From High-Gain Lead To Vintage-Voiced Clean: Check Out The Epiphone Blues Custom 30 Amplifier

(Epiphone | Posted 2007-10-14)

From High-Gain Lead To Vintage-Voiced Clean: Check Out The Epiphone Blues Custom 30 Amplifier

There are so many new tube amplifier designs on the market today, alongside reissues of many of the classics, that wading into the market to try to find the amp that’s right for you can feel like a plunge into murky, tangled waters. Throw into the pool the plethora of ever-improving solid-state and digital designs now available, and the range of choices gets more dizzying still. Talk to most tone-hungry guitarists, however—whether they’re pros or devoted weekend players—and most of them still prefer juicy, dynamic tube sounds, and enough versatility to cover a range of gigs without so many bells and whistles that it starts to detract from the core tone of the amplifier. What they want, in short, is the kind of amp that can be harder and harder to find amid the swamp of “special options” and pseudo-tech double talk out there today.

Enter the Blues Custom 30, Epiphone’s workhorse for everyone from the aspiring hobbyist to the touring musician. Designed and engineered by Gibson Labs in the USA, the Blues Custom 30 retails for a price that just about any serious player can afford, while offering enough power and sound-shaping features to cover virtually any gig you could book, and achieves it all without cluttering the all-tube signal path or sapping the core tonality that shapes the beating heart of any great amp.

Features include:

• All-tube signal path, with five 12AX7 preamp tubes and two 5881 (ruggedized 6L6GC) output tubes

• Genuine tube rectification from a 5AR5, for a dynamic, responsive playing feel

• Switchable output between 30 watts RMS in pentode class AB, and 15 watts RMS in triode class A

• Two 12 inch custom designed Eminence Lady Luck speakers

• Switchable independent or interactive EQ modes

• Tube-powered and transformer-driven genuine spring reverb

• DC voltage filaments on the preamp tubes for low-noise operation

• Multiple outputs for matching alternative speaker impedance loads, from 4 ohms to 16 ohms

Designed to offer both vintage and contemporary boutique-grade tones at an extremely affordable price, the Custom Blues 30 fits the bill for a broad range of playing styles. “This amp runs the gamut, from entry players who are looking for a solid, dependable amp, to pros who need to dial in a myriad of sounds quickly and effectively,” says Alan Shipston, Gibson’s Product Development Manager. “The combo excels in the blues realm, but it can rock out or get just as mellow as you want it to, making it an amp for the everyman.”

Put aside all the old distinctions of “British”- or “American”-flavored amps. The Blues Custom 30 offers a range of best-of-both-worlds voicings that run from classic British crunch to the solid lows and sparkling highs of vintage ’60s-era American tube amps, all topped off with the contemporary high-gain capabilities of Channel II. Couple this with impressive flexibility from a control panel that’s extremely straightforward to work with, and you’ve got an amp for all seasons.

“Working guitarists need certain tools,” Shipston continues. “The minimum is channel switching, to enable an instant leap between clean and dirty sounds via the footswitch. The Drive control in Channel II blends in the right amount of gain as needed by the player, and the switchable Independent/Interactive EQ allows for multiple tone shaping.” In addition to these, the Blues Custom 30 has the ability to adapt to a broad range of venue sizes, a rare and valuable ability in any one amp, thanks to its 30W pentode/15W triode switching. At full power, it’s enough to fill a large stage with solid, punchy sound; whack it down to 15 watts, however, and you can still crank it into the tone zone in smaller clubs without constantly being nagged to “turn it down!” The half-power switching also makes it a lot easier to dial in appropriate levels for home recording, a major plus for any amp these days.

From wailing high-gain lead to shimmering, vintage-voiced clean—and every stop in between—the Epiphone Blues Custom 30 brings all-tube tone in a solid, gig-ready package that fits the major demands of most players on the scene today. Professional-grade tube tone was never so easy to acquire. Crank one up today.

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