Review: Warwick LWA 1000


Warwick LWA 1000 – opener

German maker Warwick is offering a wide range of different bass amplifiers alongside their famous basses.

One of their newest products is the Warwick LWA 1000 – an ultra-compact, yet very powerful amp head.


Warwick LWA 1000 – front

The Warwick LWA 1000 (current price in Finland: 789 €) is small and lightweight enough (2.75 kg) to fit into many gig bags. Optionally, you can also get a rack installation kit or a padded shoulder bag for this head.

As hinted at by its name, the LWA 1000 offers you up to 1,000 Watts of power (into a 4 Ohm cabinet, 500 W into 8 Ohms). Warwick have managed to squeeze this all into a compact package by using a Class D power amplifier.

Warwick LWA 1000 – front panel inputs

Warwick’s two-channel preamp has been transplanted from their Hellborg-series, and promises to offer audiophile sound quality from its low-noise Class A circuits.

The two channels of the LWA 1000 are identical, and they can either be used to amplify two different instruments (each plugged into their own input) or to offer two different sounds for use with a single bass (a footswitch comes included with the amp).

Warwick LWA 1000 – front panel EQs

There’s a four-band EQ section in each channel, offering up to 12 dBs of cut/boost per band.

Warwick LWA 1000 – front panel comp + master

The last link in the preamps’ signal chain is Warwick’s easy-to-use compressor.

The master section offers an auxiliary input to feed your mp3-player into, as well as a headphones output for silent practice.

Warwick LWA 1000 – angle 2

The stylishly understated look of the Warwick LWA 1000 calls to mind high-end HiFi-equipment. You can get the amp head in two finishes – brushed aluminium and matte black.

Warwick LWA 1000 – back

”Lightweight and compact” doesn’t equal ”stripped-down” in the LWA’s case – this is a fully featured bass amplifier:

Of the four jacks on the back panel one is the tuner output, two are used for the effects loop, and the last one is an unbalanced, line level output. This Warwick head also sports a built-in DI-box with its dedicated Pre/Post-switch, as well as a ground lift switch for safe earth loop breaking.

Warwick LWA 1000 – angle

In addition to the amp head itself (and its power cord), the package includes a footswitch and a long, pro-quality TRS-lead (aka a stereo cable).

Warwick LWA 1000 – footswitch

You use your regular instrument lead to connect your bass to the footswitch, and the TRS-cable goes between the footswitch and either one of the LWA 1000’s channel inputs. The TRS tip carries the bass signal, while the ring connection is used to switch between amp channels.

Warwick LWA 1000 + WAC 410

I tested the Warwick LWA 1000 through a Warwick WCA 410 cabinet.

The pro-quality WCA 410 (current price in Finland: 380 €) is a chunky bass-reflex cabinet, equipped with four ten-inch speakers and a four-inch treble horn.


Warwick LWA 1000 – glowing

Warwick’s LWA 1000 offers truckloads of ultra-clean, quality bass tone in a very compact format. In contrast to many other bass amplifiers the LWA adds only very little unwanted colouration to your instrument’s tone.

Some bassists rely on certain sonic artifacts from their amp for their own signature sound (like tube saturation or distortion, or a non-linear frequency curve), and this is as valid an approach as others (rock on, guys!). Others – myself included – get their kicks from just the type of clean and linear amplification the Warwick LWA 1000 head provides.

The channel EQs work like a dream and the built-in compressors are musical and intuitive to use.

In the studio you will appreciate this head’s processor controlled ventilator, which works very quietly, and only springs into action when needed.

The sound clips I have recorded will give you a good idea of the sheer power this Warwick provides. If you listen closely, you can hear the metal grilles of the studio’s air conditioning system rattle along with the playing in places:


Warwick LWA 1000 – logo

Warwick’s LWA 1000 is just my kind of bass amplifier. The sound is very clear and dynamic, and there’s enough power on tap to shut up your guitarist.


Warwick LWA 1000

789 €

Finnish distributor: Musamaailma



+ power

+ size

+ lightweight

+ ultra-clean tone

+ footswitch included

Review: EBS FuzzMo

EBS FuzzMo – top

The good people of EBS Sweden are now bringing a healthy dose of fuzz to the bassist’s toolbox.


EBS FuzzMo – angle 1

The EBS FuzzMo (current price in Finland: 169,90 €) is a fuzz-type high gain distortion developed especially for bass.

This stompbox is made in China to the EBS’ exacting standards. It’s a sturdy pedal with very positive feeling controls.

