HV65 review by Kustom

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 6.4 (21 votes)
Kustom: HV65

Price paid: $ 359.99

Purchased from: Musicland Express

Sound — 9
I use a Johnson (made by Axl) with "designed by emg" pickups. I know this isn't too great a guitar, but it sounds really great on the amp. I can get a kinda Stevie Ray Vaughan sound out of it on the rythym channel with bass & mid on 5 and high on 10 with full gain and the overdrive. Lots of versatality outta this amp. Turn the gain down on the amp, slap on a DigiTech MM Distortion, dial in EQ and your set with some face-scorching metal sound. I usually don't use the "lead" channel just because I'll do what I mentioned above for distortion, but it has a mediocre distortion to it. This amp gets very loud.

Overall Impression — 9
I'll play blues, metalcore, and pretty much anything in my solos (it's fun to spice solos up with licks and riffs from different genres). I've been playing for I'd say about 2 1/2 years now. If someone stole it, I'd kick their ass because I worked to buy this thing on my own. I was originally going to buy a Randall G3 series 75 watt, but decided on this thing admittedly because of the value. It has great sound (although Randall G3 had 1 I liked more) and is cheaper, plus more versatile than the Randall. I can't really think of anything else it needs, I'm pretty content with it.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I would probably depend on it for a gig, just because I sold most of my old equipment to "level down" my stuff (if that's a term). I have not owned it for more than a couple months, but I'm sure it's reliable. It's a hybrid tube pre-amp, so when the tube goes out you only replace 1 and that's hardly ever with a hybrid.

Features — 8
This is a fairly new amp I believe. It is a hybrid amp (as in solid-state power with a tube pre-amp) and usually I don't go for hybrids, but this one surprised me. She has 2 channels (lead & rythym) with seperate 3 EQ (low, mid, high), volume and gain for each. Has a volume boost and a bunch of effects like chorus, phaser, octaver, flanger, delay, auto wah, and a bunch of other stuff. Has CD In and headphone jack. It has a bunch more plugs in the back. I just don't use 'em.

6 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I would just like to add some more info about this amp, as its been a while since I wrote my review for it I've recently fell in love with the built-in reverb. It has spring, hall and room reverb, all of which are amazing. The 'Slap-back' echo thingy is pretty sweet as well. I recently purchased an American Standard Strat and I gotta say, its really awesome through this amp. The clean tones are great (especially for a not all-tube amp). The preamp tube really makes a difference, and warms up the signal a lot. I honestly have come to hate the lead channel, though. The distortion is too twangy and trebly. But the clean and overdriven sound coming from the rhythm channel make up for it immensely.. Well, hope my review was somewhat helpful!
    ]\/[R. EM0
    MY brother has this one, its pretty cool, my mom got it for him as a christmas present, and i was surprised by how nice it sounded.
    well its the same price as a Vox AD30 , but i think ill go for the Vox: sure it may be 30w but the distortion is better on it, ive read some reviews and they all say the distortion on the Kustom isnt good (and thats not good considering i play metal )
    I'm looking into the 100W version of this. BAsed on reviews from other sites, I may get this or the Double Barrel. Both are REALLY good SS.
    dude this amp is awesome. after i got it it made me stop looking at mesa boogies and marshals
    Mesa Boogie has always had a dirty sound, due to wrong tube circuitry. Only fools who think Santana is a guitar player can fall in love with a Mesa Boogie, which is only good for jigsaw music (like Metallica, Megadeth and the other crap of the same kind). Marshall was great some two-three decades ago, but a few years ago, around 2004, a riot has risen in their company and the development team has moved to Blackstar (which explains why the new all-tube hand-wired Blackstars sound so good). Now Marshall relies very much on toys like amps with DSPs, all of them made in China... Some of the old stock, stil in production, isn't bad however, but Kustom is one of the makes of the moment. HV65 isn't quite a great amp - I'd rather say it's a decent one for its price -, but, men, try the 72 Coupe or the Defender! These are amps, dudes!