Okay we all love amps, pedals and tube powered stuff, that’s why we’re here right? So today I am very happy to rave about my little Valvetone Impact Mark 3, which is a point to point handwired, handmade amp by Darryl Hoy, who is based in NSW Australia (and I got my signed too!@!).
Valvetone Impact Mark 3 Valve Amp Front
Darryl is certainly no fly by nighter, he has been making guitar amps since the 70’s (e.g.Scion amps), Every Valvetone amp he builds is handmade one at a time, all point to point wiring, no PCB boards and he only uses nice vintage mustard caps and proper vintage spec components.
Now as you can see by the pic, it comes in a simple steel head chassis, so if you want to pimp it up a little, you will have to spend a bit of money on a cab or make one yourself if you are handy with tools and ply…
The Valvetone Impact Mark Three has three basic controls…
…with toggle switches for Gain and Bright.
On the back of the amp you have the standard speaker out (8ohms is optimal but it can also go to 4 or 16ohms) and a line out. Pretty standard in this regards.
In short, Small, Classic Sexy Styling and made with High Grade Components pretty much sums up my MI Audio Blues Pro Overdrive Pedal Review.
Enclosed in an MXR size steel casing, the Blues Pro is lovingly finished in a matt, deep marine colored blue and completed with vintage style white chicken head knobs and Fender style script (versions vary, this review is of V.3). Technically, the Blues Pro features the classic JRC4558D chip, which produces double the gain of a typical tube screamer, asymmetrical clipping and upgraded caps throughout, for up to 25v for large headroom, which is a nice feature in itself.
Straight out of the box, this pedal looks great, perhaps it is the cool blue color (cool in both meanings of the word), it just looks like it will produce great overdrive, and it does, but before we examine the tone, let’s have a brief look at the company and their product history.
MI Audio was started in 2002 by Michael Ibrahim, Michael has always been interested in quality musical electronics and it shows, who started making the popular ‘Tube Zone’ overdrive from his garage, that was until his products became popular. The Blues Pro pedal was introduced a few years later and has been a popular seller ever since. Even Guitar Pro Shop in the USA demos his pedals with the now famous ‘Andy’ @ PGS demoing it.