The FuzzMo can be powered in three ways:

If you use an EBS amp from the Drome-, Gorm-, HD- or TD-series, you can use a TRS-cable (aka a stereo cable) to feed phantom power from the amp to the effect pedal.

EBS FuzzMo – battery

The FuzzMo pedal also runs off a standard 9 V battery, but you will need a screwdriver to take off the base plate first.

EBS FuzzMo – angle 2

The third alternative is to employ a Boss-type power supply (9 V DC, centre negative) to fire up the stompbox.


EBS FuzzMo – controls

Even though the EBS FuzzMo looks somewhat similar to the company’s Billy Sheehan -pedal, the controls on the fuzz work in a different way.

The FuzzMo doesn’t do ”nice and sweet” – the Gain control offers fuzz from medium-crunchy to balls-to-the-wall-fuzz. Shape adjusts the tone of the fuzz effect – not in the way a traditional tone control does, but rather by changing the waveform of the fuzz signal. At seven o’clock the sound is quite warm and organic with the waveform approaching a square, while five o’clock is far brighter and more aggressive with the waveform resembling a triangle.

The mini-switch underneath the FuzzMo-logo (called Character) also plays an important part in the stompbox’ sound:

Switched to the left no EQ’ing is applied to the signal (FLAT). In the middle position there’s a slight attenuation of the mid-range. SCOOP on the right side results in a very Metal-style scooped-mid tone with plenty of bite.

Modern bass effects often split the bass signal at the input. One half is fed through the effect, while the other half is kept dry and mixed into the wet signal before it reaches the output. The advantage of doing things this way is that it enables you to keep your bottom end and dynamic attack intact.

This is just the way EBS’ FuzzMo works, too:

You use the Volume knob to adjust the fuzz signal’s volume level, and then use the Blend control to add the desired amount of dry bass. This feature is especially important in fuzz pedals for bass, because the hard clipping of a fuzz effect practically negates all your playing dynamics by design. With the FuzzMo there will be no problems with your tone becoming mushy, clogged up and indistinct, because the Blend control lets you restore your bass guitar’s punch and low end.

Here’s a bit recorded with a Jazz Bass (both pickups on) and a relatively low Gain setting:

In this clip I added some more fuzz and bite to a Rickenbacker played with a plectrum:

Thanks to the ability to blend in the dry signal, the EBS FuzzMo also works extremely well with a five-string (in this case a Yamaha BB with active EMGs):

Note that on all these audio clips the Gain control stayed below one o’clock. If you want you can take things much, much further with this EBS-pedal!

EBS FuzzMo – angle 3

The FuzzMo is a typical EBS-pedal – it’s a sturdy, pro-quality stompbox and it sounds great. If you’re a purveyor of sleazy, dirty and aggressive bass tones, you should definitely give this baby a spin!


EBS Sweden FuzzMo

169,90 €

Finnish distributor: F-Musiikki



+ build quality

+ can be powered in three ways

+ sound optimised for bass

+ three-way EQ-switch

+ Blend control

+ offers a lot of gain


– no quick access to battery

Testipenkissä: Albion TCT35C


Albion TCT35 – with Telecaster

Albion Amplification on Suomalaisille muusikoille uusi tuttavuus, vaikka firma on valmistunut kitara- ja bassovahvistimia jo vuodesta 2010.

Firman takana on yksi vahvistinalan suurimmista guruista, Steve Grindrod. Grindrod toimi vuodesta 1973 lähtien Marshallin pääsuunnittelijana yli 20 vuotta, minkä jälkeen hän siirtyi 2000-luvun alussa vielä muutamaksi vuodeksi Voxille.

Albion syntyi vuonna 2009 yhteistyönä Grindrodin ja kiinalaisen IAG Group -konsernin välillä. Albion-vahvistimet valmistetaan Kiinassa heidän omassa tehtaassaan Steve Grindrodin johdolla, joka asuu paikan päällä.


Albion TCT35 – full front

Albion TCT35C (suositushinta 865 €) kuuluu firman TCT-sarjaan, joka on suunniteltu monipuolisuutta arvostavia kitaristeja varten.

TCT-sarjan vahvistimet ovat kaksikanavaisia täysputkikoneita hyvin avoimella, ja paljon säätövaraa tarjoavalla arkkitehtuurilla. TCT-sarjaan kuuluu tällä hetkellä kaksi komboa ja kolme nuppia.

