Komet 60 preliminary review

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Chrissy, Jul 15, 2005.


  1. Chrissy

    Chrissy Member

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    I’ve had my new Komet 60 for a week now. Had a couple of long sessions at my rehearsal space at gig volume so here’s a preliminary review…

    On receiving this (extremely well-packed) amp I must say it’s a stunner quality-wise. I have or had about 10 different custom shop or boutique amps and this is right up there with the best. The tolexing is perfect (I chose black with a white V and silver control face-plates for a classic look) and the little details like the finish of the chassis and the threaded bolts for the back of the head cab, the bias point and pot are great. Smells good too, which is important for an amp I think! ;)

    I tried the K60 with a Germino 2x12 with Reissue Greenbacks (I know that might not be a good idea in the long run but my 4x12 slant with Heritage Greenbacks won’t be here for a week) and an Orange 4x12 with V30 - not the ideal speaker for this amp, but safer when I wanted to hear the Komet cranked! I used an R7 Murphy with Tom Holmes pickups, Tone Pros aluminium tailpiece and Relic Nocaster with stock pickups and Callaham saddles. All cables (instrument, speaker and power) wer Evidence.

    First off, regarding the ever-present volume discussion regarding the K60: Whilst it’s surely not gonna be a practise amp and I wouldn’t try and crank it in a pub with people 6 feet from the speaker, it’s not THAT loud. Compared to my Orange Retro 50 with the master full up (also a 2x EL34 amp) it’s very similar volume-wise. Even compared to my Germino Classic 45 thru the 2x12 the difference is not that great (I run the Germino with the volume on 2-3 o’clock).

    First off, here’s what I like in an amp. It should be able to set a base tone that is a chewy, full crunch when hit hard, cleans up just thru picking lightly to on the edge tone and goes clean via the guitar volume. Must have good string to string definition, bass should be tight enough that my neck HB on my Les Paul still goes “bing” on the low e when played clean-ish (no mud), have chewy mids yet still definition and highs that give clarity but must not be at all ice-picky or unpleasant. If I want higher gain I like to use a TIM for OD, Sun Face for fuzz and Beano Boost on mid setting for treble boost.

    I started off with the stock tubes and the eq set all at 12 o’clock except for hi-cut full ccw (off). Gradual mode. With the LP and the volume around 12-1 o’clock that is definitely many of the things that I described above that I like. Responds well to picking changes, has a nice tight bass and seems to cover the whole spectrum of frequencies very evenly. I find the volume control tapered quite nicely so that you can fine-tune the gain without any sudden leaps. The Tele sounds cool here too (prefers the 1 o’clock setting more) and even without tweaking the eq, both guitars sound quite well balanced and like a LP or Tele should.

    Switching to fast response adds volume, gain and noise too. Whilst gradual is still lively enough to satisfy the way I like to play, I felt the dynamics even more now. The basic tone is a bit rawer if you don’t tweak the eq. Gradual is more balanced and fast a bit more gritty from what I noticed. Bear in mind still eq on 12. Great fun to play, but as I tested, I started to head towards the gradual setting for most stuff. We’ll see… Was able to get some VERY beautiful clean tones with the Les Paul and the volumes rolled off – bell-like, rich, sweet. (Note: 1000pF cap + 150kohm resistor on volumes of both guitars). The Komet hit it off so well with my Les Paul that I played that guitar a lot. Tele sounded very good as well when I finally remembered to switch every now and then. Nice!

    Eq-wise I then did some tweaking to see the range of tones available. There is more than enough bass for my needs (sounded best left around 12), the mids sound great for me at about 2-3 o’clock, I had presence up a tad to 1 o’clock and treble stayed on 12 o’clock. The hi-cut control is VERY useful to sweeten things up if needed. I found it cool to use that when switching from Les Paul (full ccw to Tele 9-10 o’clock).

    When cranked the Komet is still nice and tight and retains good definition. Sings really well, makes you wanna hold a note. I never set any amp dead clean, but if you did use gradual and volume around 9-10 the clean tone is nice and also has very reasonable volume.

    I did some tube swapping too. Tried KT66 which sounded familiar (I have a Classic 45) and 6L6 with a used set of Ruby that I had lying around. I think the 6L& could have a lot of potential and will experiment further here. I replaced V1 first with a Mullard CV4004 which smoothed things out and richened up at the same time (yet does have a little more microphonics than the stock Tung-Sol 12AX7), then V3 with the same tube type – also an improvement. I ran out of Mullards and went with a Jan-Phillips in the V2 position.

