Epi Valve Special

The lowdown on the Mississippi Sax. Just for Google, this section is about harmonicas.

Epi Valve Special

Postby jeffl » Fri Apr 20, 2007 12:41 am

I bought one of these today, on a whim. I wuz cruisin' one of my favorite stores in a town about 70 miles away, and they had a bunch of small output tube amps lined up in a row, including Pro Jr.,several Epis,some high end custom jobs, the new Gibson GA-5, a Victoria 5f1,etc. So, I plugged my green bullet and delay into one of the cheapest ones, remembering some of the iffy reviews from guitar players concerning the speaker in the Epi Valve Special, but also remembering some of the raves. The gaudy little rat terrier won my heart almost immediately. I cranked the bass, dropped the treble and mids (nice to have eq's on a 5 watt amp), tried the gain at about half, and
made the vain little showoff strut its stuff. One of the biggest drawbacks for this small output amp is that the cabinet dimensions are roughly equal to those of my Peavey Classic 30, lessening its convenience for rehearsals. However, the amp turns that liability into an asset when you hear the low end response delivered with the aid of the big cabinet. I doubt that I'll use the digital effects part of the amp, but if a guitarist wants to plug into it at my house, it's probably a better guitar amp than my '78 Silverface Champ, and I like it alot better than the Champ for harp.
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Postby Jaybird803 » Sat May 26, 2007 5:54 pm

Yesterday, I bought an Epihone Valve Jr. Combo. Out the door fot $140. It is a really nice little harp amp, I am totally impressed. Recently, I had tried out a Fender Champ 600 reissue and was not taken by it a bit. Sifde by side, for harp, in my humble opinion, the Epi valve jr. walks all over the Fender 600. It has plenty of rich full sounding volume. After the volume is at 5, everything after is tone from clean to grit. I am able to get a nice funky horn quality with breakup that suits my ear. I did change the tubes fron the stock sovteks to a Silvertone 6BQ5 for power, and a Groove Tube 12AX7 in the preamp. I tried a few different preamp tubes (12AT7, 12AY7, 12AU7, and 2 different 12AX7/7025 tubes). I hooked the Epi up to my Kalamazoo Model 2 and plan to use that for playing at a small club next weekend, There is volume to spare. The speaker sounds good, so I will leave it in while it breaks in. I would recommend this amp to anyone.
So Jeff, I can see what you mean about the Epi you got. Even though it is a different model. Thanks for the tip. It was your thread that led me to try this newfound toy.
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Postby ricochet » Sun May 27, 2007 1:07 pm

That VJ is a nice little amp!
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Postby jeffl » Thu May 31, 2007 11:26 am

I did an a/b with a Champion 600 yesterday, blowin' harp, and the VJ had the much better harp tone, and was a little louder,IMO. The VJ cabinet is noticeably larger (you couldn't build a useable amp much smaller than the Fender), and the Epi has an 8" speaker compared to the Fender's 6".
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Postby Jaybird803 » Mon Jun 04, 2007 2:35 pm

Saturday night I used my new Epi valve jr. when we played at a local English Pub. I brought my Kalamazoo model 2 to use in conjunction with the Epi if needed. As it turned out, The Epi was more than enough to cut through the mix. I turned it up to around 3/4 and used the volume control on my mic. Most of the time my mic was not turned past 1/2. The volume and tone were perfect for me. I bought a second Epi valve combo on ebay and should gert it this week, I got it for a rather good price and plan to put a line out on it so that I can tie the two together. New toy are sure fun.
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