Albion TCT35 – side view 2

TCT35C:n kotelo on valmistettu laadukkaasta koivuvanerista. Albion-logoa kantava palkki on täyttä pähkinäpuuta, joka on saanut ylleen kiiltävän mustan lakkauksen (myös tummanpunainen versio on saatavilla).

Viimeistelyn taso on kiitettävän korkea ja TCT35C näyttää – ainakin omasta mielestäni – asiallisen tyylikkäältä.

Kombon paino on noin 24 kiloa, mikä on maltillista tämänkokoiselle putkikombolle.

Albion TCT35 – full back

Kotelon selkäpuoli on puoliksi avoin. Putket on sijoitettu turvallisesti metalliritilän taakse.

Albion TCT35 – preamp valves

Albionin TCT35C:ssä kolme 12AX7-putkea (toiselta nimeltään ECC83) on etuvahvistimen perustana. Vahvistimesta löytyvä neljäs 12AX7 toimii tässä kombossa päätevahvistimen vaiheenkääntäjänä.

Albion TCT35 – power amp valves

Päätevahvistin toimii kahdella 6L6-putkella, joista irtoaa noin 35 wattia (RMS) tehoa.

Albion-vahvistimissa käytetään IAG Groupin omia laadukkaita audiomuuntajia, jotka ovat ennestään tuttuja esimerkiksi Hifi-puolen Leak- ja Luxman-putkivahvistimista.

Albion TCT35 – G1280-VSR-16 speaker

Samoin kuin Albionin käyttämät piirilevyt ja metalliosat, myös firman vahvistimissa ja kaapeissa käytetyt kaiuttimet tehdään Albionin omassa tehtaassa Steve Grindrodin tarkkojen speksien mukaan.

TCT35C:hen on asennettu 12-tuumainen Albion G1280-VSR-16, jolla on 16 ohmin impedanssi ja 80 watin tehonkesto.

Albion TCT35 – footswitch

Kombon mukana tulevalla jalkakytkimellä voi vaihtaa vahvistimen kanavia, sekä mykistää kombon digitaalikaiun.

Tehtaalta kytkin toimitetaan siten, että jakki on oikealla puolella. Johdon paikan pystyy kuitenkin vaihtamaan kätevästi ja nopeasti irrottamalla ylhäällä näkyvät kuusi ruuvia, nostamalla kytkinmoduulin ulos kotelosta, ja asentamalla sen toisinpäin. Nerokasta!


Albion TCT35 – front panel

Albionin TCT35C tarjoaa kaksi kanavaa, joiden välillä on yksi ratkaiseva ero:

A-kanavassa signaali kulkee ensin EQ-osaston läpi, siis ennen varsinaista gain-osastoa. B-kanavassa taas signaali etenee tulojakista gain-osastoon ja vasta sen jälkeen taajuuskorjaimille. Vaikka kumpikin kanava tarjoaa soundeja puhtaasta high-gainiin, kanavat kuulostavat – ja ”tuntuvat” – juuri näiden eri reitityksien vuoksi erilaiselta.

TCT-sarjassa erikoisuutena ovat kanavien kaksi gain-säädintä – Gain ja Drive. Gain-säätimellä säädetään valitun kanavan ensimmäisen esivahvistusasteen vahvistustasoa. Toista vahvistusastetta taas kontrolloidaan Drive-säätimellä. Yhdistämällä näiden kahden vahvistuspiirien eri vaikutuksia signaaliin, saadaan luotua hyvin erityylisiä soundeja.

Albion TCT35 – front panel 2

Master-osastostakin löytyy muutama TCT35C:n monipuolisuutta tukeva ominaisuus:

Edge-säädin on päätevahvistimeen vaikuttava preesens-/diskanttisuodin, jolla soundiin saa hyvin tarkasti lisättyä oman maun mukaan purevuutta tai pehmeyttä. F’BK-kytkin (lyhenne sanasta ”Feedback”) tarjoaa kaksi erilaista päätevahvistimen perusluonetta – joko hieman purevampi, hyvin tarkalla atakilla varustettu vaihtoehto tai sitten kermaisempi versio muhkealla kompressiolla.

Grindrod on valinnut TCT-sarjaan tietoisesti digitaalisen kaiun, koska se toimii hänen mielestään paremmin tehokkaassa high gain -vahvistimessa.

Tehokytkimen ansiosta Albionin tehon voi pudottaa alhaisemmaksi studio- tai olohuonekäyttöä varten. Koska kyseessä on putkivahvistin, tehon pudottamisen (toivottu) lieveilmiö on pääteasteen alhaisempi headroom ja lisätty kompressio.

