TF300 review by Laney

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 5.8 (20 votes)
Laney: TF300
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Price paid: A$ 495

Purchased from: Used

Sound — 9
I use an HSS Samick Stratocaster (better than you think). No pedals, when I used my Boss OS-2 with this, there was a noticeable loss in tone when bypassed. If you need an OD, you need true-bypass. This amp is actually very quiet. No noise on the clean channel, even when on 8! The drive channels are fairly quiet aswell. When talking about pure volume, this amp can get loud. Drive 2 can break up easily, and loose it's 'tightness' when up past 5, but I always mic this up for gigs. Drive 1 deals with volume a lot better, aswell as the clean channel. The clean channel stays clean very well, too. Now, for the reverb. I am a reverb nut, and always have to have lots of reverb on tap, as it brings your lead work to life. The reverb on this amp is fantastic. It has a spring reverb tank at the bottom of the amp, and even one 1 you can notice the reverb subtly, although I usually have it on 9 to 10. You can really change your sounds by adjusting the volume and the gain knobs, to get a light overdrive for blues on either Drive channel, although the amp really shines when using the Drive on 9 to 10. Each drive channel has an 'enhance' knob aswell, which sounds like it adds more mids, and makes your sound more tight. You can even get a good thrash metal sound out of this amp using Drive 1, although I reccommend investing in a really good OD or distortion pedal, with true bypass, to sound less strained.

Overall Impression — 9
I love this amp. It's loud enough for gigs, has 3 fantastic channels, and I am in love with the Drive 2 on this amp. I prefer this to a Peavey ValveKing indefinitely. The 'vibe' switch on this amp is pointless, I don't know what it does, but it sounds like you're punching holes in the speaker. This amp will never get stolen, it's too heavy. It's not for sale anymore, but I'm sure there are a few around in the used market. If you buy this amp, it'll be the last amp you buy for a while, because the TF300 is a very giggable, fantastic amp. You won't regret purchasing it!

Reliability & Durability — 9
The build quality for this amp is fantastic. I bought this from my guitar teacher, who has upgraded to a Mesa Nomad 55. He took great care of this amp, and had it for 5-6 years. All of the knobs turn well, and there are no crackles or pops for anything, apart from when you turn it on. I haven't needed to repair this, even though I've only had it for a month. I don't imagine it will ever need repair.

Features — 8
The Tube Fusion series of amps went on the market around 1990. They are a hybrid tube amplifier, and I think that the clean channel is SS and the Drive channel uses the pre-amp valve. They were marketed for the medium budget giggers. I play lots of genres, thrash to jazzy clean stuff, and this amp covers it all really well. This amp has 3 channels, clean, Drive 1 and Drive 2. Drive 1 is aimed for rythm tones, and Drive 2 for lead. These channels are footswitch-able (channel / drive, then drive 1 / drive 2), as well as the reverb. On the clean channel, it has a 'mid' and a 'bright' switch, the mid Switch isn't too noticable, but I am using the bright Switch to add a bit more character to the clean channel. It has a 2 independant 3 band EQ's for the clean and the Drive channels, which is great for changing your sound completely in a song. It also has spring reverb, which I will go into later. It also has an effects loop, which I don't think is footswitch-able. I haven't used it yet. I can't comment on the stock speakers, as mine came with a Celestion G12H-80 installed, but I imagine that the stock speaker would be a big more bright and less bassy. I love bassy and high mid tones, which is why I love this speaker. The headphone and the line-out ports at the back are pointless - this amp sounds terrible for those, and as many have mentioned before sounds like 'bees in a jar'. Clean is alright, but using the Drive sounds awful. Granted though, if you want a headphone amp, you wouldn't buy this one. To record with this amp, you would mic it up, the line-out is just as terrible.

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