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June 2017 Giveaway

Hands On Review: Line 6 DT50

Some players can make their music happen with just a single amplifier kept on a single setting. But many of us are looking for versatility from our amps; we want to cover a range of sounds, from clean to crunchy to singing to screaming. If this describes you, then you really need to check out the Line 6 DT50 tube amp. From Fender to Vox to Marshall, it’s all in there. And even if you’re a one-sound kind of player, the DT50 should still be on your list, as it will deliver your sound with great authenticity.
The DT50 was designed by Reinhold Bogner of Bogner Amps fame, and it completely changes what we think of as a modeling amp. The DT50 does include the same high-resolution modeling found in the Line 6 POD HD, but there’s much more to this amp than just great models. There are two 12AX7 preamp tubes and two EL34 power tubes inside. The cool thing is that the amp can reconfigure itself for either Class A or Class AB modes. So, when you select a Fender sound, you get a true Class AB tube section, just like the real thing. When you move to a Vox, the amp switches itself to a Class A configuration for totally authentic tone.
There are two channels, each with drive, bass, mid, treble, presence, reverb, and volume controls, plus a master volume control – and when you pull the master volume out, the amp drops into low-power mode for very quiet operation. You can also switch the tubes from pentode to triode operation for even more volume control.

There are four “topologies” in total: Classic American, Class A Chime, British Crunch, and Modern High-Gain. Selecting one of these topologies instantly reconfigures the amp to the proper circuit and tube-configuration type. It’s like switching to an entirely new amplifier! And if you want to take things way further, hook up an HD 500 modeler to the DT50 via the proprietary L6 Link. The HD 500 takes over the front end and becomes the brains for the rig, controlling the topology and the configuration of the DT50.

On its own, the DT50 is tremendously versatile. For live performance, you can instantly call up the tones you want. In the studio, there’s plenty of flexibility for tweaking the tone exactly to your requirements. And it’s easy to dial in; the controls will be familiar to any guitar player. Now add in the HD 500 and things just go over the top. Suddenly, you have a rig that can do anything. It’s truly mind boggling. And with those real tubes in there, it sounds right.

Mitch Gallagher

About Mitch Gallagher

Sweetwater Editorial Director, Mitch Gallagher, is one of the leading music/pro audio/audio recording authorities in the world. The former senior technical editor of Keyboard magazine and former editor-in-chief of EQ magazine, Gallagher has published thousands of articles, is the author of seven books and one instructional DVD, and appears in well over 500 videos on YouTube. He teaches audio recording and music business at Purdue University/Indiana University, and has appeared at festivals, conventions, and conferences around the world.
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