DV MARK DV40 212 COMBO GUITAR AMPLIFIER

CMC Music Australia | (02) 9905 2511 | www.cmcmusic.com.au | RRP: $2295

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

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Improved reverb

Cool lights

Flex­i­ble Clean channel

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No bed­room level: it’s either loud or louder

Rough fin­ish­ing.

Specs

  • 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

 

 

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