65 Amps London Review

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by gtrfinder, May 4, 2007.

  1. gtrfinder

    gtrfinder Supporting Member

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    A fellow TGPer asked me for a review of the 65 Amps London, and I thought I'd share my experience with the forum as well. I hope people find this useful. If I am merely restating previously made points let me know and I'll remove it.
    If anyone is on the fence about this amp or has concerns (as I did) about headroom then I hope this will help clear some stuff up.

    Here it is:
    I used to play a Bogner Shiva with EL-34’s, but found that while the Shiva had a great clean channel there were 2 things that I could not get along with.
    1) I found that there was always some fairly extreme compression to the Shiva’s feel. It felt like there was a compressor on all the time.

    2) I could not find a happy medium in terms of clean and gain. The clean channel (like a Twin Reverb) stayed very clean up to about 8 or 9. This was unusably loud for me. The gain channel had more gain that I would ever use, and was not bright enough (especially with humbuckers).

    So now I have the London head with an Avatar 2x12 with Hellatones, and I find that it suits my style of playing perfectly.
    I use an A/B box to make both channels switchable. I plug into the 12AX7 side’s LO input with the volume around 7, then also the EF86 side’s HI input with boost on and volume on 3. (surprisingly they are actually about the same in terms of loudness at these settings). With this I can get pretty clean (although not pristine) with the 12AX7 side and guitar volume about 7 or 8, but roll it up to 10 and it starts to grind. The EF86 side has more gain (especially with the boost on) and harmonics just leap off of the guitar. (I can put it into controlled feedback fairly easily with a medium output humbucker or boost pedal.)
    The amp inhales pedals (I use about 7 or 8 of them) without blinking. Surprisingly there is very little tone or feel loss even with all of the pedals hitting the front end of the amp. And speaking of feel… the amp just feels great under my fingers. It is truly a joy to play (even without pedals). It is the first amp I’ve ever owned without a master volume or reverb and in my opinion it does not need them.
    It is the best purchase I have made with regard to gear EVER.

    Hope this helps.

    Aaron


     
  2. Hipster Dofus

    Hipster Dofus Member

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    I have had my 2x12 combo over 6 months now. 40-50 gigs. I have been thinking about an update review for mine.

    You set yours the opposite of myself, but the amp can be used several ways, and thats very cool/useful. Single coils?
    I get lots more HR with my EJ's. I just bought a VOS 57 jr, and I am still working it in. Crunch for days with that one!

    I still love mine to death. I need to get it in for an update as it's a very early one, but my band plays all the time. Next month I have 2 weeks to get it in and back, and I can't wait. Dan really thinks the few tweeks will be worth it.

    What tubes are you running?
     
  3. Telephile

    Telephile Member

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    Thanks for the review.
    I played one at the Dallas guitar show, and was just starting to love it when the sound police made me turn it down. I'd like to try the Albert Hall.
     
  4. Hipster Dofus

    Hipster Dofus Member

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  5. decay-o-caster

    decay-o-caster Member

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    I loved my London, I really did. But the footprint of the head cab was huge - it way overhung my cabs. But lord, the tone was fantastic, and use a Switchbone or a Framptone with an invertable "Y" channel, getting both sides of that amp going together made it roar.
     
  6. gtrfinder

    gtrfinder Supporting Member

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    I'd say single coils are used about 90% of the time. My strat has Anderson pickups in the neck and middle and a Dimarzio in the bridge. All are stacked humbuckers and splitable so I can get single coil sounds with them too.
    I also have a Telecaster with Nocaster pickups.
    I have JJ's EL-84s in it.
     
  7. datguytim

    datguytim Member

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    Great sounding amp - I'll get one someday. Really feels like a 40 year old amp. Killer vintage tones.
     
