KLA20R review by Kustom

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Sound: 6
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 7.8 Good
  • Users' score: 7 (2 votes)
Kustom: KLA20R

Sound — 6
The speaker in this thing is pretty bad. Sounds grainy and brittle. Through headphones, this amp sounds very different. The clean channel is fantastic. The reverb is orgasmic. The distortion channel isn't so bad, but a simple mod can make it better. So would a new speaker. The gain control has a really narrow range. It goes from no gain to almost full gain to full gain very quickly in the pot's sweep. Kind of annooying. The tonestack is pretty good, but still doesn't "feel" quite right. It's almost like they used the wrong value pots in the amp. This would get a 9 if it had a decent speaker.

Overall Impression — 8
Overall I'm quite impressed at the sound of this little amp (through my headphones, of course). The cleans will surprise you. Even the distortion is pretty good. If you're the DIY type and know a bit about electronics, you can do a very simple mod and make the distortion even better. If you see one for sale somewhere at a good price, snag it and give it a new speaker. You won't regret it.

Reliability & Durability — 8
This thing was made in 1995 and spent a few years in a shed. All the pots need to be replaced; they are worn and very scratchy. I worked out a temporary fix, but it's purely temporary. Other than that, the amp performs as it should. No other problems at all. The innards are well-put-together as well. Everything looks nice and orderly, not sloppy and cheap.

Features — 9
Clean and distortion channels with gain and level controls, 3-band EQ controls, and spring reverb make up the front panel controls. There's also a headphone jack and an external speaker jack on the front. 20W of output power crammed into a cab the size of a typical 10W amp. The tolex it's covered in is quite rough to the touch, but is thick and very tough. My only gripe is the terrible speaker.

0 comments sorted by best / new / date