Quad 100 DFX Review

manufacturer: Kustom date: 03/18/2009 category: Guitar Amplifiers
Kustom: Quad 100 DFX
This amp responds well to harder and lighter picking with the gain set about half way on the dirty channel. Although the preamps don't change the sound too much on either channel, it is enough of a difference to be interesting.
 Sound: 9.5
 Overall Impression: 9.3
 Reliability & Durability: 9.3
 Features: 8.5
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reviews (6) 23 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 10
Quad 100 DFX Reviewed by: freebirdisepic, on november 17, 2004
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 329.99

Purchased from: Sam Ash

Features: This amp puts out 100 watts through 2 12 inch Celestion speakers rated at 65 watts a piece. It has 8 built in effects: hall reverb, spring reverb, slapback, delay, chorus, chorus/reverb, flanger/reverb, and tremolo. Even though you can't tweak the settings for these effects besides "Level", they are preset in a way that they sound good anyway. The Quad has 2 channels, each with 2 preamps. The dirty channel puts out enough crunch for punk when played with a humbucker, and the clean channel sounds great with a Telecaster's neck pickup. It also has a nifty mic line output built in on the top which can be used as a direct box when playing live, but it's really loud enough that you wouldn't have to plug it in if you are only playing a medium-sized gig. It also has an effects loop, 1/4 inch line out, and a line out for hooking it up to an extention cabinet that cuts the sound to the 2 built in speakers. The tone controls, though, are passive, so that took a little bit of time to get used to in switching from my old Crate, but the controls are very user-friendly, so I caught on quickly. Overall, the features on this amp are excelent. // 10

Sound: This amp responds well to harder and lighter picking with the gain set about half way on the dirty channel. Although the preamps don't change the sound too much on either channel, it is enough of a difference to be interesting. Agian, the dirty channel performs well for punk rock when played through a humbucker, and well enough to get by through a single-coil. The clean channel sounds full and rich with the chorus on, or with a little bit of reverb through a single-coil in the neck position. The only complaint that I had with it was that the first time I plugged in, it began to pick up a local radio station, even though I was dirrectly plugged in and not wireless. It hasn't done this since then, though. It sounds really great for the price and responds to heavy and light playing like a much more expensive amp. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I just got this amp a few weeks ago, so I haven't had any problems yet with it and it doesn't seem like I probably will. The speakers are set a bit back from the grill cloth, and it's a semi-closed back (it has about a 4 inch opening), so I feel like the speakers are protected. Also, it's solid-state, so I don't have to worry about changing out the tubes or anything like that. The cabinet itself seems well-built, so I don't see any problems there, either. The only thing that may be a problem is the Tolex covering, which is already a bit scuffed up, but since that's only aesthetic, it's not really that big of a deal. // 10

Overall Impression: I have to change prom playing punk to playing in my church youth group, so I needed an amp that could ealily go from one to the other, and Kustom provided it in the Quad 100 DFX. I compared it to my friend's Fender 100 FM, and even though it doesn't go as loud, I can get a variety of sounds out of mine while he can really only get one sound out of his Fender. The built in effects are so nice that I can leave my Korg effects pedal at home when I play now, so that's just one less thing to carry to gigs. If this amp was stolen, I would definately go right out and buy the same thing again. I wish it was just a little bit lighter, but I suppose any 2x12 is going to be heavy, and it is well-built, so it's not all that bad that it weighs a lot. Overall, this is a wonderful amp and completely worth the money. // 10

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overall: 8.8
Quad 100 DFX Reviewed by: papersun87, on september 12, 2007
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 150

