Justin Ross, Gabriel V18 2×12″ Owner:
I just wanted to give you an update on how things are going. I’ve used my Voxer for every gig I’ve played (around 35 or so since I got it in May), and I can’t say enough about how much I love this amp! I’m running an AB switcher so I can use both sides (I’m using the Vox for slight break up and the Marshallish side for my heavier drive), and I’m playing it through a Gibson ES-339.
I’ve never had an amp like this (and I’ve owned my fair share of nice amps). Like I told you in the beginning: once I heard a cranked Gabriel Voxer, I knew I had to have one! It’s organic, lush, clear, and full all at once!
But I’m not the only one who loves it. The sound guys can’t get enough of it! I just got done playing a gig today and I had several musicians come up to me saying how it’s “the best guitar tone they’ve ever heard.”
I tell every player I can that you and your amps are the absolute best. This is buy far the happiest I have ever been with my guitar tone.
Sorry for the late reply, but I wanted to wait until the “honeymoon” phase was over to see how I still felt – and I’m still in love! I feel a little silly raving this much, but when you look so long for that “missing link” in your tone and finally find it you can’t help but get excited.
Thank you so much!
Caleb Butler, Macon, Georgia:
OH MY GOSH mr. gabi! the gig went great minus a lil rain but a buddy of mine threw his leather jacket over my amp to protect it lol so i bought his dinner lol my tone was incredible!! idk why people ask you about effects loops because these bad boys handle effects amazingly well, even at the highest of gain! i took some pics to show you! i will have them up soon. i think the note separation does improve technique because you have to have solid tone in your fingers to really make the amp sing. i’m planning on doing some demo videos on youtube soon! […] one more thing about the amp is that it really brings out the best out of any guitar! i have a mesa boogie solo 50 and the gabriel is like a huge breath of fresh air because all you have to do is turn it on and turn it up and its the best sounding amp out there! thank you so much!
[…] it really brings out the character of the guitar itself. very touch sensitive and the sustain is amazing! it’s like each string has its own individual amp because it’s so clear even with a good amount of gain! i am very satisfied with it and i will have to buy a matching cab soon!
Hey Mr gabi!! I played a gig tonight and a Guy that ran front of house sound for Chris Tomlin was the sound Guy and we were in sound check and after I checked my guitar the Guy yeld from the balcony to ask what my amp was and said my tone was “phenominal”! Thought I would share.
Ty Long, guitarist for Hello August:
All I can say is, “Wow.” This amp is absolutely the greatest sounding amp I have ever heard. Period. I’ve been an AC30 guy my whole life and this amp can out-Vox my vintage AC30 Topboost. Seriously, thank you. You have eliminated my need for an overdrive pedal.
I couldn’t be happier with my Voxer. I have players come to me after every show we play raving about what great tone my amp is putting out. I just wanted to thank you again for the righteous amp you built for me.
Lyle Cook, California, Happy Gabriel V18 head owner:
The amp arrived safe and sound on Friday. I have had a chance to play the V18 a number of times and as I become more and more familiar with the controls it just gets better and better. A great rock tone from either side, with all sorts of subtle variations on the bright channel depending on how hard you drive the front end versus the power tubes. I am also finding some really sweet bluesy tones and even jazz tones. I mainly play strat type guitars, but have guitars with humbuckers, P90s as well as single coils. The V18 loves them all. I can get a great jazz tone from the neck pickup of my strats. On the voxer side with the two inputs and the gain control and the volume of your guitar you have incredible control over how hard you hit the front end. Obviously its nice to be able to hit it hard and get it juicy, but I find the other end of things very interesting as well. With the contour in back set towards fat and using the low impedence input (even though its is a single coil neck pup) and setting the gain low and volume high this amp does clean fat better than any I have played. Great for jazz and clean blues. Anyway, I could go on and on, but I am very happy with the amp. The normal channel also does what is expected and does it very well; its is both simple and classic. Did I mention the V18 is beautiful to look at?
I have tried the amp with a number of speakers Weber Blue Dog (12″) and Blue Pup (10″) and with a Jensen P12N and with a celestion G12H 70 Anniversary, and (drum roll) with a Celestion C90, which is a 12″ speaker Mesa Boogie puts in a lot of its amps, it may be only available through Mesa Boogie. I have it in a 5/50 Express amp. This is my favorite speaker to play the V18 through. It has a smooth, big sound and seems well suited to the V18 for both low and high gain tones and everything in between. It is especially good for the fat clean tones, like silk, but powerful. Also, for anybody that needs to control volume with little or no impact on tone, there is a great new attenuator out there: the PRX150-Pro from Aracom Amps. I mention it because it works really well with the V18. I can play the V18 at any setting to get the tone I want while also controlling the volume without negatively impacting the tone or dynamics. I think it is the best attenuator now available for maintaining transparency and dynamics while reducing volume.
Thanks so much for designing and building a great amp!
Dan Weller, Studio and Touring Musician, Music Director, Tour Manager:
I had SOOO much fun playing last night with the Voxer 18. All I used was the head/gain pedal/A/B pedal and a clean boost (and the typical wiggly/delay stuff, but no OD’s). All clean/drive tones were from the amp only. And, the tones were amazing – so touch sensitive, dynamic. I really can’t remember playing an amp that responds anything like this one does. Beyond a home run. Sound man immediately commented on how great that amp sounded – and he’s heard me use some other really toneful amps before as well. This one is just simply on another level.
