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Kustom KLA20

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      16.11.2011 23:44
      Very helpful
      1 Comment



      Good amp for beginners

      The KLA-20 is an amp made by the American manufacturer Kustom. Although billed as a lead amp, the KLA-20 is very much a practice model due to its 15 Watt limitation (or 20 Watt on overdrive mode). However, what the KLA-20 lacks in power, it makes up for in terms of cost - I paid only £50 for the amp when new, and recently I've seen them sell on eBay for under £10.

      Design & Specification
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      In terms of the build quality, the KLA-20 is impressive, feeling rugged and able to take a few knocks. Despite its sturdy build, the KLA-20 is light enough to be picked up and transported around without too much effort. The amp features an input socket for only one guitar, although there are two other inputs for headphones and a connection to an external speaker. The equaliser provides the standard three knobs (treble, middle, and bass), and there's also a 'clean', and 'overdrive' mode (more on that in the following paragraph).

      Audio Output
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      Sound-wise, the amp is a bit of a mixed bag - the tone is rather flat, however much I fiddle around with the settings. Of course, a flat tone isn't as much as an issue these days, as many people use an effects pedal connected to their amp to enhance their sound. The previously mentioned overdrive mode (activated by pushing a little grey button) helps things along somewhat, creating an adequate fuzzy and distorted sound.

      Volume-wise, the KLA-20 is louder than you would expect a 15w device to be - it will happily fill a medium to large sized room without issue. However, when i've used the amp in a band practice setting, I've found that it's easily drowned out even at maximum volume.

      Final Word
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      Overall, the Kustom KLA-20 is a well made and simple to use amp - the sound it produces is perfectly adequate as long as you're using it in tandem with an effects pedal. The 'clean' mode, does offer a pure and clear (albeit slightly lifeless) sound, but it's by no means awful. I would recommend this amp for those who are finding their feet with the electric guitar and want something which offers decent value for money


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