Albion TCT35 – back panel

TCT35C:n efektilenkki on toteutettu transistoritekniikalla, koska Steve Grindrod haluaa pitää signaalin mahdollisimman puhtaana tässä kohtaa signaaliketjua.


Albion TCT35 – side view 1

Albion TCT35C -kombo on erittäin monipuolinen peli, sen avoimen kanava-arkkitehtuurin ja erittäin tehokkaiden EQ-osastojen ansiosta.

Tämä ei todellakaan ole yhden tai kahden soundin putkivahvistin, vaan kokeilunhaluisen soundimetsästäjän unelmakone, joka kattaa varmalla otteellaan hyvin laajan spektrin soundeja.

Vaikka molemmista kanavista irtoaa sekä puhtaita että särösoundeja, tarjoaa kanava B kuitenkin selvästi enemmän gainia kuin A-kanava. ”Fender-” ja ”Marshall-tyylinen” ovat käsitteinä sinänsä liian kapeat kuvailemaan A- ja B-kanavan perusluonetta, mutta eroja kyllä löytyy etenkin keskialueen soinnissa ja basson muhkeudessa.

Erittäin tehokkaat EQ:t, sekä kombon Edge-säädin ja F’BK-kytkin lisäävät reseptiin ihan omat mausteensa. Albion-kombon käyttö on sinänsä intuitiivista, mutta vahvistin on niin monipuolinen, että kaikkiin ominaisuuksiin kannattaa todellakin tutustua rauhassa.

Nämä kahdeksan audiopätkää ovat vain pieni näyte Albion TCT35C:n tarjoamista soundeista.

Lähdetään liikkeelle kahdella puhtaalla esimerkillä A-kanavan tarjonnasta – ensin Stratocaster:

…ja sitten Les Paul-tyylinen Hamer Studio Custom:

Tässä kaksi crunch-tyylistä särövaihtoehtoa A-kanavasta – Stratocasterilla:

…ja Hamerilla soitettuna:

Tällaisia crunch-tyylisiä soundeja löysin B-kanavasta – Strato ensin:

…sitten tulee Hamer:

Ja lopuksi vielä kaksi high gain -pätkää – ensin vintage-tyylinen Stratocaster:

…ja viimeisenä humbuckereilla varustettu Hamer (drop-D-virityksessä):


Albion TCT35 – teaser

Vau, mikä vahvistin! En keksi mikään musiikkilajia, johon Albionin TCT35C-kombo ei sopisi.

TCT35C on erittäin monipuolinen putkivahvistin todella terveellä soundilla, joka on kompaktista koostaan huolimatta varsin kovaääninen.

Steve Grindrodin pitkän linjan vahvistinalan kokemus näkyy Albionin laadukkaassa toteutuksessa, kombon monipuolisissa ominaisuuksissa, sekä TCT35C:n erittäin alhaisessa kohinatasossa (jopa gain-säätimien äärirajoilla).


Albion TCT35C

Suositushinta – 865 € (arvioitu katuhinta noin 800 €)

Lisätiedot: Profitron



+ hinta-laatu-suhde

+ monipuolinen gain-rakenne

+ tehokkat kolmialueiset EQ:t

+ soundi

+ tehonpudotuskytkin

+ jalkakytkin kuuluu hintaan

Review: Marshall DSL5C


Marshall DSL5C – close-up 1

Marshall’s DSL5C combo is the newest – and smallest – member of the DSL-series.

The DSL-range has its roots in the year 1997, when Marshall introduced their – now legendary – JCM2000 Dual Super Lead -head. The JCM2000 was the first Marshall amp that combined a vintage-voiced Plexi-channel and a modern Ultra Gain -channel in one chassis.

The production run of the original DSL-series was discontinued in 2007, with the JVM-range superseding it. The new DSL-series offers the company’s most-affordable all-valve amps to date, which are produced at Marshall’s own facility in Vietnam.


Marshall DSL5C – full front

As you can easily guess by its name, the Marshall DSL5C (current street price in Finland around 520 €) is a five-Watt, two-channel combo.

In terms of its looks and the quality of its finish, this is a genuine Marshall. Quality control at the Vietnamese factory seems to as stringent as in Britain, and the combo looks great and feels well-made and sturdy.

Marshall DSL5C – full back

The DSL5C comes with an open back cabinet. The upper opening in the cabinet’s back is covered with a metal grille to keep stray fingers and hot tubes apart form each other.

