I was in the market for a small valve practice amp, and was drawn to the Ibanez TSA5TVR by it's quirky looks. It has a retro 50's vibe to it, with seafoam tolex and wooden legs. Sound-wise, the 5W valve circuit has plenty of headroom for home playing, and the built-in Tube Screamer circuit pushes it into distortion very nicely.
Control-wise, there are the overdrive, tone and level controls for the Tube Screamer circuit, a switch to turn it off and on (it can also be controlled by a foot pedal), bass, treble, master volume and reverb controls. It was easy to get some good sounding tones out of the amp. I'd say this is one of the best equiped small valve amps in this price range.
The only reservations I have are that the spring reverb is decent, but not amazing, it's a bit noisy when silent (if you see what I mean) and that it really needs a better name. It's all very well calling it the TSA5TVR (Tube Screamer Amp, 5 Watt, Tone, Volume, Reverb), but they could have called it something like the Retro-blasto-matic-a-go-go or something - it's got the looks to pull it off!
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Jon3288 on 10.01.2015
great little amp only let down by the quality of the tole finish and the earth hum which only makes difference at really low levels might change the 12ax7 for 12au7 for a quieter hum and more clean headroom,gotta love a built in tube screamer !
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