DV Mark has revamped its DV40 212 combo for 2014 with some very cool new features including a cosmetic revamp, which addresses one of the main criticisms of that amp: the layout. Before the controls were located on top of the unit, now they’re punched up on the front and are aligned in an easy-to-use fashion. Now each channel is off in a little section by itself, with the master, presence and reverb controls in between. But let’s step back and take a broader look.
TAKE YOUR MARKS
The DV40 212 is a two-channel 40 watt combo amp, designed for either intimate gigs or louder concerts. Each channel has its own dedicated tone stack with bass, middle and treble controls as well as a gain control and a volume control. Channel 1 is the Clean channel and channel 2 is Drive, although there’s a fair amount of overlap as we’ll soon see. Channel switching is via a little front-panel switch or with a footswitch which connects via a TRS jack in the back. There’s a series effects loop too, with a level switch (0/-15dB) for selecting between rack and stomp effects.
The tubes include a single ECC83 in the preamp section, with a pair of EL34s and an ECC83 in the output section. The reverb is digital, and is designed to be a ‘next generation’ reverb, with an emphasis on being sweet-sounding and natural. The previous incarnation of the DV40 had an Accutronics spring reverb.
The speakers are a pair of DV Mark Neoclassic 12” drivers, and the cabinet is surprisingly light (only 20kg, which for a combo is practically nothing). Construction quality seems generally good, although I did notice the covering peeling away from the front panel.
THIS IS 40
The first channel is capable of everything from a clear, sparkling bell tone, to a mean and punchy countrified clean with a decent amount of overdrive. From memory it seems to push out a little more gain than the previous version of the amp did, and you’ll even get up to a ‘George Lynch rhythm tone’ level of crunch out of this channel. The cleans are so beautiful and distinct that you’ll probably find yourself spending more time than you planned to just exploring what the clean channel can do. It’s great for jazz, blues and country, and it’s got plenty of grunt for AC/DC-style rhythms as well. The dirt channel sounds big and fat, with plenty of available gain from light overdrive to Vernon Reid-esque saturation. It’s not a particularly tight-sounding channel so you might not want to use it for brutal syncopated palm-muted metal riffs and downtuning: the low end is a little bit too full and thick for that kind of thing. But if you’re after a full-bodied lead tone, muscular chords — say, more the Mastodon end of heavy tone than the Pantera end — you’ll find a lot to love here. It responds beautifully to changes in pick attack and phrasing, and equally well to volume control level changes.
The reverb sounds very ethereal and spacious. I think I prefer this to the old version’s spring reverb, since spring reverb has such ‘classic rock’ connotations (not that that’s a bad thing) that perhaps some players might prefer this more studio-style ‘verb. Oh the DV Mark logo lights up green when you’re on the Clean channel and red when you’re on Drive. How cool is that!
DV ON THE RADIO
The DV40 212 isn’t a modern metal amp — it lacks a high gain channel in the chugga-chugga metal sense — but if you play blues-rock, fusion, indie, classic rock, psychedelia, stoner rock or even certain kinds of vintage metal, there are plenty of tones in here for you to really dig into. And if you were on the fence about the previous version of the amp, this new iteration might just push you over the line.
Hits and Misses
Flexible Clean channel
No bedroom level: it’s either loud or louder
- SPEAKER SIZE: 2x12” DV Mark NEOCLASSIC
- SPEAKER IMPEDANCE: 8 ohm
- VOLTAGE SELECTOR: 120V/240V
- DIMENSIONS: 70.5cm x 27cm x 58cm
- WEIGHT: 44.31 lbs / 20.1 Kg