Purchased from: a friend

Features: This 100-watt solid state combo amp was built earlier in the 2000s; the exact year, I'm not sure. But the guy I bought it from kept it in excellent condition. It's plenty versatile. The clean channel is spectacular and lends itself well to pedals. It is essentially a four-channel amp, with two lead channels ("UK" and "US," you can probably guess which one sounds like which) and two clean channels ("Neutral," which sounds kind of like Vox, and "Brilliant," which is completely Fender). An optional footswitch can change between one lead channel and one clean channel, but not in between the "UK" and "US" or "Neutral" and "Brilliant." There are buttons on the amp itself for that. Also, there is a gain boost, but it's not footswitchable, so it is sort of useless in concert. I just leave it on all the time and use the volume boost from my wah pedal if I need it. It has a Headphone In, CD/Tape Input, Effect Send/Return, External Speaker Out, and a direct XLR out. I hate that direct XLR out, as it means a soundman always wants to direct line my amp when I very much prefer the sound of a miked amp. I usually can convince a soundman to see things my way. But the XLR out is there if you want it. There are also eight digital effects (Hall reverb, spring reverb, slap-back delay, delay, chorus, chorus/reverb, flange/reverb, and tremolo). Some of these effects are quite good (namely, reverb and tremolo), some are decent (delay), and others are just plain useless. On the footswitch, there is an option to turn on or off whichever effect you have selected, but not cycle between the effects. You have to use the knob on the amp for that. I've been using this amp at church gigs and other smaller club-type gigs, occasionally outside. It holds up just fine. // 7

Sound: I'm playing this with a Schecter C/SH-1, with two humbuckers with a coil-tap to make them single coils if I want to. For my clean sound (and bear in mind I don't really like Fendery cleans, I much prefer Vox) I use the clean channel on the "Neutral" setting with my neck pickup. The gain channel is pretty powerful but set the gain above seven and you'll probably get some blurriness on your leads (I only use my gain on four, and it's plenty for me). If you are looking for an AC/DC-style sound, then this is the amp for you, hands down. But I also play melodic hard rock with it, and then mellower stuff in church. This amp does all of those styles just fine. And unlike other solid state amps, it can handle having the volume put at a loud level and won't get that nasty solid state version of breakup. // 9

Reliability & Durability: Very reliable. I have never had any problems with it in the year and a half or so that I've owned it. It's previous owner said he's never had any trouble with it either (he's a friend of mine, so he wouldn't lie to me), and actually championed this amp above others he's owned for it's durability. // 10

Overall Impression: It is a great amp for a beginner/smallish gigs guitarist. The effects, while not the greatest use in concert all of the time, are fun to play around with. Between it's former owner and then me, it's seen it's fair share of regular gigging and has always satisfied me. That said, it is a solid state combo, not an Orange stack. But it is easily the best solid state amp I have ever heard. // 9

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overall: 8.8
Quad 100 DFX Reviewed by: petrucci_owns86, on december 07, 2007
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 200

Purchased from: A relative

Features: Not sure when this amp was made, looks fairly recent though. I play mostly metal, but Switch to clean every so often. This amplifier handles the cleans unbelievably well, but not so much the distortion. It has two channels, and several digital effects, such as delay and a few kinds of reverb. I wish it had heavier distortion, because I have to run my other amp through this one to get better distortion. If you're into metal and buy this amp, buy a good distortion pedal to go along with it, possibly a Boss Metal Zone or DigiTech Metal Master. I use this in my house, and it shakes the floor and windows if I turn it up past "3". It's loud! This is perfect for a small or medium-sized show. My uncle gave me a footswitch along with it, and it works well, and changes channels without any hassle. There is a jack to connect this amp to a cabinet or external speaker. This amp is fitted with Celestion speakers, not sure what model though. This amp overall sounds great with some kind of overdrive pedal. // 8

Sound: I use my Epiphone Les Paul Studio and my Ibanez SA260FM through this amp. The clean channel is incredible. I attached my Vox DA15 to this amp to get better distortion out of it. This amp is VERY loud, and past "3" my ears start to bleed. Once I got the distortion all set up on the Vox, the Quad 100 really started to Shine. It gives the distortion a thicker, warmer sound, as opposed to the Vox's more crunchy sound. This is actually a really quiet amp when I'm not playing. There are a few effects, but most are variations on each other. Here's an example: Hall Reverb, Spring Reverb, Slapback Reverb, etc., you get the picture. But those effects are cancelled out when the Vox is hooked into this amp, so it doesn't matter. The stock distortion is pretty weak for the music I play (metal). It's mostly geared for classic rock, not metal. But with the proper distortion pedal, this amp has the potential to turn into a sonic death machine. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I would absolutely use this amp for a show (if I had a band, that is). I wouldn't need a backup amp if I used this one. I don't expect this amp to break down anytime soon, if ever. This amp is really heavy, around 40+ pounds, so I would expect it to be really durable. // 10

