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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-13-2012, 07:17 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Adelaide
Posts: 2,561
Reviews: 34
NAD - Valvetone Uniwatt and Jet City JCA12XS

Belated NAD!

So, as some of you will know, I moved to Adelaide from the UK about a year ago and had to leave all my gear behind. I've managed to get three guitars over here, but I have been surviving using a Boss MicroBR and some PC speakers to give me any kind of electrified noise.

I recently bought a Valvetone Uniwatt, and a Jet City 1X12 so I could actually hear it.

Valvetone are an Australian brand; read more here: http://valvetone.com.au/

I wanted a small, all valve amp to try and get back into practising with amplification, and also to get a bit more of an understanding as to what valve amps can really do in terms of feel and response. I really wanted to get something with good credentials as I really haven't owned many nice amps over the 20+ years I have been playing. Valvetone amps are all point to point wired.

I tried a few amps out in shops, but the range is limited in Adelaide and Australian prices are onerously high so I started searching the web for clips and came across an Australian forum based on guitar gear:

www.guitargear.net.au

After doing some research I decided to go for a Valvetone Uniwatt.

Amp Specs:

ValveTone Uniwatt

Output Power: 1.3W @ 4Ω, 1.0W @ 8Ω, 0.6W @ 16Ω

Valve Complement: 1 x 6T10, 1 x 12AX7. Also includes a spare 6T10.

Bias Type: Cathode bias.

Just to be clear; this is a naked chassis with fixing bolts. There is no cabinet supplied. I don't know about the rest of the products they produce.

Build quality is extremely good and the controls feel smooth but sturdy.

In terms of tone, this amp will go from glassy cleans to dirty grit, probably something around the Slash's Appetite for Destruction tones. There is a gain switch which acts as a gain cut in the up position to give usable clean headroom and more dirt in the lower position, with the middle being normal I guess

It is pretty hard to get a bad or unusable sound out of this amp and it is very responsive to changes in pick up and guitar. It probably favours strats and singles on the cleaner settings, but it is possible to get a nice clean sound from a les paul.

On the dirtier settings this amp is a real joy to play with les paul or with humbuckers in general and it gives up some seriously good tones.

It won't do really heavy stuff without a boost, but I understand that it takes pedals well.

I find myself playing on cleaner settings a lot more than I used to with this amp. It is just a joy to plug into.

The speaker is good. It is well made and the option to make it a semi open back gives a little more scope to play with the sound. Not much more to say about that really.

The bottom line for me is this is one of the best I've played and I would no hesitate to buy another. If you are in Australia and need a low wattage pratice amp you really ought to be checking these guys out.

And now some clips:

Clean

http://youtu.be/zYoeksuCQO0

Dirty

http://youtu.be/Q96xzLlmOqA

Dirty (with beer)

http://youtu.be/vNY0Yv5jIAc
nickcoumbe is offline  
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-13-2012, 07:26 AM
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Central IL
Posts: 14
Re: NAD - Valvetone Uniwatt and Jet City JCA12XS

Very nice man, how much did it set you back?
schmitzel88 is offline  
post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-14-2012, 04:48 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Adelaide
Posts: 2,561
Reviews: 34
Re: NAD - Valvetone Uniwatt and Jet City JCA12XS

Quote:
Originally Posted by schmitzel88 View Post
Very nice man, how much did it set you back?
Thanks dude.

AU$220 and AU$150 for the speaker.

The speaker was in a guitar shop "going out of business sale". The amp was bought direct from the manufacturer on a forum, so these prices are not representative.

Having said that, the amps really aren't a lot more to buy retail, and I defy anyone to buy a better low wattage, handwired, all tube amp for that kind of money.
nickcoumbe is offline  
post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-14-2012, 05:37 AM
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Canberra, Australia
Posts: 9,008
Reviews: 120
Re: NAD - Valvetone Uniwatt and Jet City JCA12XS

Sounds great, I don't think I've seen them before either. Definitely interested in these!
LonePhantom is offline  
post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-16-2012, 04:14 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Adelaide
Posts: 2,561
Reviews: 34
Re: NAD - Valvetone Uniwatt and Jet City JCA12XS

Quote:
Originally Posted by LonePhantom View Post
Sounds great, I don't think I've seen them before either. Definitely interested in these!
Definitely worth a look.

I kind of took all the glowing reviews that were posted on the forum with a pinch of salt, but I paid a little more than the cost of a pedal for the amp so I was willing to take a risk. I was a bit sceptical about the whole thing as we aren't exactly swimming in spare cash (over year to save up and justify buying a practice amp) but I think it was worth it.

I have to say that I am extremely impressed with both the professionalism and quality that comes out of Valvetone. The website states that it is a side business, but the amp arrived promptly, well packaged with instruction and spare valves. Add to that that it is a very well made and great sounding amp and you cannot go wrong.

I am keen to check out more of the products as money and situations allow, as well as looking at getting a custom made Woogie, since they are based in Adelaide.
nickcoumbe is offline  
post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 05:23 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Adelaide
Posts: 2,561
Reviews: 34
Re: NAD - Valvetone Uniwatt and Jet City JCA12XS

Quick update:

Had this amp for around three months now and it still impresses.

Just found some settings that sound great with a Les Paul.

I'd seriously consider buy a higher wattage version if'n had the requirement.
nickcoumbe is offline  
post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 08:42 AM
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Southern California
Posts: 1,081
Reviews: 130
Re: NAD - Valvetone Uniwatt and Jet City JCA12XS

Jet City cabs are an excellent value for the price!
racerevlon is offline  
post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-21-2013, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Adelaide
Posts: 2,561
Reviews: 34
Re: NAD - Valvetone Uniwatt and Jet City JCA12XS

Agreed. For the price it is hard to imagine finding anything better.

I read a lot on TGP and guitargear.net about replacing speakers with x (usually v30) and and I am sure that there are better units than the generic eminence that is installed, but I find it hard to believe that it is going to make a night and day.

Having said that I probably will do some swaps at some point.
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