NAD - Fargen Dual British Classic 50

Michael Hunter

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,922
Technically it was last Friday, but I've been too busy putting it through it's paces on my NYE weekend gigs to post.

I've been aware of Ben Fargen's work for a while now, but specifically learned of this model via an Emporium ad that I saw back in September for the 25-watt version. The amp checked a lot of boxes for me - two footswitchable channels, FX loop, handwired design - so I watched all the YouTube videos I could find, and really liked what I heard. Given the sturm und drang that seems to accompany so many small builder interactions around here, I was also encouraged to read that Ben has a pretty stellar reputation for delivering a great product without drama. I placed my order in late October, and (not so, ha ha) patiently waited.

And...I'm happy to report that the amp rocks. The build quality is stellar, the amp feels solid without being boat anchor heavy, and does exactly what I'd hoped - great Fender-style cleans and fantastic Marshall flavored drive. I was expecting the dirty tones to be great, given that a lot of Fargen's output is Marshall-inspired, but the clean channel is the real standout for me. It's bright and snappy without being ice-picky, and has a firm low end response that doesn't get flubby and crap out at the volume my rock band tends to play at. (I'm glad that I went with the 50-watt version; being tube rectified, I was afraid the 25-watt version might be a little too spongy.) The dirty tones are great as well, and definitely more vintage-inspired. I've been using modern, mass-produced Marshalls (a JTM-60 and a DSL40C) lately, both of which have a ton of gain on tap. The Fargen, even with the "Plexi/800" voicing/gain topology on the dirty channel, isn't quite as gainy, so I found myself using either a compressor or boost to get more sustain at (somewhat :)) reasonable volumes for soloing. I wouldn't call that a criticism; the amp reacts pretty much exactly like you'd expect either a plexi or 800 circuit to respond under those circumstances, and sounds fantastic when doing so.

As for the purchasing process, Ben was always prompt with email responses, and provided updates throughout. The build took slightly longer than his initial estimate - about 10 weeks in total - but hey, it's a guitar amp. It's not like I was waiting for a new kidney or something. I certainly wouldn't hesitate to recommend him to anyone looking for a handbuilt amp that covers a ton of ground.

Oh, and pics:

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wrxplayer

Silver Supporting Member
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7,973
Congrats. My best amp ever, and there have been a lot, was my 25 watt Dual British Classic. Mine had a Blackbird on one side and the Olde 800 Mk II on other. Amp could do it all really well. Enjoy!
 

Michael Hunter

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,922
Congrats. My best amp ever, and there have been a lot, was my 25 watt Dual British Classic. Mine had a Blackbird on one side and the Olde 800 Mk II on other. Amp could do it all really well. Enjoy!

I will. I'm hoping to get rid of some of my glut of now-unnecessary amps. :D
 

Tomm Williams

Member
Messages
964
Ben lives not far from me and I give him all my amp work. He's always been incredibly easy to work with and is totally devoted to his work.
 

wrxplayer

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,973
This was mine. It is the only amp I've had that I wish I'd never sold. It and I could have truly been happy ever after had I been more confident in my ability to ride economic waves.
 

Rumors of War

Member
Messages
5,283
Fell in love with my Olde 800 first time I played it. 3 years later and still loving it - lifer.

Edit: and most certainly, congrats.
 

LPMojoGL

Music Room Superstar
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,663
Congrats, OP! One of the best Marshally amps I've ever had is the Fargen Olde 800 MkII. I'd be happy to have one again, truly great amp. I bet yours is fantastic. Happy New Year!
 




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