Has anyone played the 65 amps London and London Pro extensively?

BMX

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So I've been on the search for an 18 watt head that has both an ef86 and 12ax7 channel. I want good Tom Petty and Matthew Sweet sounds.

I had it narrowed down to the Bad Cat Black Cat 15r and the 65 amps London. I was a little turned off from the London because of the lack of a master volume (and I'll be buying used so adding a master voltage would mean shipping the amp back to the factory which I'd prefer to avoid).

Then I saw the London Pro with the master voltage and was intrigued.

My problem is that I read some reviews that said that it didn't sound that great and the quality isn't as good as the regular London.

Is this true? I'd really like to get a good footswitchable two channel (12ax7/ef86) head (I know with the blue line id have to pick up a framptone switcher or similar). The reason I'm looking at the London pro is that it's cheaper than the bad cats (including the cub) and has a master volume.

Should I skip the pro and just go with the regular London or one of the bad cats? Is there really a big quality difference between the red and blue lines in addition to the vent and transformer differences?
 

mattlee0037

Member
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509
I played the London a fair amount and the London pro only a few times but it definitely did not come off as sounding worse than the London. Much more convenient with the master and channel switching too.
 
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Serious Poo

Finding beauty in the dissonance
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Never played the London Pro, but my London is one of the most versatile amps I've ever played. Lots of truly amazing tones in that thing. Matthew Sweet plays a London, so if that's the sound you want then I'd recommend just getting one.
 

sonofiam

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1,105
I have the London Pro but have not played a London. I am really liking this amp, great tone and I don't regret purchasing it in any way. I love the ef86 side, I generally run it in boost mode. As far as the London Pro being inferior to the regular London, I don't see much validity to the argument unless you really think Mercury Magnetics are that much superior to other transformers. I took the chassis out of mine to check the guts and components and the craftsmanship looks to be top notch.

Dan Boul did a comparison of 65Amps Red and Blue label amps (here's the video: ) and, like you've already discovered, it comes down to the different transformers; Mercury Magnetics in the Blue label, Magnetic Components (if I interpreted what he said correctly which are great transformers in their own right) in the Red label and appearance. In the video you can get the sense that Dan is a bit tweaked by the 'rumor' that their Red label amps are inferior to the Blue label.

The master voltage works nicely, bedroom levels are definitely achievable. I will concede that it does lose some punch at low settings but that may be attributed to the speaker not being driven but the tone is still very good IMO. One complaint I read was that it reached full volume halfway with no difference from there to 'full volume'. With the knob at 4-5 on mine, the volume becomes fairly loud for my music room and there is a noticeable increase in volume from that point up to 10. I can practice for a while at 5 but not more than a couple of minutes with it on 10. It's more noticeable when miking the amp than when sitting in the room with it. For lack of a better way to describe it, it acts kind of like an exaggerated audio taper.
 
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