Master TVA30 Guitar Amp Review
By Steve DellaSala —
- Product Name: TVA30 Guitar Amp
- Manufacturer: US Master
- Performance Rating:
- Value Rating:
- Review Date: March 20, 2012 22:42
- MSRP: $ 699 Combo + $45 shipping / $869 Head and Cabinet + $70 shipping (as reviewed)
- All tube 30 Watt Class A power amp with 4-EL84/6BQ5 and 3-12AX7 preamp tubes
- 2 channels - Clean and Drive (High Gain), footswitchable.
- Controls - Clean Volume, Drive Gain, Drive Volume, Channel Switch, LED Channel Indicator, Boost (affects both channels), Treble, Middle, Bass, Reverb, Effects Level, Standby, Power.
- Rear Panel - Effects Send (Pre-amp Out), Effects Return (Power Amp In), Stereo Footswitch Jack (reverb and channel switch), 2 Speaker Outputs, Speaker Impedance Selector (4 or 8 ohm), Power Cord and Fuse Assembly
- Wiring - Point-to-point, hand wired, shielded wiring for internal signal paths, no connectors internally except to connect to the reverb tank (uses RCA connectors).
- One year limited warranty, 90-days on speaker and tubes.
- 5 day return policy for auditioning the amp.
- Amazing value considering 30 Watts and features
- Two channels – clean and high; foot switchable
- Hi and Low inputs
- Self-Biasing tube circuitry
- Speaker driver linearity could be improved
- Spike in low midrange response could not be resolved using tone controls on amp head
- Very low volume bass response
- No indicator light for Standby switch
- Reverb not very dynamic
- Power tube connectors poorly supported, directly mounted to PC boards and only one tiny set screw
The Master TVA30 is a great option for someone looking for an economical, non-commercial guitar amp that provides great performance and useful options. The amp head appears to be built very well and is fully capable of performing better than anything in its price class. Though I pointed out some mechanical shortcomings, these do not take away from the overall tone and performance of the amp. For the price, it’s nice to see two channels, one for clean and one for over drive, and an effects loop. The system also comes with a two button foot controller to help you switch between channels with ease. When considering that it retails for $869, there are very little options that can compete. Though, if you are an audio fanatic like me, it may be worth springing anywhere some extra coin on a better speaker driver and tubes which I discuss in this review. I’ve found U.S. Masters pricing competitive and their level of technical understanding to be far better than other on-line stores or guitar centers. Even if you perform some upgrades to theTVA30, you’re still only around $1,000 for a great combo that is portable and very well made.