Avenger review by Soldano

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 8 (5 votes)
Soldano: Avenger

Price paid: C$ 1900

Purchased from: Long & McQuade

Sound — 8
This amp is very input-sensitive. The two input jacks sound very different in conjunction with the same layout panel. For cleans to blues-dirt, stick to the normal input. Even with the gain dimed out on this side, it doesn't get into a high-feedback/squealy territory. Not even modern distortion. Very old schooled tone. If you plug into the high input, however, it turns into a total mother-in-law. Keep the gain at about 3 and use your volume knobs on the guitar to adjust to taste. Again, it's VERY sensitive to how hot of a signal is going into the front of the amp. Don't expect perfect cleans. If you want shimmer you'll have to go somewhere else. If you don't need shimmer or if you prefer bluesier cleans (think of an overdriven tube combo), this is the way to go. Also, 50 watts is a very good spec for this style of head. It is very loud. I've gigged it about 30 times now and haven't had to put the master higher than 5, including outdoor gigs. The main drawback with this amp is that the bass frequencies seem dependent on the amount of gain you are using. I'm not sure why this is, but the higher you turn up the gain, the more low end you get. This is a little frustrating because gain at 2-3 is PLENTY for 80's style distortion, and even with the bass and depth turned up to 11 (yes, the knobs go to 11!) you are still missing a little low end. The upside, though, is that this helps the amp cut through the live mix very well.

Overall Impression — 8
I would use this amp in a variety of projects. Unless I really needed dire clean tones, such as a country band or some form of pop music, I would feel confident using this amp on stage. If it were stolen I would buy it again, however I would likely get one with an effects loop - running delays in front of the amp can be a bit cumbersome due to it's input sensitivity. My favorite feature is definitely the depth knob. I understand that it was a mod on SLO's years ago. It adds a fair amount of low end to a very trebley amp.

Reliability & Durability — 9
I do have it in a road case as a bit of insurance when on the road, but it's a very no-nonsense style build. It looks and feels like a warrior--built like a tank! The amp is about 5 months old now and I haven't even had to replace the stock tubes yet. I have used this amp at gigs without a backup, but that's primarily because of the price point. If I could have a backup I certainly would - it's hard to put 100% Faith into any piece of equipment.

Features — 8
This amp was made in 2010. It's a single channel amp with two inputs (High and Normal). A three band EQ with gain, master, presence, and depth. No effects loop. 4, 8, and 16 ohms ouput. 50 watts through two 6l6 power tubes and 4 12AX7 preamp tubes. I play in a touring alt rock/ska band and have used this amp both on stage and in the studio. It is extremely versatile, but doesn't do cleans terribly well. It will clean up to a bluesy point, but not to a shimmery point. If I could modify it I would have added the effects loop, but that does come on a similar model from Soldano anyways. Most days I run this amp as such: Les paul->Tuner->MXR Phase 90->TC Electronics ND-1->BBE Boosta Grande->Front of amp Interesting note: While not exactly the same components, the high input circuit is said to be the identical circuit to the SLO (Super Lead Overdrive). Also, you can't use both inputs at once - the amp goes silent. By default the amp is ready to use the high input (turn the gain up without the guitar plugged in and you'll hear a hiss. Plug the guitar into the normal output and the hiss goes away). Not a problem or feature, really, but an interesting thing to take note of in terms of circuitry.

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    Hahahaha, I finally did That ^ during an overlly loud and obnoxious Holloween party from the neighbors. Turned it up to 4 and had to close the sliding glass door with it still out on the porch cause it was soooo loud