WholeTone WT80 review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.5 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.6 (7 votes)
Ibanez: WholeTone WT80

Price paid: $ 379

Purchased from: Guitar Center, WP Florida

Sound — 10
Clean warm tones at any level OD volume. But, as stated the volume does not seem to be a true 80 watts. I would assume (my speculation) that the company needed to lose some volume, in order to keep the tone clean in all volume levels all the way to full max volume. This is a good trade off, per I love the clean tone. If someone wanted to play in a large area, then I would suggest just placing a microphone in front of this amp, and boost the sound through a powerful PA system.

Overall Impression — 9
It works well for my needs (hobbyest, who only plays at home). I like to play anything that I do not need distortion. You know, just clean tones with a little Reverb. Yes, I would buy it again, if stolen or lost, per to get a 15" speaker is rare (just try to find amps with 15:" speaker), and to get such clean warm tone at any volume is also very rare, and to buy it for this low price is also very rare. I do not like tube amps, per very loud at low volumes (seem to jump from 0 to 3), they make hissing noise, and changing out 5 or more tubes ($20.00 each). For me, this solidstate soundsd great! Slow increase in volume, no hissing, no static, and no tubes to change - just clean warm tones at any volume level (P.S.: Don't forget to try Monster Cables for Rock or Jazz - you will be amazed at the difference in sound).

Reliability & Durability — 10
Built solid: I have only used it for a couple of months now, but it seems like it is built sturdy. However, I do not travel with it, and I leave it in one place in my house, so I cannot say what constant traveling would do to it. You know, bouncing around in the back of a truck or van would not be good for any amp. So, treat it well and it will last a lifetime.

Features — 9
In October 2011, I bought a Gretsch G-5120 hollow body archtop guitar. I then bought Monster Jazz cables to filter out static, and help give warm tones. And, I then bought the Ibanez WholeTone amp. Put it all together, I got a very clean warm tones at "any" volume level. As you may know, most amps will start to get muddy (distortion) when your volume goes over "3" setting. Not, this amp! However, it really does not seem to be a full 80 watts full volume. I have a small Fender 25 watt amp that is louder and not even turned up all the way. So, it is a good volume for small rooms, but you may need to Mic it for larger rooms. As stated, the tone in my setup is awesome, and I do love this amp. However, here are some things you may need to know, so you are not disappointed: (1) Yes, totally clean volume when volume totally turned all the way up, (2) It has a Gain knob, but there is "NO" distortion, per the Gain knob seems to "only" increase the volume, (3) There are "NO" numbers (0-10) for any of the control knobs, so you need to guess where you are setting each knob, (4) There is a very small on/off switch on the backside, which for me is annoying. Most solid-state amps should have a switch alongside the control knobs, (5) It is larger than it appears in the photos, and an a awkward looking large "square" box (Note: it has a 15" speaker), (6) The square box makes it clumsy to carry and feels a lot heavier, (7) There is a headphone jack - if you want to blow your ear drums out, (8) The Chorus is pitifully poor, (9) The reverb is great, (10) There is no plug-in for a foot witch for switching on/off either the Chorus or Reverb. I have been asked, if I could put effects pedals from my guitar cable to pedal to amp? Yes you can just like any amp. But, I do not know, if the sound would be great, per this amp is designed for the warm "Clean Jazz" sound. I also have been asked, if other types of guitars (such as solid body) would sound as good with this amp as a hollow body guitar? Yes, but "each guitar" has its own sound. So, test this amp out with whatever guitar you like, before you buy it. For what I want, this solidstate amp is great. I love the warm clean tones. So, I do not care that it is not extremely loud; per I only play at home. I also do not want a lot of modeling effects (waste of money for me), per I will never use them. And, I hate constantly tweaking knobs from effects sound to effects sound, etc. For me, it is just too much work and boring waste of playing time. I can live with the little negative things I listed above, such as the switch on the backside and no numbers on the knobs. And, I do not like Chorus at all, or any distortion. If in the future Ibanez corrects these negative features, then I would rate it 5 Stars. In closing: It is not an amp for everyone's taste. Yup, it may not be what you are seeking. So, ask yourself what are you seeking? And, if it is a clean warm Jazz sound amp (15" speaker) with just Good Reverb, at a low cost, then test Drive it (so to speak).

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