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Monday, 30 September 2013
Evil Robot EVR-C30....and finally....Up-Dated....
Sorry to everyone that's moaned....it's
been ages since my last post....I had wanted to do some vids for this
post before I posted it....Summer and doin stuff...you know how it
is....I will add the vids as soon as I get round to doing them....Honest....
So I've had my Evil Robot EVR-C30 for a
bit now...I still don't like the footswitch (F/S)....I know it's
meant to look retro like the amp it's self....but it's nasty and way
to big to fit on my pedal board and in my view not up to gigging and
that is after all what this amp is all about....Your first tube amp
for your first band swaray....The amp itself is built as good as
anything with the vinyl covering applied expertly....No flaky seems
coming unstuck....The chunky handle is a nice touch....I
really....really like the black stove enamel paint on the
chassis....very classy....It would have been nice if the front name
plate was the same black stove enamel....but I guess the matt black
finish looks better on stage....
Apart from the F/S the only cost saving
measure I can see is the metal back plate that caries the ohm
selector switch and F/S input....it's a flat plate that is secured
from the back and would have looked so much better if they had kept
the one from the prototype amp....it looks a bit ugly....oh and the 3
pin power cable input is under the back cover sandwiched between the
transformers making it nearly impossible to plug back in without
removing the back cover....Why not a hard-wired power cable....it
would have been better and saved a few penny’s....
It's a class A amp so it gets hot and
the tiny fan in the back helps to cool things down....but could be
better....One of the first things I did was make up a box to channel
cool air more directly over the tubes....very easy to do and works
100 times better....
The speaker in the C30 is specially
designed to sound like the very worn in speaker in Phil X's Magnatone Tonemaster
that the Evil Robot's are all based on....Apparently the speaker in
Phil's amp could fail at any moment and John Kasha went to great
lengths to match the tone of this nearly dead speaker.... The amp
has a speaker out so that it can be used with a extension cabinet and
act as a head unit....
The Vibrato and Loop is one or the
other....not both....the Vibrato is very nice....but I'm going to
ignore it as I use the tube buffered loop constantly for my delays
and reverb....The loop seems to be very transparent and does what its
supposed to do perfectly....
The High and Low inputs are awesome and
I have been using them more than switching between the A and B
channels....If they could be switched via the footswitch together
with the channels the amp would be as near to perfect as you could
The 3-Way Tone Switch together with the
Tone Control is again all you need if your playing live with a
band....The C30's tone is very in your face and up front
sounding....In the Bright position you get a small volume boost that
adds some grit which is nice....things never get spiky or
harsh....But for home use I have to admit I would prefer a 3 band
“bass, middle, treble” EQ.... Don't get me wrong
I'm not saying the EQ is the Evil Robot's achilles' heel....but
because the C30 will work with so many different tubes and is therefor
capable of so many different tones it does scream out for a 3 way
tone control....I use a modded Boss GE-7 in the loop that let me
tweak the tone....nothing stupidly boosted....just shaped more to my
The Loudness A and B works by adding an
extra tube into the channel....giving you a nice kick between the two
channels....This works really well together with the High and Low
inputs....giving you the same tone but one is hotter than the
other....It's all you need and never leaves you wanting more....
I have to admit when I first played
through the amp I said to myself....”OMG....THIS IS SHIT....” It
sounded raw and not the amazing sounding tone machine that I was
expecting....I put this down to the very nasty looking tubes that the
amp came with....I changed the 6V6's for 6L6's then for EL34's and
was again very unimpressed....but when I changed the pre amp tubes
for 12AU7's the C30 came alive for me....
If I was Fretted Americana, I would
ship the amps without tubes....then leave it up to the dealers to
show how the amp can sound with different tubes....or at least ship
the amps with AU7's instead of AX7's....
