Well i had the option of going to alton towers today with college, im quite glad i couldnt afford it. Since this arrived today at about 12 oclock. Obviously im not very aquinted with it yet but yeah...
Long ass review...
ReviewThe Thunder 30 is the predecessor from the Rocker 30.
The clean channel is from the Rockerverb MK1, re-voiced to suit the amp's EL84s. Treble and bass controls are interactve with each other, and the more bass you dial in the less mids you get, and vice versa.
The dirty channel is the Rockerverb 4 gain stage lead channel with the shape control from channel B of the Thunderverb. The shape control adjusts between all midrange (o) and all treble and bass (10), and all points inbetween.
It has the same power switching capabilities and output transformer as the Dual Terror. (Two tube/four tube switch and pentode/triode switch, switchable from 30 to 15 to 7.5 watts.)
It has a 12at7 buffered series FX loop (smileyface), 2 8 0hm/1 16 ohm cabinet input, footswitch jack to switch between channels.
4 EL84s, 4 12ax7s
It's made in china (With love), and is the first sleeved orange head to be completely manufactured in china. Rather than the circuit board being put together in china, then sent to the UK for the rest of the assembly, like the rest of the higher end orange line. :/
Out of the box it was well packed (double boxed with polystyrene), switches are good quality with a satisfying click, the pots are smooth, handle feels strong and durable, overall everythings sturdy, no underpaid chinese workers in the back either.
Switched on to the clean channel (its pretty much the law to start with the cleans), ub3r dark warm sounding cleans, even with my fender jag. much Warmer than my Laney vc30 was. That could be a problem in itself, the only way to get anything like a bright icepicky clean tone from it is to turn the bass to 0 and crank the treble, which yeah, i dont reccomend. There isnt much chime to it. But personally, im really digging the cleans. Very deep, rich and round, sounds great with pedals, though probably not for everyone. Diming both the treble and bass knobs scoops the mids out a bit and delivers a really nice almost fendery spanky sound, reminds me a little of a bassman.
I heard it start to break with heavy attack up about 12 oclock at full power. About 11 at with 2 valves. About 10.5 with 2 valves and half power. A nice grit, pretty indie-ish. Played a bit of dashboard and switched to the dirty channel.
Picked up my tele, dialed the gain in half way, same with the shape control. Got a some nice crunch. Very dynamic, cleaned up great with soft picking. Pretty satsifying, slayed my vc30, you can hear the orange crunch still, but really, in that department, the R30 had a much fatter crunch. A few AC/DC tunes later pushed the gain again, rolled the shape back a bit and switched to the neck pup, some pretty smooth lead tones. Sounded nice with some blues licks. Kept pushing the gain control, you can hear the final valve kick in accompanied by a fair bit of hum, a pile of poop lot of gain, still using the tele (yes metal with a tele), tried to chug out some master of puppets. Not happening, i even tried turning the scoop control all the way up, it was still too loose sounding for the palm mutes.
Kinda dissapointed by that, im not willing to give up and listen to everyones "I told you so" pile of poop about trying before buying :p:. I grabbed my strat, thats tuned to C standard with a high output humbucker, played dragonaut. It ****ing sings for stoner/sludge stuff. Sounds huge, loads of low end, some sweet grit and a bit of the orange fuzzyness, really put a smile on my face. I actually cant believe orange are trying to market this as a metal amp. Sure it has the gain, but it does not have the tightness for modern metal, it isnt for shredders or the conventional metalhead. At least not by itself, at least i can still put the barber dirty bomb to good use for playing chuggy stuff .
What I like
Its orange, colour is important for tonez
Cleans, im really glad this delivers a good clean sound, and the EQ on the clean channel had a really nice feel, made a pretty big difference to the sound.
Low gain crunch was nice
Mid gain is decent
High gain brings teh doom.
What I don't like
Its kinda noisy, especially with that 4th gain stage kicking in, i also find the FX loop adds its share of hiss, though the grail sounds nicer through it.
The gain can get a bit fizzy
And im pretty sure the above issues would be (at least partly) solved by improving this;
pile of poop chinese valves. Sadddfaceee. I even tried my old crackly TADs out of the laney in it, that even seemed to imrpove the sound and noise issues. Unfortunately im too poor to upgrade them atm...
I found there wasnt much gain before 12 on the gain knob
Im not gunna lie here, im not digging the shape control too much, sure its nicer than a run of the mill tone control, but it sounds its best with the shape between 10 and 2 oclock. Anything after that is harsh and typical ick scooped sounds, and before that is a bit too middy and nasaly. Im deffinately considering an EQ to stick in the loop. Any thoughts on http://www.dv247.com/studio-equipment/p ... -eq--21439 ?
I dont really know weather this is a pro or a con, for me probably a pro, but its a quiet amp. With it set to two output valves i could pretty comfortably get the volume clean to 12 oclock, and itd be just a bit too loud for playing at home. At full power it didnt make much of a difference. Though i havent played much with the switching yet. Its loud enough to gig and get over a drummer and everything, it just seems quieter than my laney did. It could be to do with the taper used on the pots though...
Build quality: 8
Overall impression: 7
I can see this amp keeping me happy for a while.
Ill prolly do a youtube demo tommorow.
Also, a few new pedals
I need a bigger board...
I cant be bothered to review them.
But its a EHX Octave Multiplexer
Way Huge Swollen Pickle
Also i added a rotary switch on my small clone to switch between dry/chorus/vibe and a knob to dial in some tremolo.
And gutted my vox wah etched myself a clyde PCB and stuck loads of knobs on it.