El Bastage review by Fargen Amps

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  • Features: 6
  • Sound: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8 (1 vote)
Fargen Amps: El Bastage

Purchased from: Ebay - Used

Features — 6
This one is a solid wood 1x12 Combo with a Celestion V30. EF86 preamp tube with a switchable 12AX7 gain stage. Takes any octal power tube (EL34, 6V6, 6L6, etc). Volume and Tone (Cut) controls on the front panel with a fat/bright switch. The tone control doesn't do much from 7 to 2 o'clock, and it just makes things muddy after that. On the back it has a three-way toggle London power scaling attenuator (1/3, 1/2, Full Power), 4 and 8-ohm speaker outs, and a boost switch that kicks in the 12AX7.

Sound — 9
Great sounding little amp. It may only be 4+ watts (depending on your tube selection) but it can definitely do smaller venues and practice sessions. The fact that the tone control doesn't work that well won't matter because you won't need it. Wide open sounds best to me. Set it to the edge of breakup and throw any pedal you want at it; it'll respond beautifully. The EF86 gives the amp a smooth and mild breakup, but switching in the 12AX7 makes it really growl. I tend to keep it on the bright setting for chimey, Voxy stuff, but switching it over to fat gives you a really beefy midrange. Overall, its a simple amp, but it sound great.

Reliability & Durability — 9
Never had any issues. The thing is built like a tank. Metal covers on every corner and the handle is such thick leather that it hurts my hands to carry long distances. I've had tubes crap out on me, but no problems with the amp itself. Never needed a backup for gigs. Its made of solid wood, so I don't see it falling apart any time soon. I've taken it apart and put it back together to see inside and everything looks handwired and all the soldering is top-notch.

Overall Impression — 8
I play everything from prog rock to worship and this amp can do it all. I've been playing for 10 years and traded in a Marshall DSL2000 for this amp. If it were stolen, I don't think I could find another one if I tried, haha. I really like how simple and pure it is as an amplifier. If you are a guitarist who plays small venues and practice sessions, and you rely on pedals for your overdrive, this is the perfect amp. Before I bought this, I knew I wanted an amp with an attenuator, tube switching capabilities, and a simple layout that wouldn't be to loud in my bedroom. This was the only one that fit the bill, and I'm happy with it.

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