  8. cleanshred07

    cleanshred07 Member

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    Thanks for the review. The one I played was pretty much a tone machine
     
  9. gtrfinder

    gtrfinder Supporting Member

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    Played the London at a gig this weekend. Small venue (less than 100 people). I used my homemade plexi amp shield (just a piece of plexiglass attached to the bottom of a mic stand) in front of the 2x12.
    12AX7 side's volume was at about 5, and the EF86 side was at 2.5 with the boost on.
    Used my pedals (RC Booster primarily - it feeds my Fulltone '69 and another overdrive pedal). Still great tone.
    Anyone concerned about stage volume with the London (either too much or too little) please feel free to ask me. I have had great results with both.
     
  10. Hipster Dofus

    Hipster Dofus Member

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    I run mine like that for small small rooms, but I normally run the Vox 4 boosted, and the Marshall on 8. Un-miced. I have been un-boosting the Vox side and running it on 7 for some shows as well. I do ride the volume on my strat's all night as well. Any way you slice it, great amp IMHO..

    For my VOS Jr, I just move the inputs from the High to the Low, and thats working well, volume wise.
     
  11. teleamp

    teleamp Senior Member

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    Sound Police!, the promoters of the Dallas show charge the mfg'ers twice as much as dealers for booth fees and then don't let the amp people show their wares. I have had this problem at other shows as well.

    Sorry, I didn't mean to hijack this thread, just had a bad memory surfaced.

    Mike
     
  12. Nolatone Ampworks

    Nolatone Ampworks Supporting Member

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    The London is addictive. You can't dial in a bad tone and it you get "used to it" and think you're ready to try something else, you really realize how much you miss it when you start working with other amps.

    I miss my London but having the Soho is easing the pain a bit :)

    I'd like to have both some day.

    Paul
     
  13. Red Planet

    Red Planet Member

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    That Soho Rocked at your place the other day Paul. A very impressive sounding Amp.
     
  14. zenfreud

    zenfreud Supporting Member

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    Ya know, this amp sounds likes a perfect candidate for one of those power scaling doohickys. I wonder if the 65 designer(s) or any London amp owners have ever tried one.
     
  15. wstsidela

    wstsidela Gold Supporting Member

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    I love my London but I'm totally digging the Soho right now. I love the low volume punch. It's perfect for my casino gigs.
     
  16. 57gold

    57gold Member

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    for his casino gigs.

    Love my L65 as well. Have a new 2X12 w/Cele Golds that kills with the KF50 and Alessandro Black n 'Tan and given the Vox meets Marshall vibe of L65, it's got to smoke.

    The Golds in the oval backed Avatar are louder than Red Fangs, Blues in a closed back vintage Vox cab or V30s in Soldano cab by 50+%...very dynamic speakers that ought to enhance all that is good about the L65.

    Just in case I haven't said this before when joining with wstsidela's band of brothers at the casinos (will never forget the dozen painted up go go dancers on platforms in the Wynn pool in Vegas!!!), I want a pony tail, too!!!

    A bit tired with the Kojak look (don't need to shave to get there!!!)
     
  17. gkelm

    gkelm Gold Supporting Member

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    Great review, Aaron...esp how you are using both channels.

    I got to play the Soho & Marquee...impressive amp for sure.
     
  18. wstsidela

    wstsidela Gold Supporting Member

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    That was a gig to remember, Frankie. Those go go dancers were gorgeous.

    :dude
     
  19. wstsidela

    wstsidela Gold Supporting Member

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    Here's my collection of 65 Amps:

    My snakeskin London, my new Soho w/2-12 cab, & my Marquee Club w/4-12 cab.

    [​IMG]

    This is my new gigging rig. I just ordered a new road case for both heads.
    [​IMG]

    BTW I just got the 1990 Ricky 12 string the other day for $999.
     
  20. gtrfinder

    gtrfinder Supporting Member

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    Update.
    I have replaced the Hellatone 60's in my Avatar 2x12 with a Celestion Blue and a G12H30 wired for 16 ohms.
    I like the sound even better (and it did sound great with those Hellatones). I had never tried intentionally matching speakers with an amp before, but I have to say I am now a convert. Eventually I'd love to try other speaker combinations, but for now I am very satisfied.
    Any thoughts?
     

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