    The power tubes were Svetlanas and only averagely matched (about 5mA off) so I went with a set of Harma EL34 Retro which are matched within 1mA and sound very nice too - a touch richer to my ear. Also put a Valvo GZ34 in.

    So there you have it, things are looking good with me and my K60. I can’t wait to try it with the Germino 4x12 slant I have coming (Heritage Greenbacks) and also with 2 Scumbag G12H 75Hz clone in the 60W version for my 2x12.

    If you have questions, please ask and of course any tips form K60 owners are much appreciated.

    Chris

    PS Also tried the parallel attenuation with a Dr Z airbrake and that is not bad at all.
     
  2. stekks

    stekks Member

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    Very well written no bs/hype review Chris! It doesn't help my for my GAS tho ;)
     
  3. jruano

    jruano Supporting Member

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    Good informative review Chris. I'm glad you are happy with the amp!
     
  4. ButchR

    ButchR Komet Player Gold Supporting Member

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    Replace the power tubes with some NOS Mullard EL34 double getters and you are hooked for life.

    Cool review.:)
     
  5. hendrix2430

    hendrix2430 Member

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    Cool, thanks for review, Chris! :RoCkIn
     
  6. GAT

    GAT Gold Supporting Member

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    I also put some NOS Mullards, etc. in the amp and WOW!

    Great amp, especially in a band context. I use a Switchblade set to a much lower volume for quick cleaner tones. Works great.
     
  7. Chrissy

    Chrissy Member

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    So you mean you use the Switchblade to lower the input signal in order to get less gain?

    Chris
     
  8. GAT

    GAT Gold Supporting Member

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    I do use it for lowering the gain, especially with humbuckers. I sing a lot in my band and it works well for quick volume changes. Also, when using both pickups, its faster than trying to turn down both volume knobs.
     
  9. hawkeyeinexile

    hawkeyeinexile Silver Supporting Member

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    hey, Chrissy, congrats. if i'd had one of those when i was playing in Berlin, i'd own the place now :D it seems you have a good handle on how to use it. i typically used mine w/GT KT66s and a bugle boy in the first preamp spot. also, replace the sino rectifier w/a Weber coppercap WZ34 (IIRC). that setup put out about 32w rms @ ohms. KT88s, 36w.

    is yours new? what's the serial number?

    :cool:
     
  10. trisonic

    trisonic Member

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    Well written review.

    Best, Pete.
     
  11. gregc

    gregc Member

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    All I can add here is ,"I agree", and wait till you get the 4x12...:)
    gregc
     
  12. Chrissy

    Chrissy Member

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    Yup, it's a new one - I looked at the serial numer and then forgot it again... I'll have to check again when I next tweak as the plaque is inside...

    So did you like Berlin?

    Chris
     
  13. Chrissy

    Chrissy Member

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    I am REALLY looking forward to this cab! The Komet should love it and I think my Orange and Germino should be spectacular thru it too...
     
  14. LSchefman

    LSchefman Supporting Member

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  15. hawkeyeinexile

    hawkeyeinexile Silver Supporting Member

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    loved it, when possible (i was in the USAF @ the time). got to play Sloopy's, Pop Inn, Badewanne, Radio SFB (a real treat and privilege). this was a *long* time ago

    :cool:
     
  16. hogy

    hogy Member

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    Hey Crissy, I'm glad you like the amp.
    Just wanted to say it would be a good idea to keep the amp on as much as possible (Play, not Standby) whenever you're around it.
    The Komet goes through a break in process that really sweetens it up and makes it even more musical sounding.
    No need to burn NOS tubes for that, just put the stockers in and let her glow. Playing is even better, naturally.
    You will get more benefit from great tubes after the amp's broken in.

    Have fun.

    Hogy
     
  17. PAF

    PAF Member

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    what's your fav tube setup in the 60 Hogy?
     
  18. davebc

    davebc Member

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    Chris,Thanks
    That was a great review.
    Best of all,thanks for finally clarifying the Komet 60's volume issue for me.I'm now convinced it will not be an over the top problem,sounds very usable.
    Was there a wait?
     
  19. Chrissy

    Chrissy Member

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    Thank you guys - I look forward to getting some more hours in on this amp... Hogy, thanks for the break-in advice.

    davbc - I ordered via Gene at Ultrasound and there was a 230V version ready to go out.

    chris
     
  20. GAT

    GAT Gold Supporting Member

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    Gene is great. I think the Komets are keepers. Mine is Purple and white, I know you'll enjoy yours!
     

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