EM-1 review by Four Force

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  • Features: 8
  • Sound: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.5 Superb
  • Users' score: 5.3 (4 votes)
Four Force: EM-1

Purchased from: Offbeat Music

Features — 8
5 Watt, solid state amp, set up class A style, with volume, bass, middle and treble controls, as well as a gain control. The amp is in a molded hard plastic case, with a metal grille, and a metal handle. The amp ways a whole 12 pounds, and feature 2 ports in the back for bass enhancement. While it is a solid state amp, it is class a and acts and reacts as a tube amp would perform. This is a relatively new company, and the amp was designed by an American Engineer that owns and runs the company and the amp is made in China. It has one instrument input, and another input to have the amp drive a speaker cabinet (which disables the 10 inch speaker on the amp), or to a PA system.

Sound — 10
Okay, this is where it gets fun. For a 5 watt amp, it is LOUD. Put it nest to a wall and BAM, the bass gets full and this thing ROCKS! This is without a doubt the best sounding tube simulation that I have ever heard on a solid state amp. Being analog, it functions the same as a simple class A tube amp. You can adjust the gain so that you can use either picking style or the guitars volume knob to get the distorted sound. And the sound, very tuby, you can go from light overdrive to flat out hard distortion, and the bass, middle and treble knobs work very well. It is easy to get the sound you want out of this amp. Now, this amp does not have reverb, so you will nee a pedal for that, but this aside, the tone from this amp is great. And it is nice that a small amp has a 10 inch speaker, and if that is not enough, you can plug it into a larger speaker cabinet, including a 412 cabinet. When I saw it at the store, and the worker there demonstrated it, I could not believe the tone. This amp won best of show at the 2012 NAMM show and I can see why. This little thing is remarkable.

Reliability & Durability — 10
Before I went to check out this amp, I saw a video on YouTube in which someone is playing this amp and they are knocking it off of first a chair and all the way up to a 10 foot ladder, all while it is being used. This thing is built like a tank, with a hard spaceage plastic case. They use wood on the inside for some of the mounting, and the grille cover is metal, and it has a large metal handle that protects the controls of this amp. If you were to use it for a gig, it would be an easy setup, and you would have less worries about any damage happening to this. Every fit on this amp is solid. At the price they are asking, 119. Almost everywhere, and the quality of this amp, it is a steal. While what is on the amp is limited and it does not have reverb, these are things that can be added with pedals and such. The construction on this amp, as well as the technology of the build (like how bose uses engineering to design its speakers), this thing could be the start of how to make roadworthy products.

Overall Impression — 10
I am more than just impressed, I am inspired by this little amp. The tone and how it works is just amazing, but the overall fullness of the sound is unbelievable. If it was to be stolen I wouldn't hesitate to get another one. While at 5 watts, it would appear to be a practice amp, but with the tone and how it behave like a tube amps, as well as sounding very much like one, you could use it for recording, and if miked or directly sent to a PA system, you could use it for live performances. The solid build, and the overall design of this amp, takes having an amp that can go from bedroom to practice to gig, as well as being able to drive a larger speaker cabinet (as well as enhancing the volume an wattage) make this amp an extremely valuable tool.

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