Overall Impression: With the proper overdrive or distortion effect, this amp suits my style of music (progressive metal) just fine. I've been playing for a little over two years, and I also own a Vox DA15 amp. I hook that amp into the Kustom, so I can get the best of both worlds: loudness of the Kustom, effects of the Vox. This is a temporary solution until I get an actual distortion pedal. I don't think this could get stolen without me noticing; it's pretty heavy. My favorite feature would have to be the sheer size and loudness of this thing. The only thing I wish it had was a little better distortion, but that problem is easily solved by a decent distortion or overdrive unit. Overall, it's a great amp for shows, and it will last you quite a while. // 9

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overall: 9.5
Quad 100 DFX Reviewed by: unregistered, on september 10, 2005
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 300

Purchased from: Pawn Shop

Features: The clean channel responded so nice to my Ovation, sounded so pretty. The Ovation has a preamp built in, so I dont know how other ac/elecs will sound through this thing, but the Ovation is cherry. I also recently scored an Epiphone SG with dual humbuckers, and this thing just plain kicks ass. There are two channels with a preamp switch on each one. On the lead channel it is US/UK and on the rhythm channel it is neutral/brillinant. This makes a big difference on the Ovation on the rhythm side, not so much on the lead side with the SG. Overall great sound on both sides, distortion is good (and loud). I haven't had to turn this amp up past 3 yet, even when I jam with my bro's (we play loud). The built in effects sound good, but they aren't adjustable, so that kind of limits you. But like I said, they sound great for what they are. The presets give you a good amount of versatility, you can play all types of music, and I find it to be all I need. While I don't play death metal, I still like to rock out, and there is plenty of distortion for my tastes. There is a mic input witch I have yet to try, an FX loop, speaker out, and a CD/tape line in. Very versatile. The only problem with this amp is that the knobs and swithes are on the top, in the back. No good to tweak whilst preforming. The input/outputs are on the back and hard to get to. // 8

Sound: I am either playing an Ovation Standard Balladeer or an Epiphone SG with dual humbuckers. The Ovation sounds good on the clean side for country and blues, switch over to lead channel for good lead capabilities (just watch out for too much distorion). Now when its time to tear it up a little, I plug in the old SG and fire up the distortion and the boost. I can sound (almost) like Jimmy Page through this amp. I found the clean side is great for rhythm and the lead just plain sceams for leads. Again, the biggest limitation is the non adjustable FX, but with a little creativity, you can get almost any sound except death metal (but then again, why would you want to?) // 10

Reliability & Durability: This seems like a very well built amp, I haven't had it that long. One thing though, I went to buy an amp at Pawn one, they had a Quad 100 DFX that was white. I thought it looked nice so I tryed it out, and the lead channel button was busted, I couldnt get any volume. So they sent it out to have it fixed, and the repair shop told them it would be like 2 months or something. So I had them order me a brand new one for the same price, and they through in a footswitch and a cover. The only problem is that the couldnt get the white one, so I got black. I don't know if the buttons break alot, I sure hope not. I think that the amp at the store gets messed with by Pawn shop people who don't know what they are doing, and thats how that one probaly got broke. But on the whole, I can't find a weak spot on the amp. Solid. // 10

Overall Impression: I play everything-counrty, folk, classic rock, alternative, heavy rock, and blues. This amp has the versatility to play them all well. I have been playing for 5 years. I would definately buy this one again, if I could get a white one. I love the way it reponds to both of my guitars and the versatility of it. I hate that the FX aren't adjustable, and there isn't a headphone jack (the speaker out only plays mono). I compared it to other amps around 300, and they were eaither stripped down and cheap looking with lots of power, or they were all digial FX and no power (and cheap looking). This one jumped out at me. I could have payed a little more and got a Fender, but it wasnt nearly as versatile or loud. This is the only amp I will ever need to play any music I want, from Led Zeppelin to Hank Williams to Sublime to Howlin Wolf. // 10

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overall: 9
Quad 100 DFX Reviewed by: Kalashnikov47, on january 05, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 549

