as sound are concerned, are a nice addition if you don't have the pedals to use. Fortunately they can be muted, so you're not stuck with using them when you don't want to. Although it can easily get to the dirty grit of hard rock, it will need the help of a overdrive/distortion pedal if you're looking for heavy metal boom and crunch. A noise gate would probably help as well, as when the volume or gain goes up (quite expectantly) the noise level follows. I have to admit, it never reached a very annoying level though, and was expected.

Overall Impression — 9
I play generally hard rock to heavy metal, and just now getting into blues. An overdrive/distortion pedal and a chorus would defintely be a must for this. I also intend on getting possibly a compression and maybe a noise gate (although the noise gate isn't of high priority). I also own a Peavey VK100 and a Roland Microcube, so this amp fit just perfectly into the midrange gap between the other two amps. Although I used to use the Microcube primarily as my practice amp, I've been using the Standard more and more often. The main reason I still keep the Microcube is it's easy portability. My favorite feature of this amp is the fact that it's 15watts, and has a 3 band EQ. I used to have a Valve Junior, but I wanted a little more power and flexibility, which this offered, for not much more in cost. Cost-wise, no other 15watt tube combo came close. If I wanted something along the lines of an all tube Fender, for example, it would cost me $50 more for 10 less watts, and no EQ. If this were stolen/lost, I'd purchase a new one without hesitation, where as if my more expensive Peavey were stolen, I'd replace that as well, but it'd take me a heck of a lot longer in order to get the money (and hunt down the bastard).

Reliability & Durability — 8
The amp is approximately 45lbs and seems to be built quite solidly. I've only had it for a week so I can't say much about it breaking down nor do I expect it to anytime soon. I think part of the beauty of the amp is it's simplicity in controls and design. Although I don't really gig, I know a few others that do, and after letting them try the amp, they would, without a doubt, be comfortable gigging with the amp. Even got a friend to purchase one as he stated "for the price, I'd be nuts not to have it at least as a backup." My only concern, is when it's been in use for an extended period of time, the faceplate (where all the knobs sit) can get extremely hot to the touch. I don't really have any idea as to what effect this can have on the longevity of the amp's life, and thus I don't usually play it for very long. Although I have the manufacturer's warranty to help easy any concerns, the fact that the price of the amp was amazingly low for what it is, also puts my mind at ease. It's a plus for cold winter nights that'll be coming along soon.

Features — 9
Not sure when this particular amp was made, between 2006-2007. It's a 15watt, class A, all tube amp (3-12AX7, 2-EL84), 12" speaker with 16 DSP "settings" (which can be muted) and a seperate DSP Reverb. It has a single channel with three band EQ, master volume and gain knob. On the back, it's got an output for an 8ohm ext. speaker, and you can disconnect the cabinet speaker (which is also 8ohm), plus you have an input for the optional footswitch. I'd say it's very much like a beefier version of the Epiphone Valve Junior with added tone control and a little bit more flexibility. By virtue of the master volume, gain, and your guitars own volume pot, you can get anything from truly voiced cleans, to a crunchy hard rock tone. It's quiet enough for bedroom practice, while still giving you almost all your tonal options, and yet can pack a solid punch when you need it for a gig. At an akward 45lbs, it's not terribly heavy to lug from gig to gig, and it feels very solid and well built. I'm giving it a 9 because I don't see any other tube combo that gives this all for such a low cost.

