Theta 300W review by ISP Technologies

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.5 Superb
  • Users' score: 10 (1 vote)
ISP Technologies: Theta 300W
0

Price paid: C$ 1700

Purchased from: JB Music

Sound — 10
Generally I play alot of power metal, death metal, and melodic death metal. It is absolutely fantastic for metal because it has more gain than any other amp in the world, greater than 140db (pulled that fact out of the handbook:P) So the gain is intensely brutal. But taking into account that its a solid state I was a little bit sketchy on its clean tone. Without the pre-amp the clean tone is fairly lack luster, better than most solid states but nothing amazing. But then I switch on the pre-amp and I was blown away. I can say that this is without a doubt the best clean you can get without tubes, to the point where you will think it has tubes lol. Very impressed by that. And because of the decimator I can turn the amp all the way up with full gain turn my guitar on and have zero feedback without affecting the tone even a bit (I do this for my friends to show off lol)

Overall Impression — 9
I've been playing for 5 years and I've tried a bunch of amps and I came to the conclusion that tubes scare me (to many things can go wrong with them right before a show, and I'm just paranoid) So I can now say that I found the "best" solid state amp in the world. They made this thing from the ground up, and took out 5 patents to make it. If it were stolen I would cry myself to sleep every night until I had a new one. But I shall leave you with 1 more piece that bothered me. Its not very pretty. It only has 5 LED lights and other than that it looks very bland. And appearance does count for something when spending this much money.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I haven't used it at a gig yet. But as I don't have a backup I can't bring one but I can honestly say I wouldn't bring one anyway, which is why I love solid state. The amp is build like a truck, in that I mean it is quite literally coated with the liner stuff they put in the bed of pickup trucks. And I tried to wiggle the knobs out of curiosity and they didn't break off so I was satisfied lol.

Features — 9
I got this from a local music shop for roughly $1800. Its a 300 watt solid state head with 2 channels, both with pre-amps. It has an effects loop and built in reverb. It also has a boost knob and of course all of this is accessible on the 6 switch foot pedal that it comes with. One of my favourite parts about it is that it has a ISP decimator sound reduction system build directly into the amp, and its got one for each channel. If you have a decimator pedal you know what I'm talking about. The one thing that bothered me about it was when I found out it doesn't have a headphone jack:(

12 comments sorted by best / new / date

    RocknRollRay
    So much ignorance. Solid state amps try to imitate what a valve state amp does. For that money your could buy yourself a very good valve state amp any get a better tone than this thing will ever give. Anyone who has ever player a VS amp can agree that SS
    ProgFolk12
    Except valvestate is a model of amp made by marshall which is entirely SOLID STATE, and not by any means good ones at that. Marshall at their very worst, not only making a sub-par amp but then using words like valvestate when it's not even a hybrid(I don't hate marshall but it seems rather poor ethical practice). I'm also little confused by the reviewers conception that SS cleans are generally bad. Ever heard any old SS fenders (85 deluxe/princeton chorus/super chorus), Sunn's or Roland Jazz chorus's? Indeed for a lot of puropses SS cleans > valve cleans. Still Nice review, didn't know ISP made much else but the decimator
    mcleanab
    I know it's not the Theta Head, but I've owned the ISP Theta Combo for over a year now, and I must say it is an awesome, high end piece of gear capable of tremendous high quality cleans and crunches and gains. I yanked out the stock Celestion G12T-75 and threw in an Eminence Swamp Thang. MUCH better in my opinion... had an Eminence Governor in there for a bit as well. Also excellent.. With the mid sweep functions and the preamps, the tonal variations are seemingly limitless. It's an amazing amp. I also own the ISP Theta Preamp and use it to record. And personally, I love the cleans without the preamp engaged. Run direct, it is a crisper, more open Alex Lifeson circa HOLD YOUR FIRE/PRESTO/A SHOW OF HANDS type sound. My ISP Theta Combo rocks. You'll have to pry it from my cold, dead hands...
    cradlecorpse
    I gave the theta amp quite a bit of consideration, before i purchased my Coreblade, which i got for a killer price of $1225 of of ebay, but thing that i wished they would of carried over from there Rocktron days was the ability to store all the tone parameters via midi. I think if they did that i probably would of drove to the store since i live in Michigan to check them out.
    Linkerman
    Bah, forget the appearance and the lack of a headphone jack. This amp looks like something i'd love... Solid state, high gain beast... Too bad it's too expensive for my pockets.
    Wolffgang
    When did solid state distortion become a good thing... Sounds nice, but I refuse to call anything other than the JC-120 the best solid state amp in the world.
    adeliq
    RocknRollRay wrote: So much ignorance. Solid state amps try to imitate what a valve state amp does. For that money your could buy yourself a very good valve state amp any get a better tone than this thing will ever give.
    Man you should actually TRY it before you say it has good or bad tone. I did a review on it because i know people have never tried it.
    Linkerman
    RocknRollRay wrote: So much ignorance. Solid state amps try to imitate what a valve state amp does. For that money your could buy yourself a very good valve state amp any get a better tone than this thing will ever give. Anyone who has ever player a VS amp can agree that SS
    This coming from someone who plays through a Marshall MG100HDFX and spells distortion as "distrotion"... I own a hybrid amp, and i WON'T agree with you. This amp is certainly better than my Laney hybrid. But i will agree with ProgFolk12 :
    Indeed for a lot of puropses SS cleans > valve cleans.
    And let's face it; sometimes, solid state amps are underrated.
    rabb1t34
    I can honestly vouch for what adeliq when he says this is the best ss amp out there. i have owned the head and the combo for about a year now and have played countless shows with them. i have recieved nothing but compliments about the tone from everybody, even tube lovers. hell, some of the guys are actually converting over. my only complaint about this amp is that the clean to distort levels are unbalanced. meaning the clean channel is way too quite. other than that, its worth every penny.
    MaggaraMarine
    ProgFolk12 wrote: Except valvestate is a model of amp made by marshall which is entirely SOLID STATE, and not by any means good ones at that. Marshall at their very worst, not only making a sub-par amp but then using words like valvestate when it's not even a hybrid(I don't hate marshall but it seems rather poor ethical practice). I'm also little confused by the reviewers conception that SS cleans are generally bad. Ever heard any old SS fenders (85 deluxe/princeton chorus/super chorus), Sunn's or Roland Jazz chorus's? Indeed for a lot of puropses SS cleans > valve cleans. Still Nice review, didn't know ISP made much else but the decimator
    VS series were not entirely solid state. They had one pre amp tube. Maybe the lower watt versions were pure solid state but the 40+ watt versions had a tube in the pre amp. Not saying that it really makes the tone better. And solid state cleans might be the best if you want a tone that stays clean. But many people like Fender tube cleans. But I think solid state cleans are great if you are going to use lots of pedals because the sound stays clean.
    poulwinther
    Thanks for the very useful review and what a hilarious set of comments! I used to tour with fairly known death and thrash metal acts often supporting pro bands. My rig consisted of a Sansamp and a Carver solid state power amp. No matter where, no matter who, all where blown away by my tones, lead and rhythm. It completely killed all the Mark V's, JCM's and whatever else I encountered to the point where people started to copy the rig. The thing that threw me off tube amps was the inconsistency: I could spend an entire Sunday creating the perfect tone, come back for Monday rehearsal and it sounded completely different already. With the tubeless rig I never even touched a knob for several years!