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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 10:09 am 
Bottle Rocket

Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 10:16 am
Posts: 7
I've had my Express 5:25 Plus combo for a couple of months now, long enough to say we're not honeymooning anymore. So I thought I'd scribble up some thoughts about it. I got mine used, and it has the original V30.

First of all, the clean mode on channel one is just beautiful. I like a warm, thick clean tone with some top end sparkle, and it's easy to get that kind of sound from the Express. There's also plenty of variety available, thanks to the preset and graphic eq options, so you can easily get more percussive, bitey sounds out of it. The clean channel also has virtually no background hiss, a point that stopped from ever getting a non-plus Express.

At this point I might also note that the reverb is the best I've ever heard in an amp.

The crunch mode has a very nice, organic tone, varying from just a slight breakup to a full blown rock overdrive. Pretty Marshall-esque, but not quite.

Switching over to channel two, I find myself struggling a bit with the blues mode. I can get a nice clean tone out of it, but the overdrive sounds a bit too compressed and somewhat lifeless to be a good low-gain sound. A bit hard to describe accurately, but to my ears the breakup isn't as smooth I'd want it to be.

The burn mode has plenty of gain and compression. I find it's more suitable for sustainy single note solos than tight metal rhythm, however. Although you can tweak it with the graphic eq, I just find the bass a bit soft and not aggressive enough for metal. That's not to say you can't use the amp for that kind of music, just that the Express would not be my first choice aggressive stuff. But like I said, the burn mode is very nice for soloing.

Some general remarks:

I'm playing the amp at home with both channels on 15 watts. I just like the tone better than the 5 watt option, while still being quite suitable for low-volume playing.

Some people seem to find the amp dark sounding, others call it bright. I think it's a very mid-heavy amp. I find myself using the preset eq over halfway all the time on all modes just to scoop the mids. And there's still plenty of mids. Could be the V30 to some extent as well.

At the moment I'm using the blues mode on low gain for my clean sound and cruch for OD. I can dial the blues mode pretty close to the clean, with just a slight loss of top end. And right now I'm liking the crunch mode very much. Compared to the burn, it sounds a bit less compressed, while still having plenty of gain for soloing.

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