12 comments sorted by best / new / date

    SOUPerman432321 wrote: epiphone guitars are such crap but their amps are desent. But 15 watts is embarrassing get some balls with at least a 100 watt. if you want to get a practice amp get a crap used amp that is falling apart and put your money in a show amp
    i think one day you will learn that it is tone that matters not volume, and really only someone who's doing large venues would need a stack, i don't get you people you prefer deafening droning volume over tone and 100 watt tube or more is just stupid first of all the tubes could not andle it they'll prob shatter and tubes increase the volume anyway
    I really do hate it when ignorant metal-heads come to a review about an amp meant for REAL music and pretend their 2000 watt line-6 is awesome, when it really sounds like crap.
    Just picked up one of these for $200. It's not a perfect amp, but if you're looking for a low-wattage, small gig EL84 amp, it's pretty good. It is pretty bassy, as reported, but I attribute that to a few things. It's very solid, almost closed back cab (has a vent for the tubes), so right away that's going to give you more more bass. The EL84's + the low level Celestion Silver Series speaker are going to deliver more lower mids & bass frequencies as well. Eventually, I'll put a Jensen in there + probably some JJ's. The Reverb is usable, but it's not the deep, surf style verb. The DSP is ok, but does pile on the hiss. I'll disable that & maybe drop in a spring reverb at some point. I play garagey blues + rock, so thing is perfect for me, almost out of the box. If you're looking for Fender style cleans though, look elsewhere...
    a Valve amp is approx 3x more powerfull than a SS equivelent, EG treat this as a 45watt solid state amp (the actual multiplication factor depends on the actual tubes i think UK tubes get a slightly higher rating than american ones)
    Just picked up a Valve STD last night, Nice tone, but still trying to find the sweat spot, a bit of humm when gain is above 12oclock won't distort until about 2 oclock The dsp's do work well and most setting are usable. I did put gain to max and volume to max eq to mid and i could clip it, I think the speaker might be weeek. Later
    how much hum are you guys getting with your Valve Standard? I just bought mine a weak ago and the hum / static seems rather loud to me even for a tube...I have had a MesaBoogie and a Marshall in the past...and granted they were quite noisy but this seems pretty loud...maybe someone turned it way up in the music store and messed up the tubes? Just wondering before I make the long trek back to the music store to be told that I don't know anything and that ALL tube amps sound like that....yeah, yeah..I have only been playing for 20 years...but seriously I don't know if this static and hum is normal. And when I kick on the built in effects...especially the chorus...well it is just unbearable...(I am playing a Parker Nitefly into it in the humbucker positions, but only because the single coil positions intensify the static too mammoth proportions...) thanks for any input. ValveStandard (aka Larry)
    Would this amp be loud enough for grunge as well as shoegaze-type rock gigs? I like most things about it, but if it isn't that would be the killer blow against it.
    I bought one of these off the discount table at a local music store. They sold it as a discontinued model. I paid $200. I'm using it with a standard telecaster and a Bluesdriver2 pedal. This combinati0n creates a classic slightly overdrive/warm blues tone that is just what I wanted. There is some hum, but you don't notice it when you start playing.
    My partner gave me this amp as a gift and to be honest, I was surprised how beautiful it's sound is. It has that real warm tube sound, and I agree with the review that it's suitable for most styles of music except for really high gain distortion, although with a decent pedal, gives that a nice retro fuzz sound too. I mostly use it with clean and chorus or just clean and think it really allows my guitar to shine. I have a Maton Mastersound (which sounds particularly great with it) and a Fender Jag HH and both guitars sound strikingly different compared to my other amp which is a Vox Valvetronix 100w. I love the Vox, but you really notice that whilst it is a decent replication, nothing beats an authentic valve amp. This amp certainly exceeded my expectations, and it certainly is giggable, just add an extra speaker to the back or with a mic, PA, etc it is more than enough. I do agree though it is heavy and does get hot, but again I don't know enough about tube amplifiers to know whether this is the norm or not. But I love it.
    I have to agree with DrewMeyer on his comment. I hate it when I go into a Guitar retailer's store and see these guys Hooked up to these solid stae amps with 100 effects and amp sounds you'll hardlly use if your a real Rocker! Trans tube pre-amps. they suck too. It's an amp trying to be a class a/b amp!
    I bought this amp in 2007 from guitar center, It was a floor model new. I was told it had a 1 yaer warranty and they sold me an extende one. RIP OFF. It had a 5 year ! Yes it gets hot and it had the worst hiss and aan electrical smell. Long story short. It went to a Epiphone repair shop. It had a bad trans former and dsp card. No parts!Amp was dicontinued. After 4 weeks I recieved a Brand new one in the box. The area where the power cord goes into the transformer, gets very hot after about an hour of playing. I called Gibson back and told them about the heat and they said they had a hard time finding a dealer with a new one. That was it.! I read an artical about the heat problem. Its a tube Bias Resistor that has to low of a resistance, which caises the transformere to overheat. Replaced it with a higher resistance one and it still get hot ,but not even close to what it use too. I love this amp! It is a bit bassey,but put it on an amp stand and it helps. Epiphone has dicontinued there amp manufactureing. they only come in a gutar package deal, some have Marshall peewee amps. I have only played this amp a few times, but arthritis in my hand and quiting the band scean It's been in the box for 5 years. It's for sale on craigs list for $250.00 with a pedal for the effects.I have to say some of you guys really don't know the differance in power that a tube amp has over a solid state amp. You Knucle head think you need a 60 watt + amp to gig with or 100 watts! Where are you playing at a football stadium. I have been in the music business for over 30 years and what do you think a PA system is for. you put a Mic in front of this 15watt and thats all you need. Hook it up to a 2x12 cab and you can play a gig in the size of a movie theater with out a PA for your Instruments.I play blues to heavy rock and I got the sound I wanted by finding the right settings for the style I play. Great amp and is now a collectors item. Wish I could keep it ,but I need the cash. So you Morons who think you need a 75 watt or 100 watt amp to gig with, you need some Electronics traing!