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A comparison and review of 20 small/low-wattage/lunchbox amps

Axe-Man

Member
Messages
6,985
I’ve got a ROV25 (Mini Rec with choke and reverb) and it’s a beast through a 4x12. Damn loud and aggressive. It really does an excellent recto tone. I find it has more mids than the Multiwatt etc and isn’t as fizzy/searing and it naturally has less bottom end but none of this is bad. It’s really a pretty spectacular little amp.

The one downside...it is actually worse as a bedroom amp than the 100 watter. Sounds crazy I know but it really is. It’s dark down low and doesn’t open up without a little volume...unlike the big guy that just works from mouse fart volumes (but not on modern which needs volume).

The MW has a killer Vintage mode with tube Rec that the Minis cannot touch though. Love that mode.
 

Guitarjon

Member
Messages
1,947
I’ve got a ROV25 (Mini Rec with choke and reverb) and it’s a beast through a 4x12. Damn loud and aggressive. It really does an excellent recto tone. I find it has more mids than the Multiwatt etc and isn’t as fizzy/searing and it naturally has less bottom end but none of this is bad. It’s really a pretty spectacular little amp.

The one downside...it is actually worse as a bedroom amp than the 100 watter. Sounds crazy I know but it really is. It’s dark down low and doesn’t open up without a little volume...unlike the big guy that just works from mouse fart volumes (but not on modern which needs volume).

The MW has a killer Vintage mode with tube Rec that the Minis cannot touch though. Love that mode.
Mine sounds rather bright at low levels, that's why I always recommend switching to the 10w mode/voicing for practice at lower levels since it helps to warm the amp up. I guess it also depends on the speaker, the room etc.

Was hoping to hear a Freidman JJ Jr...
Would love to....
 

ballynally

Member
Messages
2,144
Quote:MARSHALL DSL20HR: I read about this amp quite often so I think this also is a popular amp. It's very affordable though so it could be a great way to get into the Marshall world if you're on a tight budget. This amp does not sound the same as any other Marshall that I own though so it's a character that has to be appreciated (or not lol). The clean channel is very bright and the gain channel quickly goes into high-gain territory so it's not the best amp for that classic Marshall crunch. The gain tones are more moder, saturated and fizzy so the gain tones cut through the mix quite nicely but I can imagine that this isn't the amp sound for everybody. If this is a sound you enjoy, definitely look into these amps! end quote.

The very popular DSL series gets lots of praise but i find they display exactly those characteristics you mentioned.
Bright (and harsh) in the clean setting and saturated and fizzy when overdriven. I've heard quite a few now and they all display that. To me they amplify the drawbacks that Marshall amps CAN have. It is about as far away from a classic Plexi you can get.
Even the Origin series are much closer. That would be my pick when on a budget and want to go Marshall.
 
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stargazer747

Member
Messages
3,123
Excellent video demo my friend! I always love hearing Orange Terrors doing their thing, you make them sound great.
 

Guitarjon

Member
Messages
1,947
Excellent video demo my friend! I always love hearing Orange Terrors doing their thing, you make them sound great.
Thanks man! They do sound pretty glorious here indeed! What did you think of the Wangs? It sounds slightly similar to some of the Oranges with it's more fluffy distortion.
 

stargazer747

Member
Messages
3,123
It doesn't sound exactly the same as the Oranges, it's more like a Soldano but with more mids. The clean channel is also more bright than an Orange but it's still a sound that you might enjoy...
Well you say its a bright tone, closer maybe to the Brent Hinds Terror not like my other Orange Terrors? Took me a really long time to meld with my Brent Hinds and its bright voice, I typically prefer a darker warmer tone like the Dark Terror and Rocker 15. By the way, I recently sold my Jim Root & Micro Dark Terror. Wanted to downsize a bit, not so much for money or space but rather to focus more on tone and playing. Being a Pedal Junkie with unlimited G.A.S., I tend to let it get out of hand so I also streamlined all my pedalboards; had 4x large boards totaling 44 FX now just 3 minimalist single row flat boards with grand total of 18 plus 3 loose pedals on the side. Needed to clean up the clutter and clumsiness of large bulky heavy pedalboards, got rid of a lot of FX I wasn't stomping on anymore and some duplicates, get them streamlined and more focused on what I actually use and need. My tone greatly benefited from the streamlining, I can say that for sure a lot less wiring and power needs equals much more true signal path.
 

Guitarjon

Member
Messages
1,947
Peavey Classic 20 head would have been interesting in the mix.
I would love to try one as they look really cool!

Well you say its a bright tone, closer maybe to the Brent Hinds Terror not like my other Orange Terrors? Took me a really long time to meld with my Brent Hinds and its bright voice, I typically prefer a darker warmer tone like the Dark Terror and Rocker 15. By the way, I recently sold my Jim Root & Micro Dark Terror. Wanted to downsize a bit, not so much for money or space but rather to focus more on tone and playing. Being a Pedal Junkie with unlimited G.A.S., I tend to let it get out of hand so I also streamlined all my pedalboards; had 4x large boards totaling 44 FX now just 3 minimalist single row flat boards with grand total of 18 plus 3 loose pedals on the side. Needed to clean up the clutter and clumsiness of large bulky heavy pedalboards, got rid of a lot of FX I wasn't stomping on anymore and some duplicates, get them streamlined and more focused on what I actually use and need. My tone greatly benefited from the streamlining, I can say that for sure a lot less wiring and power needs equals much more true signal path.
Just the clean tones are more bright. The overdriven tones are warm, mud focused and kind of fluffy like most Orange heads. That's basically why I mentioned it to you because I know how much you like those sort of tones. The clean channel on the Brent hinds is a little bit on the darker side in general I think.
 

stargazer747

Member
Messages
3,123
I would love to try one as they look really cool!



Just the clean tones are more bright. The overdriven tones are warm, mud focused and kind of fluffy like most Orange heads. That's basically why I mentioned it to you because I know how much you like those sort of tones. The clean channel on the Brent hinds is a little bit on the darker side in general I think.
Perhaps, its odd if you think about it that the Brent Hinds Terror has a brightly voiced dirty channel but the natural clean channel is a bit darker, the complete opposite of the Rocker 15 which has the classic dark warm crunch of Orange for its dirty channel and its natural clean channel is considered to be brighter.
 

Steviecaster

Member
Messages
804
It doesn't sound exactly the same as the Oranges, it's more like a Soldano but with more mids. The clean channel is also more bright than an Orange but it's still a sound that you might enjoy...
Are those a clone of anything?
Doesn't sound like it. Sounds really good, though. Wangs is the best value out there, IMO. For HW amps, you can't beat it.
 

LPMojoGL

Music Room Superstar
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,250
Great comparison. Have to say, the Mini Rec sounds great. That Wangs seems to be quite a deal $.
 

Guitarjon

Member
Messages
1,947
Great comparison. Have to say, the Mini Rec sounds great. That Wangs seems to be quite a deal $.
I love the Mini Recto indeed. The Wangs is very cool too! A bit less metal sounding but very big and fluffy sounding, in a good way!
 






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