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Mambo Amp Review

jzucker

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
20,962
If you're searching for a small, lightweight jazz amplifier with tons of headroom, this is one of the best.

http://www.mambo-amp.co.uk/accolades.html

The one I got was the 10". It weighs 18lbs and is very small. It normally comes with an eminence Beta 10" speaker which is a little dark for my tastes so I ordered mine with an 18sound 10" speaker. The 18sound speaker is flat to about 5.5k whereas the beta 10 is flat to about 3.7k.

I didn't care for the 18sound speaker. It did not have the high frequency content I was expecting, nor did it capture any type of fendery high end. Instead it sounded nasally/middy to me and the bottom end was lacking. I tried turning up the bass control on the amp but in doing so realized that I was not getting the expected headroom out of the amp that I was looking for.

I ended up swapping the speaker for the beta 10 and now the amp sounds great. If you're looking for a traditional Wes Montgomery, Howard Roberts or Joe Pass "Joy Spring" sound, you'll be very happy with this amp.

Pros:
- Very small
- Very light
- Very powerful
- Gorgeous traditional, dark, smokey jazz tones. Very guitaristic.
- Good reverb

Cons:
- somewhat boxy (though not as bad as the Raezer's Edge cabs
- treble control more like a high mid
- Can't get a bensony treble attack
- Missing some of the high end necessary for funk rhythm
- Not much tubeyness, even with the harmonics switch on
- Not cheap. I paid $1150 shipped from the UK for mine.

Jon Shaw who builds each one to order indicated that they are experimenting with a fender tone stack and at some point there may be a version which allows switching between the fender tone stack and the baxandall tone stack that is currently stock. It is likely that there will *NOT* be an option to field-upgrade the existing amp to be switchable to the new tone stack.

I will update this review when I have had a chance to try it in some other situations including using it with a modeling preamp.
 




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