Marshall DSL5C – valves

This little Marshall uses three preamp valves (ECC83/12AX7), plus a single power amp tube (ECC99/12BH7).

Marshall DSL5C – Celestion Ten 30

The DSL5C’s speaker is a ten-inch Celestion Ten 30, which is meant to provide a big, warm bottom-end, coupled with a healthy dose of ”Celestion grunt” and bite.

Marshall DSL5C – angle 1

This compact combo weighs less than five kilos, making it very easy to carry, using its rubberised handle.


Marshall DSL5C – front panel

The Marshall DSL5C is a two-channel, all-valve combo:

Channel one – Classic Gain – is voiced to give you a classic Marshall 1959 -style tone and gain structure. The Classic-channel goes from bright and clean all the way to mid-level, classic crunch. Due to the fact that this channel doesn’t have a master volume, distorted sounds can only be had at very high volume levels – unless you switch to Low Power mode (more on this further down).

True to its name, the second channel – Ultra Gain – is made for modern, saturated high-gain sounds.

Both channels share a three-band EQ-section, which means a certain amount of tonal compromises will have to be made. But thanks to the way both channels have been voiced, a shared EQ doesn’t pose any real problems in the Marshall DSL5C’s case.

Pushing in the Tone Shift switch will give you a thinned out, sharper mid-range, making it ideal for many Thrash Metal tones. Engaging Deep bolsters the bottom-end at the output stage for a fatter sound.

Marshall DSL5C – back panel

The back panel offers you an effects loop, as well as a footswitch jack for the DSL5C’s sturdy channel switch (supplied, see pic below).

There’s a very nifty speaker-emulated output designed into this Marshall combo, which works in two different ways, depending on the setting of the Power-switch:

In Full Power mode the output gives out a line level signal, which can be sent to a mixing console or your recording equipment. The speaker will run even with a plug connected to the output. In Low Power mode (the manual says 0.5 Watts, the website 1 W) the output level is changed to work with headphones, and plugging a pair of cans in will mute the speaker. The Aux In only works in Low-mode, and its signal will be sent directly to the headphones.

Marshall footswitch


Marshall DSL5C – close-up 2

In my opinion Marshall’s DSL5C is a fantastic-sounding little Rock- and Metal-combo, ideally suited for use in your bedroom, for practice, for recording and for backstage warm-up.

My only small niggle would be with the emulated output of our review sample, which produced more hiss than what I’d have expected. Anyhow, I was able to EQ out most of the hiss for the sound clips, meaning it really isn’t that much of a problem. And then there’s always the possibility that there was something wrong with this particular combo…

The DSL5C’s two channels enable you to get a wide variety of different Rock-, Metal- and Thrash-sounds out of this little combo, depending on your gain-, volume- and EQ-settings, but also on the power mode chosen. Going to Low Power doesn’t only drop your output levels, but also adds a lot of tasty, squashy power amp compression. This means that you can choose between very tight sounds (Full Power) and fatter, compressed tones (Low Power) by using the switch on the back panel.

All sound clips have been recorded in Full Power mode to allow for direct comparison between the miked up sound of the speaker and the speaker-emulated output.

For starters I played my Stratocaster through a clean setting on the Classic-channel (recorded with a Shure SM57):

…and here’s what the same bit sounds like recorded directly via the emulated output:

Here’s the Classic-channel and the neck pickup of my double-humbucker Hamer Studio Custom (miked up):

…and the same clip recorded direct:

Here’s my Strat into the Ultra-channel (Tone Shift off), recorded with the SM57:

…and its speaker-emulated counterpart:

This is the Hamer, tuned to Drop-D into the Ultra-channel (Tone Shift on), miked up:

…and this is the direct recorded version:


Marshall DSL5C – Hamer Studio Custom

Marshall’s cute and cuddly new five-watter, the DSL5C, is a great choice as a first tube combo (”My first Marshall”), as well as a precision tool for any guitarist in those situations, when high wattage is more of a problem than an advantage (like at home or in the project studio).

The DSL5C delivers genuine, all-valve Marshall-tone in a handy package, and the combo’s Vietnamese origin means it’s also very affordable.

Marshall DSL5C – angle 2


Marshall DSL5C

Finnish street price ca. 520 €

Finnish distributor: EM Nordic

We’d like to thank DLX Music Helsinki for the loan of the review amp!



+ value-for-money

+ finish/workmanship

+ sound

+ two power modes

+ speaker-emulated output

+ footswitch included


– noise levels of speaker-emulated output (see text)

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