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Avatar 18 Head Review

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by vangit, Aug 29, 2011.

  1. vangit

    vangit Supporting Member

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    OK...power is finally back up in Jersey, so I'll post this quick while i still can..

    So...not sure if I'm the first around here to get an Avatar 18,or just the first to tell about it. Here we go.....

    Packaging, fantastic. Wrapped in a bubble wrap blanket. Amp is very light.
    Cosmetics, super clean. Outstanding tolex job and the piping is perfect.

    I've have it a week now. Wanted to have some time on it before I posted. I've been playing my Schroeder Chopper (maple top, limbs back) with Lollars. Been playing it through an Avatar 1x12 with Reinhardt M-sc speaker. Right from the get go it sounded very good. Has a great upper-mid "snapy-honk" when picking (really great snap) and the chords are very very articulate. The BMT pots have a great sweep to them so you can adjust the highs and lows easily (but it's still chimy....keep reading). All the pots go to "11". I find myself keeping the gain on 7. Gain around 8 is when gain fizz can be heard. Above 7 is still very clear and articulate, but 7 suits me perfectly for rolling back to clean and use of my pedals.

    The amp has a fantastic chime to it. Like I said, very clear and articulate, but it really has a great chime. You can really dial in a great Marshall-Vox thing. It came with JJ pre and rect, and Sovtek powertubes.

    The right channel (just tone and volume) has the same voicing as the left channel, just doesn't break up as soon since there is no gain knob. I've played some amps with this similar layout where the "clean" channel is voiced softer. They sound similar to me on the Avatar.

    *side note* At the beginning I did have a "hmmmm" thing going on. The amp is very responsive, clear as a bell, but it did feel a bit tight. I know the tubes are new, and I haven't played el84s in a while. But I also realized the speaker is new and the cab was closed. The speaker is the SC, and is a very tight speaker. So I removed the back hole cover of the cab to expose the oval cut out. Definitely opened it up a bit.

    So conclusion time. Looks fantastic. Very responsive. Crystal clear and articulate chords even when crunchy. Awesome chime to the highs. Love the snappy pick response. Dave offers a trail period so i don't have to keep it. BUT I AM!!!! Really love the amp. I want to get another Avatar 1x12 and put in a Reinhardt H-Lc

    Good new is....review is done and the power in my house is still on!!! :)

    Accurate pic

    [​IMG]

    Flash washed it out a bit on this one

    [​IMG]
     
    Unadan likes this.
  2. 5E3

    5E3 Member

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    Fantastic Stu! Congratulations :aok

    Also, glad power is back on for you!
     
  3. schwa

    schwa Member

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    Thanks for the review, I think this amp has a lot of potential.

    I couldn't help but notice that the volume knobs on both channels are at "1" or so. Have you had the volume up above 5 yet?

    I ask because on my NMV 20W Marshall, the tone doesn't really start coming out until it's turned up a bit.
     
  4. vangit

    vangit Supporting Member

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    Yep...those were my "bedroom settings". The amp has nice linear volume pots so you can play pretty quiet. I play allot a night when the wife and kids are sleeping. Of course the more you push air it comes alive more, but you can play it low. With some amps I've had, the volume pot didn't have a full sweep and it just "kicked on"....but with the Avatar you can play it pretty low. Also, beside it coming to life as you move it up....it's pretty freakin loud. Not 100% I went past 5, but I definitely had my ears ringing.
     
  5. schwa

    schwa Member

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    I've had my 20 watter past 5 at home, but the pictures on the walls were shaking and a neighbor was knocking on my door in less than 5 minutes. :hide

    A lot of times I wish for a master volume on the 20W amp, but I also have trouble getting the tone I want when there's a MV in the amp (I have a 2204).

    This amp actually seems to be a bit like a lower powered JMP/JCM style amp, and that's a pretty cool idea.
     
  6. thosk

    thosk Silver Supporting Member

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    The combo looks pretty sweet as well...
     
  7. tnt365

    tnt365 Supporting Member

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    I want to hear some clips!
     
  8. blackba

    blackba Supporting Member

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    Sounds from your review like a nice amp. Have you tried boosting it with an overdrive yet? Also curious what an SC speaker is exactly?
     
  9. vangit

    vangit Supporting Member

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    I love overdrives and the AVatar takes pedals like a champ. My board currently has Danelectro Transparent, Greer Relic Drive, Wampler Underdog overdrive, Cmatmods Brownie, Greer Tone Smuggler

    This is a description of the speaker from Bob's site. The speaker is not broken in yet

    "4)R65M-SC * This is the small cover version. It will sound and feel much like a good, tight old Greenback, but will handle far more power.* Not as loose as an old greenback, its a bit tighter, and more responsive when driven hard. A bit more top end sizzle compared to the Large version"
     
  10. big mike

    big mike Moderator - EL34 Emeritas Staff Member

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    Nice review. Cool to have another option.

    Feel free to send that silver and black head on the right to Cali....;)
     
  11. tiktokman

    tiktokman Member

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    Thanks for the review. Very, very tempted. How do you think it'd hold up in a band situation? How clean is it at practice volume?
     
  12. vangit

    vangit Supporting Member

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    The amp is definitely voiced to have brightness and chime and it keeps it very articulate without getting mushy when it's turned up. Cleans up very easily with volume roll back. Today I had the master on 5.5 (12:00) and the gain on 7. Plenty loud and got clean easily
     
  13. vangit

    vangit Supporting Member

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    Last time you said "feel free to send....to Cali".....you got a pair of hens-teeth DG pups :)
     
  14. tiktokman

    tiktokman Member

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  15. vangit

    vangit Supporting Member

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  16. tiktokman

    tiktokman Member

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    About halfway down the page. It's right after the video links. Right after this text -

    "Amp Head REVIEW Thread on the Gear Page"
     
  17. vangit

    vangit Supporting Member

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  18. vangit

    vangit Supporting Member

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    Hey guys. Just a little follow up. This thing is really great. I was doing a bit of Edge stuff yesterday like the opening to In The Name of Love. This amp has fantastic chime and clarity to it. Delay worked excellent (nova repeater). Just ordered another 1x12 to have a killer little mini-stack :)
     
  19. TheCount0212

    TheCount0212 Member

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  20. vangit

    vangit Supporting Member

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