When I bought the C30 I knew I wanted
it to have EL34's for a British rock tone....I was completely
off....I have now gone for 6L6's and ended up with THE best Fender
amp....Fender has “never” made....With 6L6's it's tone is
unmistakeably a US Pete Townsend rock tone and together with the
12AU7's you get a very passable John Mayer Strat tone using the Low
input....with EL34's your in British Jimi Page rock amp
territory....I was lucky that I have a large box of old tubes that I
could play around with....If your just starting out it could get very
expensive to find the tone your happiest with....or you could never
find your tone and sell the amp before you find out just how good the
When you first get the amp....it's in
Phil X mode....it's loud, brash and awesome....Then you plug into
it....and your not loud, brash and awesome....you are in-fact a worst
guitarist than even YOU thought you were....Loaded with AU7's instead
of AX7's....the amp becomes more forgiving of the less talented....it
still gets dirty as you crank the gain and takes boost pedals
beautifully....But I do think that 70% of people who try the amp
would prefer the “calmed the fuck down” 12AU7 version.
The tubes I'm now using in my Evil Robot are....
V1 - 12AU7
V2 - 12AX7
These are the Channel Tubes....V1 drives Loudness B....V2 then gets added to V1 to drive the Loudness A into giving more gain....
V3 - 12AU7
This is the tube that the Vibrato runs through....A big Thank You goes out to Guillaume Clapeau for this next bit....The Vibrato doesn't work with a 12AX7....it needs a 12AU7....I don't use the Vibrato so have to admit to mising that....I do recall first getting the amp with just one 12AU7 and I assumed it was from the loop after I had messed with the tubes....I usually note things like that down for future reference....Again....Thanks to Guillaume for getting in touch and querying this....I had it down as a 12AX7....Never Trust the Internet....
V4 - 12AU7
This is the tube for the FX Loop....If you use the Loop you need to watch the volumes of any Delay and Reverb pedals you use as these need to be set up to not effect the amps volume....Too Low and you will reduce the amps overall volume....Too High and you will drive the Phase Inverter tube giving you more power tube break up but also more compression when the amp gets loud....You need to keep the loop at unity gain....
V5 - 12AX7
This is the Phase Inverter tube....This tube drives your Power Amp Tubes and is responsible for your Power Amp Distortion....If you want to know more about Phase Inverters read this article....HERE....over at Guitar Amplifier Blueprinting . com....
My Power Tubes are 6L6's for a more US tone....
V1 and V2 are both Tung-Sol's....All other tubes are JJ's....
Because of the amp's up front
tone....being able to scoop the mids with a 3 band EQ
would maybe tame the feeling of nowhere to hide when your playing the
amp....”I could be talking crap”....but in Phil X mode the amp
was too much for my heavy handed....sloppy playing “style”....The
in your face nature of the C30....over time will be a good thing as
I'm going to have to become a better player....
I'm not saying that the Evil Robot is
the best amp in the world....If your about to buy a Marshall because
you want to sound like Angus Young or a Fender because you want that
Fender twang....then the Evil Robot is not for you....But the tones
you can get with the C30 are some of the best rock guitar tones
ever....and that alone makes the C30 worth the asking price....But
you also get an amp that sounds and feels like an expensive hand
wired tube amp....and I wasn't expecting that from what is after all
a cheap circuit board amp....Even at quiet bedroom levels it never
looses the dynamics’s and feeling of a loud tube amp....Your
playing jumps out of this amp....You have sustain in your fingers and
you find out that you are in-fact a better player than you thought
you were.... and in the process that puts a big smile on your
As yet I have not had a chance to play
the C30 properly LIVE....but as it is set up now....this is without a
doubt the best sounding amp I have ever owned....It's a ballsy
sounding amp that managers to stay sounding ballsy as you drop the
volume....”I have never played so quietly and yet still been happy
with my tone”....It has the feel and dynamics’s of a hand wired
amp three times it's price....The Fender Hot Rod Deluxe is a good amp
but it ain't a Evil Robot....the 65 Deluxe Reverb is a better amp and
again it ain't no Evil Robot....
all going to have to drop their prices or redesign some of their amps
because the Evil Robot EVR-C30....has no right being this good....But