Guitar Player magazine welcomes DV Mark to the USA with great review

Oct. 16, 2011, 11:58 p.m.

Guitar Player has welcomed DV Mark to the US with a stellar review of the Galileo 15 head, Bad Boy 120 head, and the DV40 212 combo. Here are the highlights:

Galileo 15 

The Galileo is a clean machine, offering an amazing amount of pristine headroom... And not only is the Galileo loud, but its clean sound has enough harmonic depth—even at low gain settings—to make reverb unnecessary. (If you can’t live without it, reverb is available on the combo version.) The Galileo offers a satisfying amount of crunch with the Boost switch engaged, but if ever an amp was made for pedals, this is it. A little kick from my distortion pedal tightened up the amp’s slightly wooly-sounding distortion... and really made it come alive. In many ways, the Galileo 15 sets the tone for the DV Mark series. It isn’t a clone of anything in particular, though the sound is definitely more American than British. Instead, this little powerhouse is ready to carve out its own sonic niche in the small amp scene.... Amazing headroom. Warm clean tones.

DV 40 212

“The first thing I noticed about the DV40 212 was its weight: at less than 37 lbs, it’s a little over half the heft of an AC30. DV Mark accomplishes this by using Italian poplar for the cabinets (which is lighter than most woods) and installing B&C neodymium-magnet speakers, which are significantly lighter than speakers with alnico or ceramic magnets. The result shaves off more pounds than Jenny Craig. The back-saving properties of this EL34-powered combo are just the beginning of its special features. Do you prefer 6L6 or 6V6 power tubes? Just pop them in. The amp will bias them and automatically rebias as needed to compensate for uneven wear. You can also set the bias to High for a more present sound, or Low to preserve tube life.
Another bit of new DV Mark technology is a service port that connects to a computer interface (not included) so you or a tech can monitor the bias, plate voltage, and condition of the tubes.
Many 2x12 combos are too loud for some gigs, and the DV40 solves this problem via its Continuous Power Control (CPC). In pentode mode, this feature lets you vary the amp’s power from the full 40 watts (class AB) incrementally down to 1 watt (class A), or from 15 watts (class AB) to one-half watt (class A) in triode mode. This gave me a wide range of volume options—from neighbor-friendly to front-row assault—without signifycantly altering the tone. As you might expect, though, the sound opens up a bit more in the higher-wattage modes. With the CPC full up, the DV40 delivered a warm, clean sound, similar to the Galileo’s, with plenty of headroom. Either channel can be used for lead or rhythm with slightly different voicings. The overdrive sound was smooth and creamy, and it cleaned up easily when I backed off my guitar’s volume. The footswitchable gain boost is a handy feature. With the gain set low and the volume turned up, it works as a volume boost. At higher gain settings, especially with the CPC set to low power, it boosts gain. As with the Galileo 15, the DV40 doesn’t sound particularly like any other amp, but its open, neutral voice readily accommodates whatever guitar and/or pedal you run into it. The DV40 212 is a must to audition if you are tired of hauling that Twin or AC30, but it’s also worth a look for anyone seeking a versatile combo that’s suitable for any musical genre short of all-out metal. Note too that the DV Mark 40-watt sound is available in a single-channel format with the Little 40 L34 and Little 40 L6 heads, both of which have all of the other goodies found in the combo version.”

Bad Boy 120 

“If your music involves moving some serious air, DV Mark’s three-channel Bad Boy 120 is wooing you. This head, which uses twin KT88 output tubes to pump out 120 watts of stadium power, weighs in at a mere 21 pounds. And get this: The DV Mark C412 cabinet I tested it with is rated at 600 watts and tilts the scales at a feathery 47 pounds thanks to the Italian poplar construction and Neodymium speakers. The included Smart Controller footswitch remembers all loop and boost assignments, even after being powered off. Also included are individual switching jacks for the channels, effects loop, and the Solo function for players with MIDI systems that send switching information. A pro rig indeed!
The Bad Boy’s clean channel has headroom for days, facilitating chiming arpeggios capable of ringing through a double bass drum kit, or serving up spanking-clean funk rhythms at volumes that could cut though a full contingent of keyboards and horns. You can overdrive this channel by cranking the Gain knob, but why bother when Channel 2 is waiting in the wings? I was highly impressed by the adaptability of the second channel. Tweaking the Gain, Master, Solo boost, and effective tone controls, I was able to dial in everything from Texas blues to classic rock crunch to Iron Maiden-level metal. For solos, Channel 3 has all the gain and sustain you need while maintaining good dynamics and touch sensitivity. It is rare that I hear a three-channel amp where all the channels are equally appealing, but the Bad Boy 120 fits that description. And keep in mind that adding a boost or overdrive pedal in front of this head effectively doubles its sonic possibilities. This amp certainly offers a high degree of flexibility, but if you are into heavier sounds, be sure to check out the Triple 6 head ($1,499 street), which is essentially a Bad Boy 120 that’s voiced for metal and packs even more gain. Either way, with so much going for these amps in the tone and portability departments, anyone who needs this kind of power should give these big rigs from DV Mark a shot.”

Check out the full review here



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