Dime Amp Review by the Guitar Ninja
Straight out the box it is obvious that this amp is not a toy. The high quality vinyl covering and metal corners lets you know this is an amp made to be used and abused on pro stages and not just in the bed rooms of teen metal shred heads. One you lift it out the box, apart from the top handle, you notice the side recessed handles are about as tough and manly as it gets which helps lugging the head about and more importantly, make it easier to shove it atop of a full 8×12 stack (its natural home). All the Knobs and the Logo are Made of Metal and the whole thing feels solid and tight.
The Guitar Ninja Make no mistake here this is not a digital modeling amp made up of 1s and 0s this is a full bore solid state 120 watts power machine of molten metal. You get two channels, one for clean (that’s the intro taken care off) and one for Dirty Distortion (that’s the face melting taken care off). They share a 4 band EQ of Bass, Treb, Mid and Presence that’s gives you the only tonal you need in any realistic situation of find a sound that works then play. Switching between the channels is simple with the supplied footswitch which gives you the option of switching between clean and dirty of a combination of both. Also on the front we have a reverb level control that feeds in a mix of the built in spring reverb and twin inputs for high or low output guitars. In a world of amps with 100s of buttons lining up to confuse the average guitar player its somewhat refreshing to only find one button, and boy what a button it is. Labeled boost and sitting next to the Dirty channel can you guess what it does? Yup that’s right, it kicks your already dirty channel into full on naughty metal saturation that as guitar players love. On the back we have more magic that belies the low price tag of this monster. Twin loops (one for the clean and one for the whole amp) Twin Speaker outs with a 4 ohm minimum load for all sorts of speaker configurations. A line level output for straight to desk mixing and not forgetting the footswitch inputs for channel switching and reverb on off.
All these great features on a pro amp can count for nothing and fall flat on their face if the sound just doesn’t cut it. Takes a deep breath…..Well worry not tone hounds, it kicks the preverbal into next week. The clean channel chimes like a piano and makes easy work of delivering your picked clean chords to your audience with ease cutting through even if the drummer decides that his crash cymbal needs a bashing. The un-boosted dirty gives you a surprising crunch that I wasn’t expecting. With the Mids up high and the bass and treb cut a fraction I found my ACDC and Airbourne riffs sound every inch as authentic despite my own limitations. Kicking in the boost puts you into that familiar ball park for what the amp was intended and finding the Dime tone took less than a second of cutting the mids, boosting the bass and treb. Every riff you throw up just gets eaten up and spat out by the Dime head with perfect chuggyness (I’m sure that’s a word). The intro to Pantera’s Walk sounds deep and as clear as a bell. Lead lines cut a swathe that gives clarity to any note barrage you care to throw out there. Boosting the mids and cutting the bass a fraction gives you a shred tone that is clear and dominating in any mix.
In short this is a versatile amp that might surprise you, given its obvious intentions implied in the name on the front. Match the amp with a set of effects and you have a gigging rig that will serve you with in any situation save for the Jazzers and blues clubs. Solid state amps sometimes a labeled as a bedroom guitarists amp and that’s just not true. This amp was designed with the intention of being as close to Dimes original tweaked amps as possible and it delivers on every level. The fact you don’t have to worry about worn valves is just another win in an amp full of win!
Matt (Guitar Ninja) Speed 2011