MIG-50 Review

manufacturer: Sovtek date: 04/02/2013 category: Guitar Amplifiers
Sovtek: MIG-50
Easily loud enough to blow the doors off your bedroom, and without question loud enough to play most gigs any of us here on UG will ever get.
 Sound: 8.5
 Overall Impression: 9.5
 Reliability & Durability: 9
 Features: 7.5
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reviews (2) pictures (1) 5 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.5
MIG-50 Reviewed by: thereverendsoup, on february 20, 2008
3 of 5 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 400

Purchased from: eBay

Features: Shortly after the fall of the Soviet Union, a company called Sovtek (also famous for the legendary Russian Big Muff and the manufacturing of various tubes) started making a line of tube amps. And, really, they're pretty nice amps. Easily loud enough to blow the doors off your bedroom, and without question loud enough to play most gigs any of us here on UG will ever get. The style of music I play pretty much ranges from power pop to post-rock to stoner metal, and this thing pretty much screams. There are two channels. The first one is a bit cleaner, and the second one has higher gain. There's a presence knob, and while I'm not enough of a gear geek to really know what it does technically, on lower settings it's like putting a blanket over the amp, and turning it up is like lifting it off. There are 3 output channels (4, 8, and 16 ohm), so it's pretty much guaranteed to work with most cabs you'll find. Still, it's a pretty bare-bones amp. The only features I wish it had are an effects loop and some built in spring reverb would be nice. But those are pretty minor complaints. // 6

Sound: I mostly play an ESP PC-2V (one of the early models, where they were using the JB/Jazz setup) through this thing. And it's quite nice for everything I use it for. I don't know if I'd use it to play thrash metal or anything like that, but with a distortion pedal (I'm using an MXR Distortion +), it's an excellent punk rock amp, and without one, on the gainy channel, you can get a nice, jangly distortion or a "classic" sounding overdrive. The clean channel does distort at higher volumes, especially with the presence knob cranked. The cleans are also really nice. Especially if you're the kind of person Who likes to add twinkly stuff to your songs. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I have had no problems with this amp whatsoever. I bought it used a while ago, and it's stood up to quite a bit of abuse, going to and from gigs, band practice, and pretty much everything that comes with using an amp a lot. So I'd say it's pretty dependable. // 10

Overall Impression: I pretty much chose this amp because, after playing around with someone else's, I was really impressed with it's sound and versatility, especially for the price. In fact, if it had a spring reverb, I could see paying up to twice what I did for it. Unless you're a metal guitarist or something, and you really need a high watt amp, you really can't go wrong with one of these. Right now, I'm running it through an Avatar 2x12 cab with a Celestion Vintage 30 and a Celestion G12H30, and the thing pretty much screams. That said, I would recommend this amp highly. // 9

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overall: 8.8
MIG-50 Reviewed by: slimjimmypage, on april 02, 2013
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 410

Purchased from: Craigslist Seller

Features: I don't know exactly what year my MIG-50 was made in, but its serial number is low 3,000s, so I'm guessing that it was made in the mid to late 1990s. This thing is perfect for crunchiness, and you can get some metallic (for lack of a better term) tones from it as well. There are two channels (I and II), but my II channel just started getting all gross and scratchy past the point of playability. It shall soon be rectified. No channel switching, though. I have found myself wanting for a master volume, or a built in attenuator (like my bandmate's THD Bivalve). I've never had to turn the presence up because I have a very bright cab and guitar already. I've used this in my bedroom (only during the daylight hours. You're welcome, neighbors), in my basement, other basements, a couple smaller venues, and a couple backyards. It's done swimmingly in all of them. It has 2 6L6s, and three EL84s. They need to be replaced. For some reason, it still has the factory tubes in it. Nearly twenty years after it was probably made. // 9

Sound: I play my custom bastardized Teles Paul (Tele neck, Les body) and my OK Go Gretsch Electromatic CVT III (the Gretsch is a monster of a guitar, and I implore you to find a new guitar with more personality for your dollar), which are both extremely bright and hot. The Sovtek darkens right up, and takes it in stride. It's the best amp I've played. Ever. It does buzz quite a bit, but I haven't tried to rectify the situation yet. Weekend project coming up. The distortion is incredibly brutal, but it's kind of hard to hear how sweet is because the amp gets so loud. At about 2:30 on Channel I, it's all crunchy, but retains dynamics, so you can just roll off the volume to get some cleans (they won't be as shimmery as I like, though). The MIG-50 starts to break up at about 1:30 to 2:00. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I don't completely trust it, so I always keep a BH5H in case it decides to be a jerk. That's just how I am with Vintage tubular amplifiers. It hasn't broken down on me yet, so my distrust isn't necessarily justified. The casing is built like a tank, and the chassis in a similar fashion. The piping on the front of the amp is made of wood, and was handpainted (the whole thing appears handmade), albeit fairly poorly. There are little patches on the edges that have no paint, or just a smidgen of the stuff. It's cool, though. // 8

Overall Impression: I play rock and hard rock mainly. This amp was made for my band's music. I've been playing for awhile now. Not sure how long, but I could figure it out. Too much work. I own a Vintage Kent 1601, a kinda Vintage Fender Stage 112SE, and a Blackheart BH5H. I run the heads (the Blackheart and the Sovtek) through a couple of Peavey 2x12 cabs. If it was stolen, I'd probably hunt down another one because they are cheap and wonderful pieces of gear. I hate the buzziness and I hate how the pots are crackly. I love everything else. I chose this because it fit my budget and sounded awesome. I do wish it had a master volume. Because hearing. // 10

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