I was introduced to Revv Amps at NAMM this past year, randomly stumbling on their booth when I had a free minute (which is far more unlikely than it sounds. I pretty much run from the moment the show opens until the lights go off four days later), and it did indeed seem like fate. As a light shone down through the clouds to illuminate the Revv booth, so too did my guitar tone become illuminated.
A couple Canadians at the booth showed me some of that classic Great White Northern hospitality, but more importantly, showed me some of their amazing amps. Revv is a company younger even than Gear Gods, but they’ve been making waves in the amp world, both in heavy music and country, of all things. This is because their amps aren’t just a modded version of some other amp – they started from scratch using their own designs. They threw out the manual and started over, making something brand new.
The tone of their amps isn’t the only thing about them that I liked – it’s how you can access that tone that intrigues me. Although it’s not an entirely new concept, digital switching on a tube amp is a great answer to the influx of digital processors replacing analog amps. Many people want several different sounds out of their amps, and a modeler like an Axe-Fx or Line 6 is a good solution to this – but it’s not the only way. The footswitch of the Revv Generator series can store presets for the amp, so you can have a plethora of different sounds at your feet.
All this brings us to the Generator 7-40. The smallest of the Generator series, it’s a two channel amp, with a switch for each channel to choose between 7 or 40 watts. You’d think that with only two channels, you’d be pretty limited in a live setting. But with the Aggression switch, you have several different gain steps available, which you can store with your preset, and with just one lead channel you can actually have a mid-gain rhythm tone and a high-gain lead tone without needing additional channels. This is good for Grandpa Trey because his old back doesn’t want to carry the four-channel Generator 120 up and down the 3 steps into the club, so the 7-40 can do everything he needs.
The front panel of the amp is packed with features – Contour, Bright, and Fat switches, a multi-level Aggresion switch, 7/40 watt switch on each channel, and one input each for passive or active pickups. Mine came customized on the faceplate with my name and band logo engraved on the front so that it lights up when the amp turns on. Pretty pimp.
A comparable modern amp in terms of size and power is the EVH 5150 III 50 watt head – a great sounding amp, to be sure. But to contrast the two, the 5150 III is the epitome of the old way of high-gain amp design – ye olde footswitch that only changes channels and turns the FX loop on and off, a clean channel you don’t want to switch to anyway, and a tone (however bangin’) that’s based on a modded Marshall from 50 years ago. The Revv idea represents a new way of thinking – that tube tone isn’t just a vintage sound or idea. It’s a modern sound borne on analog circuitry, married with digital technology that doesn’t interfere with the signal path at all.
For more info, check out these crazy Canadians at RevvAmplification.com.