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MGR/Aaron Willis 01/28/2002

Yamaha DG130H : MGR/Aaron Willis's user review

« Yamaha DG-130H »
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I got this piece from Musicians Friend for $700.00 US. My normal head (marshall) had gotten smashed in a trailer accident, and my backup head (sunn late 70's model) just died. I needed something that could be used on stage, in the studio, in my apartment, and anywhere else I dang well want to use it.

First of all, VERSATILITY. The thing that I enjoy about this amp is that the models don't seem to be based on any one amplifier. Pair this with the fact that you have four EQ knobs, plus presence, and you can really find almost exactly the sound you are looking for. I have owned Line 6 products and have not found the individual amp models on those unit flexible enough to get the sound I was looking for. Sure, it sounded like I was playing through a Dual Rectifier, but I could never get it to sound like how I would really EQ a Dual Rec (which I've also used). The unit has a gain knob for the input (like a bass amp) and this also can color the overall tone, which I enjoy. I can get that bluesey overdriven tone from one of the clean models by overdriving the input. It also allows you to boost the output from weak pickups, which can improve the overall tone.

SOUNDS. - I have to do alot of different types of music. Not only do I do studio work, play for a church, and gig, but I also record my own original music. Not only do I have to get tones for Rock, Hip Hop, and who knows what else, but they have to be GOOD. And this amp has not let me down yet. All the sounds are not Xerox copies of another amp, but sort of a canvas that you can color with what you want to hear. That's nice for me. Let me say that, if you are looking to get the exact sound of a Fender Deluxe Reverb, or any other exact replica of an amp's tone, this is probably not your dream amp. This is for players that want to make thier own sounds and break thier own ground! But don't let that shy you away, this amp is nothing less than a totally awesome tone machine. And it's 130 watts LOUD! Just don't kill the band, OK?

EASE OF USE. - Well, I can use my midi pedal to control it. It's about as challenging to program as it is to set your watch. No brainer. And the time you might normally spend on reading the manual, or going into some sort of "deep editing mode", can be spent on working with the individual sounds. The XLR (mic cable) output is so good, that I take it straight to the console with hardly any post EQ in live situations. And it's works just as well in recording. (I have ProTools at my home studio, and it sound great!) The built in effects are very musical, although I would like to be able to get them a little more "extreme" at times, they are very hard to "abuse" because of thier musicality. Oh, yeah, and all the knobs move on thier own to reflect the current preset's parameters. So no more wondering what the gain is on, or how much bass is in this patch. You can see, you can grab, and you can change, in seconds. Good for a knob fidgeter like myself.

Well, the head itself seems a little oversized?!? But that's more asthetics. Like I have previously stated, I wish the effects section was a little bigger and badder. But I have never bought an amp for it's effects. I buy an amp because it sounds good on it's own. And this amp does that 100%. The other thing that I dislike is that I only have one. I wish that I had 2 of them to link through midi, that way I could blasting a marshall vibe out of one, and a mesa vibe out of the other. Hey, at least I can still get it to tape. ;)

It seems very solid, but only years will truly tell the tale. I get back to you. The quality is top notch. No slack anywhere. I have owned Yamaha guitars in the past, and quality seems to be something that they have a great handle on. Good Job.

For $700.00, I do not think that there is a better sounding, higher wattage, more user friendly amp on the market. If you can find one, let us all know! I am extremely happy with this purchase. This amp allows me to get great tones, no matter what, without sounding like i'm trying to "emulate" anything. I can do my paying gigs, with more reserved tones, then blow kids out the back door of the club with the heavy stuff that I love. I would recommend this amp to anyone who needs a wonderfully strong and versatile amp, but cannot seem to find that edge with Line 6 Products. Great Job Yamaha!

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com