A short Zinky Blue Velvet review

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by kselbee, Dec 3, 2005.


  1. kselbee

    kselbee Member

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    My main amp is a Shiva, but I got tired of hauling it to band practice every week, so I wanted to just leave it where we practice and get a small amp for home that would be in the camp as the Shiva sonically. I played a Soldano Astroverb which was OK, but I really wanted a channel switcher. I considered a Budda and some others, but aside from Guitar Center there's not a lot of places locally to try different botique amps. Spec-wise, the BV looked to be exactly what I wanted, but since there aren't any dealers locally, I took the plunge and ordered one from Wild West Guitars (I got the one with black tolex as I'm not a huge fan of the blue velvet).

    I've only had the amp about a week, but so far I'm THRILLED. It's somewhat dark and pretty mid-rangey, but so is my Shiva so it's very comparable. It does, however, have more gain than the Shiva which is a pleasant suprise since I have to use an OD pedal to push the Shiva. I personally like the clean channel, but I've heard others say they didn't think it was great. It's dark and can be pushed to break up pretty easily, but can also be pretty clean. The dirty channel is a lead players dream! It seems effortless to play leads and really sings. It makes me want to just play lead lines all day! When using the dirty channel for rhythm, I like to use the mid cut switch, but for leads I use the mid boost.

    I'm very pleased so far with this amp. This weekend I'm going to connect my GT8 (4 cable method) to hear how it'll sound with some compression and delay, and perhaps EQ it a bit. Perhaps I'll get around to recording some clips if anyone is interested.

    I'm actually so pleased so far with this amp that I've considered getting the 50 watt head version! But let me get through the honeymoon phase first and see how I feel. To anyone considering it though, I'd say DEFINATELY give it a shot... great amp with lots of features. One other thing I wanted to mention was that I'm suprised so many turn up on ebay. But as I said, I've only had it about a week so maybe I'll feel differently in a few weeks, but somehow I doubt it!
     
  2. cranqued

    cranqued Gold Supporting Member

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    Great review. :cool: Clips, please!
     
  3. M@tt C

    M@tt C Supporting Member

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  4. neastguy

    neastguy Supporting Member

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    I love mine 25whead....sounds great. plenty of power and its like carrying around a lunch box to practice....only thing I dont like is the fx loop...its setup more for rack effect....you need to stick a non truebypass pedal right off the send to make it work with a pedal board......if you dont it messes up the sound......the solo's do sing....cant wait to get my strat to hear how it sounds....also, its a pretty quiet amp even with the gain cranked.......
     
  5. grego7

    grego7 has left the building Gold Supporting Member

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    Another happy BV owner here (black 1x12 combo). Like neastguy said, the loop is a little iffy. I also found that adding an additional cabinet (mine sits on top of a mesa openback widebody 1x12 with an 8 ohm wizard) sounds phenomenally good. I actually swapped out the stock zinky speaker for a short time with a governor, and it didn't improve the sound of the combo by itself all that much, so I put the zinky 16 ohm back in. At lower volumes, I think the combo alone sounds just a little bit "box-y", but really sounds sweet as you open it up. Another thing that I like is that the drive channel sounds really great with my clyde wah. This amp kind of takes the fun out of buying overdrive / distortion pedals, because you really don't need 'em (althouh I do have a hellbilly for fuzz on the clean channel). And as much as I thought that the tone control would be limiting, when coupled with the mid switch, you can get just about everything that you need.

    Good score!
     
  6. sage97

    sage97 Member

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    What do you guys think about it's dirty/overdriven tones at household/bedroom volumes?
     
  7. davetcan

    davetcan Supporting Member

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    Another two thumbs up here. I've had mine a little over a year now and it's going nowhere. I also did the governor swap and ended up putting the original back in. The governor now sits in a 1 x 12 mojotone cab under the zinky and they sound great together. I have a few clips (poor playing) on my Soundclick page and all were recorded at bedroom levels so you'll get a bit of an idea how it sounds at low levels. All tracks were recorded straight in thru a Sennheiser e609.

    http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=401351
     
  8. kselbee

    kselbee Member

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    That's the main reason I got a new amp... wanted something good for home/bedroom use an I think it's great at that level.
     
  9. neastguy

    neastguy Supporting Member

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    its great a bedroom levels....but even better when pushed...:D
     
  10. grego7

    grego7 has left the building Gold Supporting Member

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    davetcan:

    great clips! I assume the clean part was recorded on channel 1? You mentioned that you have the zinky on top of an extension cab - did you close mic the combo speaker or the extension cab?

    One thing I've found is that when you are playing at realtively loud volumes, the drive channel cleans up extraordinarily well with the guitar volume knob, more difficult to appreciate with the amp at lower volumes.

    Thanks for the clips!
     
  11. davetcan

    davetcan Supporting Member

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    grego7,

    yep the clean stuff was channel 1 and it was just the combo speaker mic'd dead center with the e609. My wife's getting me an SM57 for xmas and I'll use that to mic the ext. cab. It will be interesting to mic them both and see what the results are.
    On a side note I've been messing with tubes this morning. I had a full set of JJ's in the BV, EL84's and ECC83S's and it was very warm with a very smooth gain channel, almost too smooth. I swapped in a Jan Philip's 12ax7 into V2 and replaced the JJ EL84's with EH EL84's and it's added quite a bit of bite to channel 2, I think I'll keep it that way for awhile and see how it sounds with the band. Great little amp. :dude
     
  12. kselbee

    kselbee Member

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    You actually play this amp with a band? How does it stand up to a drummer? Do you have a loud drummer? Does it require the ext cab?
     
  13. neastguy

    neastguy Supporting Member

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    I use it with a band no problems....plenty of power, its 25w...thats loud!!! I have a 1x12 and a 2x12 I hook it up to
     
  14. kselbee

    kselbee Member

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    Hmmm.... maybe I'll have to try that!
     
  15. davetcan

    davetcan Supporting Member

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    No problem at all with the band and yes we had a very loud drummer for awhile :D The extension is new and I haven't used it with the band yet. The Zinky really sounds terrific when it's opened up a bit. I still haven't gone much beyond halfway, it gets damn loud for a 25 watter.
     
  16. neastguy

    neastguy Supporting Member

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    [​IMG]

    ah , what the heck, here she is...which goes nicely with the Jenkins....
     
  17. kselbee

    kselbee Member

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    Very nice indeed!
     
  18. StinkMonkey

    StinkMonkey Member

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    [​IMG]
    I use a 212 Mesa Recto cab with my Zinky when I want really heavy bottom. You know, in 312 combo. There's an impedence switch on the back, you can mismatch the impedience to alter the tone, you can't hurt it by mismatching the impedience either. The 4 ohm setting gets a little mushy at high volumes with the 16 ohm Zinky Custom Celestion Speaker. It's also self biasing. I love it, the gain channel is great for a little crunch at lower volumes. My favorite is still the clean pushed almost wide open. And she'll ring your ears cranked in a bedroom. But the little amp will do it all. Clean to AC/DC. Want customer service? Call or email and ya most likely get Bruce himself. That's customer service.
    Here's a little reading. Bruce was Mr Fender Amp Custom shop for a while. He loves to build amps and speakers.
    http://www.zinky.com/archives.html
     
  19. tetsuo29

    tetsuo29 Member

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  20. kurt1981

    kurt1981 Supporting Member

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    How's the clean headroom on the 25 watt BV? I mainly use pedals for dirt so having a good loud clean is important, wondering if this amp would do that?
    Kurt
     

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