Quick Rod review by Splawn

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.1 (11 votes)
Splawn: Quick Rod
1

Price paid: $ 1550

Sound — 8
First things first. This amp is really f--king loud. This is another tube amp where it sounds rather crappy at low volumes also. The difference between 8:00 and 8:05 is fizzy to roaring and whispering to bleeding ears. On a positive note, if you're playing Live, once the volume is over 10:00 you can crank it the rest of the way and it doesn't get any louder, but the saturation increases. I don't recommend standing in front of the amazing tone it produces at that high of volume levels though... This is one of the newer Quickrods with the updated clean channel. The cleans are alright. The problem I have with it is how bright it is. To get a rather thick clean tone I have the bass at about 2:00 and the treble around 9:00. It really falls short in this department. There are many amps for a lower price that have better clean channels (Framus Dragon, Mesa Rectoverb, Mesa Dual Rectifier, Vox AC30). That being said, the clean tone would only be noticed as bland by someone testing it out, but not playing it Live. I'm sure the KT88 Pro-mod or Nitro would have an even better clean channel. I'm mainly a 7 stringer, also have an Ibanez 8 and a few 6s. I typically play stuff along the lines of Metallica, Meshuggah, Tool, Dream Theater, Between The Buried And Me, and Yngwie. Gear 1: I don't usually fool around with gear 1 very often. It has the least gain of the gear settings but it still can get pretty crunchy. My friends have said "sounds exactly like hendrix, jimmy page, Angus Young". I don't play rock, but I would expect gear 1 to be ideal for classic to hard rock. Gear 2: JCM rhythm tone. Adds quite a bit more crunch to Gear 1. Plenty of saturation for 80's metal al la Anthrax, ozzy, early Metallica, Yngwie/rising force, and Van Halen. I'm not saying this amp nails the brown sound, but it can convincingly cover HIM well. I typically use this channel as a practicing channel with the gain dialed back, as the amp is rather unforgiving. Gear 3: This is the highest gain this amp offers. Loads of sustain, harmonics, and midrange cut. I use this channel for the best leads. The amp basically plays itself on this channel. Again, very unforgiving, it lets everything you play stand out though. For 7 and 8 stringage, it has a rather odd tone. It has a really nasally snarl (think Meshuggah). This tone is great for running stereo with other amps as well. I give channel 2 on all gears a 10/10 and the clean channel a 6/10. Average of 8. If I could change anything about the amp, I would probably add more lows or low mids to it, and defiantly revise the clean channel again.

Overall Impression — 9
Originally I purchased this amp with intentions of blending it with my framus Dragon to get a near Adam Jones tone (german + british tones). It exceeded my expectations playing with it alone. Blended, wow, huge thick tone. Alone it was great for playing stuff in standard on the 6 string, or playing leads in general. If it were lost or stolen I'd probably experiment with something like a Mojave, Roccaforte, or some other El34 high midrange amp, but I defintly would be looking for an amp with the same features and a nearly identical tone.

Reliability & Durability — 10
Handbuilt amp with some of the best parts out there. I wouldn't worry about a backup. With the wait time of about 3 months to buy one new, chances are you won't be using a splawn with a backup anyway. Maybe a roccaforte, Marshall, or thunderverb. Superb build quality though. Scott is a great guy as well. If there ever was a problem with his amp he would take care of you as quick as possible.

Features — 10
I would call this a 2.5 channel (clean/OD1/OD2 but 2 total EQs) 100watt EL-34 powered Marshall eating monster. The tones available are extremely diverse. It has 3 different Drive flavors (gear 1, 2, and 3) and the gain increases, respectively. Also has a solo boost and a 50watt(half power) Switch on the back. Great effects loop as well. The best feature with the quickrod, besides the tone is how clean and simple it is. The build on this thing is excellent. You can tell just by picking it up that it's a quality amp. So much attention to detail, nothing is thrown together on this amp. Clearly a boutique amp built with lots of time and dedication. You would have to see one in person to know what I'm talking about. I give it a 10 because if you're buying it, you're probably looking for the perfect Marshall, not a Vetta II with a plethora of features. It's fully loaded for someone Who just wants to plug up and rock.

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