Brelliott AMZ-30 Amp Review – It does one trick, but oh, so very well!
Boy, do we have another amazing review for you today! We have the amazing Brelliott AMZ-30 amp from the guys over at Brelliott! We reviewed their outstanding TODP overdrive pedal a few months ago (Check out the Review here) and absolutely loved it so when Jonny talked about his amp (or amps), I had to check them out. After spending a while with the amp now, using it for all kinds of recording, I have put together my thoughts for you all! As well as a killer demo song (If I do say so myself)
When I first spoke to Jonny from Brelliott about the Brelliott AMZ-30, he described it as “a one-trick pony”. After playing it I can understand why! We will descend into our thoughts a bit later on but for now, I think it is worthwhile going through the amp and explaining what it is and what controls it has! So let us drive right into it!
Brelliott AMZ-30 Amp
The Brelliott AMZ-30 amplifier is a single-channel amp based around a 1964 Westrex built Vox AC30. He loved the AC30 so much that he had to find out how it worked and recreate it while putting his own spin on it. Now, one thing that Jonny has done is remove all bar one of the inputs input that you would find on a Vox AC30 and make the amp a single input, however, he has kept both the bright and Normal controls (more on the controls below). This means you are left with a single input amp, but still leaving the controls you would find and love from your old Vox. So why don’t we go through the controls?
Looking at the front panel we have 10 main controls. Starting from the far left we have the on and off switch, and next to that, we have a power switch. Which switches off 2 of the valves and rebases the amp. Moving one over we have a Warm/Hot switch. This helps the amp run a bit cooler and extends the life of the valves/tubes. Then we have a Dynamic switch Knob. This is a super clever knob, but to put it simply, switching it to the far left makes the amp sound more “old”, giving it that old, worn-out AC30 vibe, then as you get more to the right the “newer” it feels and sound.
AMZ-30 Amp Continued
We then have an Enable switch which set down enables the Master and HF Cut, the middle position removes both the Master and the HF Cut and the top position will remove Master only. The Master is a volume knob and the HF Cut is a High Frequency cut option. After this section, we have a Deep switch which tightens up the bottom end when the amp is cranked. The final two knobs are the channel volumes you would find on a Vox AC30, the Bright and Normal!
For all you nerdy people out there who want to know the nuts and bolts, The Brelliott AMZ-30 is a fully traditional tube amplifier pumping out around 30 watts. It is running 2X 12AX7 tubes in the preamp with 4X EL84 tubes in the output stages. As mentioned above it has multiple options for speaker output.
The first time I plugged this amp in it just inspired me! I ended up writing a very “Thin Lizzy” inspired demo track (As you might be able to tell)! Old-school rock and roll! All sounds on the demo track at just LT Custom Guitars Strat straight into the AMZ-30 then into a Two Notes Captor (Review Here) and recorded! Simple just resulted in some amazing tones!
After the demo track, we ran through some sounds with the custom Stratocaster. First I demo through just the amp and guitar and then I add a few pedals, the first one being the Brelliott TODP overdrive/Distortion pedal (review here) and then the Centura Klon (Review Here). This was just to show you what it is like when you push the front end or how it responds to an overdrive pedal!
What are my thoughts?
What do we think? Well, this amp absolutely kills it! This so called one-trick pony does that trick to near perfection! Just killer tones from the second you plug into it! Before we go into sounds let us talk about looks and build! The look of this amp is lovely! Nice Chicken Head knobs, wood cab and a lovely logo on the front! A very “classic” look! The build quality is next to perfect! As you would expect from a custom boutique amp builder! Finished lovely and feels sturdy and rugged! Everything like the labels and neons are crystal clear and easy to read at any angle!
What do I think of the sounds? To put it simply, they are killers! Proper classic rock gain sounds! When I was playing this amp it reminded me of bands like Queen, Thin Lizzy and The Sweet! Those kinds of gain sounds! The amp has a lovely gain sound with plenty of saturation but keeps the notes clear and allows the articulation to come through! If you love the sound of a crank vintage AC30 then you are going to love this amp! The demo song you heard above was all amp! No pedals! However, it is worth noting that this amp reacts well with pedals and would take any pedal you throw at it.
Mind you, it isn’t all high-gain fun! Roll back the controls and the AMZ-30 clean-ups beautifully! Allowing you to go full pedal platform clean or, using the bright and normal controls, you can have a bit of hair when you really dig in! A wonderful jangly clean sound to this amp! Being able to also do that high-end, treble sound that AC30s are famous for.
I am loving the dynamic knob, and the ability to make the amp sound older and give it that “worn out/hard life” sound! It’s a sound a lot of people love and a reason so many people go for old amps! It’s on a switch on this amp! With various levels of “knackeredness” as well. It is subtle but when you are playing it is very noticeable, a great touch that makes this amp even more versatile.
Brelliott AMZ-30 Amp Continued
A custom amp comes at a custom price, however, when you break it down, this amp is still cheaper than some of the big names out there! The model I currently have costs £3500, which when you compare to some “bigger” named brands. Is not only cheaper, but can also be customised to your order. Add on top of that the service and customer care, then it doesn’t seem too bad! Now, I am not ignoring that it is a lot of money, and maybe for your bedroom guitarist, this might not be for you. However, if you are gigging, touring or recording then this amp would sit nicely in any lineup!
As with all boutique amp companies, These amps are all hand built, one man, one amp per order! So depending on how many amps they have to build you can expect a bit of a wait! Now this wait will vary on how busy they are but also your spec, design and various other things! Like we said above, it is a one-trick pony, but it does that trick very, very well! This means that the AMZ-30 isn’t that “versatile” in that it is only one channel! If you wanted an amp that can cover multiple sounds and tones this isn’t the one for you. However, we have another Brelliott amp coming soon which might scratch this itch!
First of I want to thank Jonny and Brelliott amp for sending this (and another one) over my way to try out! I have thoroughly enjoyed playing this amp! Proper killer amp! If you are after those classic rock and hard rock tones, just get this amp! It sounds glorious! I am going to be very sad to have to return this amp to him! It has been great fun to play and mess around with!
As we have mentioned, we have another amp from Brelliott coming very soon in the new year! Plus many other things to come! It’s more articles, reviews and interviews all lined up!
If you liked what you saw in this review then please check out some of our other reviews here! If you want to, you can head over to our Instagram and give us a follow and also subscribe to our YouTube channel here. It helps the site out massively!
Brelliott Amps Links:
Check out our other Articles here