Purchased from: Guitar Shop in Widnes

Features: This amp pumps 100 watts of power through two 12 inch Celestion speakers. It has two channels (clean and dirty) with two preamps on each (UK/USA on dirty, normal and brilliant on clean). It's got 24 bit digital effects (Reverb, chorus, flanger, delay etc) which are easily altered as there is only one dial to turn them up or down which although some people have said they wished there were more control options for these, I find it easier with just the one dial. There is an additional input for a CD player or microphone too which makes this amp excellent for using at gigs. I can't think of anything else I would use on this amp other than the stuff that is on already. I use this amp in my room and it has easily enough power for that lol, but I bought it with a view to possibly using it to gig with. It is solid state but I find this is better for me as I wouldn't be able to get the amp loud enough in my room to get the nice tube distortion anyway, better to get a good solid state amp than a budget tube amp I figured. // 9

Sound: I use mine with an Epiphone Les Paul Standard and it's awesome. You can get almost any sound out of it from hard Black Sabbath and cruncy AC/DC sounds to smoother Pink Floyd style. The clean channel is crystal clear, and would really bring out the the characteristic sound of a telecaster or strat. It even makes even my old Squier Strat sound good (OK, maybe not good but slightly better than crap). // 10

Reliability & Durability: Apart from poking the LEDs through by accident it is solid as a rock. It weighs a ton but it's not like I'm moving it around anywhere. I suppose if you kicked it it would break or if you spilled beer in it it would blow up so it's not indestructible but it's as near as dammit. // 8

Overall Impression: I have been playing for about 12 years but I am still very much a beginner. I have never had lessons or anything but I have found that going from a small Fender practice amp to a proper full sized amp has helped me to really improve a lot. Rather than fiddling with hundreds of dials and buttons on a normal amp, you can get your bass, treble etc set up and then just crank up one of the effects so it is really accessible to beginners. If it was lost or stolen I would buy it again, definately but I doubt you could lose it and I doubt anyone could lift it to steal it. It's a behemoth of an amp. It isn't a Mesa Boogie or anything granted, but it's a hell of an amp for 300 squid. // 9

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overall: 9
Quad 100 DFX Reviewed by: unregistered, on march 18, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 800

Features: This is a solidstate amp, 100 watts powering 2 12 inch celestion speakers rated at 65 watts. I have owned this amp since it was Brand New in 2002/03, (hence the price I paid for it). Solid and robust construction, very heavy (A good thing when it comes to electronics). This amp has plenty of power and can be used Live at medium sized gigs without the use of a monitor. Comes with a footswitch for switching between the lead (dirty) and rythm (clean) channels, as well activate any selected effect. // 9

Sound: I am using a Cort Viva Gold series with dual Humbuckers and Floyd Rose floating bridge. Dirty Channel on this amp kind of sucks, I play mostly metal and the dirty channel is simply not enough crunch for me (Has sort of a hollow sound with no bottom end). I plug a Metal Zone MT-2 into it and use the clean channel and it sounds absolutely superb, very full and rich sounding distortion. The clean channel on this amp without effects is also probably the best clean channel I've heard on any amp. As such, I have no use for the dirty channel it simply does not have enough gain for my play style. My rating on this is strictly for the clean channel and the clean channel with a distortion pedal. The dirty channel is useless for me so I don't use it. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I've owned this amp since it was Brand New (about 7 years now) and it has never let me down. Very reliable rock solid amp, this is a great choice for anyone looking to get a quality amp on a budget. I am however having an issue with it right now that just popped up a few days ago, it seems sometimes when I turn it on, it's stuck on the dirty channel, switching to the other channel has no effect (other then the LED's change). My solution is to repeatedly switch channels back and forth until it finally "catches" and does what it's supposed to. This is definitely not a problem with the switches on the amp, it seems like an internal electronics problem. Has anyone else had this problem before? If so, any ideas? // 8

Overall Impression: This my favorite amp out of all the amps I've owned in the past. If it was lost or stolen I would definitely seek out another one as it is extremely cheap now and definitely worth the price. I have been playing Guitar since 1997. I love the full rich sound of the clean channel. Makes my MT-2 sound awesome with the right settings. The footswitch could be a bit better, it would be nice to see the ability to save presets in it so you aren't limited to only having one effect configured at any given time. // 9

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