In the endless search for sound (and for ever more transportable and light solutions) I came across this small cube on the advice of a friend (jazz player) (I call it the magic cube, so much so): the DV Mark Little Jazz.
I was looking for a small, powerful, light amp with nice dynamics. But above all that it sounded good, simple, a clean single channel. I’m not a fan of those amps with 3,000 built-in digital effects that just to create a setup make you go crazy.
I prefer a single channel with a nice sound, capable of accepting any pedal input. Also, what is not negligible for me is the ability of the amp to stay clean even at high volumes. Besides, if I want to dirty the sound, there is no shortage of external pedals … If the clean starting is nice, with a good pedal in front you will have a fantastic distortion. But if you put a good pedal in front of a mediocre amp, the resulting sound will always be mediocre.
At first I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical, partly because I’m a mainly rock guitarist (I absolutely don’t disdain jazz, I play everything, but the base remains rock). Partly why come on, where do you want an amp with an 8 ”cone to go ??? It will definitely have a terrible boxed sound !!! But no …
Small and light: 6.9 kg! Dimensions: 26.8 x 26.8 x 26.2 cm. In short, a cube. Magical. ????
Power Amp: Analog
Controls: Bass, Mid, High, Rev
Power: 45W RMS into 8 Ohms / 60W RMS into 4 Ohms
Speaker: 1 × 8 ″ DV Mark Custom, 8 Ohm
Frequency Response: 60Hz – 8kHz
Inputs ( in addition of course to the classic one): Aux In
Outputs: Headphone Out – XLR Line Out, Speaker On / Off, external cabinet output (8 Ohm min.)
Really convenient, with the aux input you can use an mp3 player or a phone or even your PC to play backing tracks, and then play on them. I used it once, to play a rock song (in church, yes, November Rain at my cousin’s wedding ????) and I have to say it works great.
The outputs, on the other hand, are very convenient for driving other external speakers. Maybe you can hook it up to a 4 × 12 using it as a spy. Or stick directly to the PA via the balanced output! A great convenience is the switch that allows you to leave the 8 ”cone active or exclude it when the amp is connected to an external output.
The DV Mark Little Jazz has a great sound, really! Warm, full of dynamics, a not indifferent punch, and it stays perfectly clean even when you pull its neck, which allows you to control the sound well even at higher volumes than usual. And with 45W always clean I assure you that in the room, perhaps with a good pedal in front, you really play what you want with incredible versatility .
The small 8 ”cone is amazing! It has a punch and bass that you would never expect! At first I thought it would be almost mandatory to connect it to an external speaker, maybe even just 1 × 12, in order to bring out the best. I thought otherwise it would have suffered a lot the limit of the small cone (the small cones penalize the bass a lot), ending up sounding a bit boxed up. None of this… Of course, attached to a 4 × 12 (yes, I keep it attached to a 1960a Marshall) shoots which is a pleasure, but even on its own it’s fantastic.
The pedals are digested in a perfect way (the good basic clean sound helps not a little in this, but on the other hand, using good ingredients is essential for the dish to be tasty when mixed).
The dynamics is truly remarkable and the quality of the sounds that you can get out is a reference. The controls are very responsive and the sound molds to your liking. The (digital) reverb is a nice surprise, it sounds really good and omce excursion goes from almost hinted echo to psychedelic music levels. Personally I don’t use it, because I use the one of the external pedal, but it’s nice to know that the need is there.
Here we need to make a clarification: it is versatile, but it must be taken into account that it is still a jazz amp. The bass is very pronounced, the sound is particularly warm.
Therefore, if you want to hear the twang of a Tele or a Strat you have to set the bass to almost zero, the mids to zero and the highs to almost maximum. And even so… well, it’s not like you get a lot. If you want to enhance the twang always with transistor amps there are the 80s Marshalls with mosfets which are perfect for the purpose.
With an overdrive in front it sounds really good, but due to the great predominance of basses you need to cut them a bit in the amp, or set the beautiful tones fired on the pedal. In this way it is possible to have a soft and warm clean and also a distortion that does not knead too much.
Some say that you get to play pop or at most light rock with the DV Mark Little Jazz. Personally I disagree, in my opinion you can also do a good rock or grunge effect, perhaps with a nice pedal in front like Xotic SL Drive and with the correct settings for this purpose (bass amp bass and pedal treble … treble) to compensate for the dark nature of the original sound.
In this video Stefano “Sebo” Xotta explains the whole DV Mark Jazz family a bit:
Passed with top scores! A warm amp, lots of volume and a clean sound right up to the end, which digest pedals well, light and practical with its input / output equipment. In short, a magic cube.
Who would I recommend it to? Surely for those who have space problems, or for those who want to carry around a combo amp that has everything but is well transportable, perhaps to then attach it to an external speaker (or even not).
Also excellent as a spare amp , for small (not too much) clubs. But be aware that if you use it as a backup of a Marshall or a Fender, just to say, you will have to recalibrate all your sounds, this is much darker.
Who wouldn’t I recommend it to? Well, to those who mainly rock and want to push the twang of their instruments to the maximum. Not that it can’t do it, for me it can do anything if set well, but of course it wasn’t born for this.
Published on musicanza.it on: 19/04/2020.