Over 1 year with the Lil Elvis... long term review

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by 19181911, Feb 1, 2012.

  1. 19181911

    19181911 Senior Member

    Messages:
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    Oct 12, 2011
    Location:
    USA2012ABO
    What a great amp!

    Features: 0 - 10... 7

    The master voltage control is great for controlling stage volume, don't get this amp thinking you will be able to do late night distortion, 2-3 watts cranked, the amp is still plenty loud.

    Tremolo works great, but if you adjust the MV, you will also have to adjust the trem intensity.

    Bump, the LE doesn't have any control over the bump like the London. To me, it darkens the amp too much and adds too much emphasis on the mids. It also makes the amp noisy... minus

    Smooth, it does cut out crossover distortion when pushing the amp hard.

    Volume and tone controls, work like they should.

    Speaker, the stock speaker once broken in sounds like an old friend.

    Other, the amp is quite heavy for a 12 watt combo. The cabinet is well built and like Matchless and a few other high-end amps threaded inserts are used for attaching the rear panels.

    Sound 0 - 10, 9

    The amps clean tone (the reason I bought the amp) is great, sort of a cross between a black face Fender and Vox... crank it up and there's some Marshall in there.

    I use an Esquire mostly and a Strat occasionally, the amp works great with both.

    Reliability: 0 - 10, 7

    The amp developed and intermittent noise issue within the first week that I had it, but no problems since then.

    Customer Service: 0 - 10, 10

    They answer the phone!, Also, they replaced the amp when it developed the intermittent noise issue pronto. The replacement came back with hand picked tubes a la Myles Rose and sounded fantastic.

    Fit & Finish: 0 - 10, 10

    The amp is built like a tank!

    Overall Rating: 0 - 10, 9

    Would I buy again... I already did, this is my second Lil Elvis, when I was going through some old clips I came across one that sounded better than the others... my old Lil Elvis...

    My favorite amp of all time is a Princeton Reverb, with the LE, I can dial in a clean tone very close to the PR, and the LE has more headroom and sound better.

    What the LE also does that the PR didn't, is nice overdriven tones.

    The Master Voltage is a godsend for controlling stage volume.

    Comments:

    I can do without the bump and tremolo, for me, I'd rather have a cut control and a PPIMV in those holes... Dan, are you reading this :rockin
     
  2. 19181911

    19181911 Senior Member

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    Well, I've got to take back what I said about the bump feature. I have only played the amp with a few guitars and it just made the mids too thick.

    Yesterday I finished up an Esquire build and it love the Lil Elvis with the bump engaged. From cleans with grit to classic rocking overdrive.
     
  3. randombastage

    randombastage Member

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    Mar 28, 2007
    I'm in the choir singing Amen Preacher!

    I have a Lil' Elvis right beside a Silverface Princeton Reverb and a LazyJ 20 (5E3 type). They make a really great trio of amps. I'd say the Lil' Elvis gets about half or more of my playing time because it covers so much tonal territory. Great amp.
    Initially I shared your concerns about the bump circuit but now I use it most of the time. At low volumes, home studio levels the Bump isn't too noisy. To a pro recording engineer in the studio it probably would be an issue though.

    I may look into modding the bump, a friend, who is a top notch tech and amp builder by profession has serviced these before and tells me he can show me how to reroute the circuit to deal with the noise factor but I'm afraid the character of the voice will change some so I haven't pursued it since the noise isn't an issue the way I'm using it.

    It really is like two different amps the way the Bump circuit affects the amp, at least at the volume levels I'm using it, so if you dial it in just right for a particular guitar and 'no bump' then switch the bump on it is low and mid heavy and quite a bit louder but if you dial it in with the bump on to begin with it is awesome.

    It also is the best 1x12 speaker cab I've ever plugged anything into! I use it often just as an extension cab and every time I've done that I remind myself that selling the Lil' Elvis would mean losing a great amp as well as my best 1x12 cab.
     
  4. ib2010

    ib2010 Supporting Member

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    It's always good to hear about excellent product support. Look forward to snatching a Lil Elvis someday.
     
  5. Jon C

    Jon C Silver Supporting Member

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    Mid Atlantic USA
    in the amen corner here, too.... I don't use the Bump a lot but I can see how w/ an Esquire it would be very nice... just a great amp imo.
     
  6. jota

    jota Member

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    Portugal
    Blackface meets Vox?
    I always thought it was a Voxy amp but that makes me wanting one... again!
    I would love to hear it with some TV Jones.
     
  7. PotterPicker

    PotterPicker Member

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    I had a Lil' Elvis for a few months and my complaint is that I wanted to be able to engage the bump for solo's, but it was just too much of a bump! Also, I play a strat and without the bump the amp was just a little too anemic... I actually wanted a setting about half way between the standard amp tone and the bump engaged!
     
  8. joek86

    joek86 Supporting Member

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    I have a tupelo and feel the same way, particularly if the toggle "smooth" control is in the Boost mode already. I really don't use the Bump because of the degree of the boost and that it is somewhat dark.

    ~Joe
     
  9. PotterPicker

    PotterPicker Member

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    I was beginning to think it was just me... I actually think the bump is pretty worthless without being able to dial in the amount of bump! If it would have had that capability I might still have the amp.
     
  10. 19181911

    19181911 Senior Member

    Messages:
    842
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    Oct 12, 2011
    Location:
    USA2012ABO
    Yeah, I agree, the bump is either on or off, no switching in and out.

    Ditto on the LE as a speaker cab... Even with the mismatch, my 5E3 clone sounds awesome through the LE cab/speaker.
     

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