4 hours of material, went from super clean pseudo acoustic stuff w/a neck pickup to med-gain country/rock to high-gain rock (Nickleback/Buck Cherry) and all things inbetween. Really (REALLY) loved the slide tones and feel…
Had the cab facing backwards so I could run the amp hot (AX7 side Volume around 9, EF86 set for a nice rhythm balance) and it was perfect on stage.
This is, I would say, the amp I’ve always heard in my head and felt under my fingers… likely be passing this one on to my son many years down the road.
Chris Fisher, Chicago, V33 rig owner:
The amp is so so sweet… I now put my Route 66 15- 20 watt head and Tone Tubby Hemp Speaker cabinet next to the Gabriel. No comparison.. Maybe I should try the 66 head with Gabriel cabinet and speakers..
Either way the Gabriel sounds so sweet, brilliant, nimble and meaty all at the same time. The meat sound seems to come into play with volume up past 1/2… Any idea’s how to achieve that sound at lower volume ?
By the way the EF86 [Bright] side seems to be more versatile and the sound achieved sounds great to me. When I switch to the Marshall side – it is one sound only- maybe that is how Marshall is.. Never owned one..
You can publish this on your site
Keith Fisher- A Novice player who enjoys TOP Quality Product !
Mike Scheuchzer, MercyMe:
These amps are so great to record with…we’re in a studio FULL of great amps at our diposal. So far I’ve only used my ’66 AC30 on 1 song and everything else so far has been my V18, or my new low carb 1×10!!!
We actually used the little guy on Jim’s wurli too and it sounded amazing!!!!
thanks for getting that amp to me so quick!!!
Lyle Workman, LA first call session player:
“The V18 is a great sounding, well thought out little beast. It’s dynamically responsive and is a joy to play through. The added bonus of gain controls on a footswitch is a genius idea and adds to it’s versatility. This one’s a winner!”
From Lyle’s Bio page: “Whether it’s composing feature film music, studio work for major recording artists, or performing on world stages, Lyle Workman enjoys the fruits of a diversified career.
On July 2, 2005 Lyle performed in London as a member of Sting’s band for Live 8. He is slated to record with Sting in fall, 2005. On the big screen, Lyle composed the music for Universal Pictures’ THE 40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN, which was the #1 film in America for 2 weeks. On opening weekend it’s box office receipts made it the biggest end of summer film in ten years.”
Pete Anderson, Grammy Award-winning Guitarist/Producer:
“Just the right amount of GRIT – Great for Blues…. Love the harmonic sweep in the back of the amp – From tight to loose harmonic distortion. Outstanding…”
From Pete’s Bio page: “The term legend is too often bandied about when talking about musical artists. While he might dispute that categorization, Pete Anderson is one of the rare musicians to which that term aptly applies. After more than 30 years in the music business and countless hit records as a producer, guitarist, and songwriter, Anderson has earned a place among many of the significant figures who have influenced popular music. With his third solo album, DAREDEVIL, Anderson demonstrates his unique talent for melding a variety of musical genres to create a series of beautifully-crafted instrumentals which, as a whole, come together to create an album of unsurpassed cinematic scope. This is music in 3-D!”
Pete is also playing live on the road with emerging country artist Moot Davis.
Barry Graul, MercyMe Guitarist, played with Whiteheart, DC Talk, worked with Michael Sweet, Whitecross, and Halo:
“Being a fan of higher wattage amps, I was extremely excited to hear Gabi was making the V33. I was not let down. I love having 2 usable channels and really being able to hear the difference between them. This amp rocks!!! When I want a chimey sound it’s there. When I want a little more beef thats a bit more round in tone, I have that too. And to make it even sweeter, my physical make up is 2/3 coffee, so I had to go with the cappuccino. Thanks for an awesome amp! “
Hector Cervantes, lead guitarist for Casting Crowns:
“The first time I heard the V18 Casting Crowns was playing with The Afters in Texas. I’m a big fan of their music so I had gone out to see them perform and stood on the side of the stage where Brad Wigg’s rig was. I was absolutely amazed at his tone. I had been looking for a good versatile amp for about a year and hadn’t settled on anything at that point, but when I heard the V18 for the first time I knew had to have one. It is the sweetest sounding amp I’ve ever heard. On top of incredible tone, Gabriel is one of the most accommodating guys I’ve worked with. He takes pride in whathe builds and it shows. I would recommend this amp to anyone because of its versatility. Thanks for what you do Gabriel!”
Mike Scheuchzer, MercyMe:
WOW!!!!!!!!!! I have nothing but GREAT things to say about working with Gabi!!!! His attention to detail is stellar, his “customer service” is impecable….We all know how hard it is to deal with music gear companies….they usually don’t give you the time of day.
Gabi has answered every email/phone call, every question or concern he nailed on the head!!!! Now for the amp… I just pulled mine out of the box this morning and am in the studio recording of all things, a Christmas record in April!!! Straight out of the box this amp sounds incredible….the cab is a 2-12 loaded 1 celestion blue, and one celestion greenback. All I can say is WOW!!!!
These little amps sound incredible!!! You wouldn’t believe the sound that comes out of these little 18 watters!!! Gabi built me a V18, but worked with me, and really built it specifically for me. Adding the little things that I love in an amp, and really customizing it for me!!! I can’t tell you how GREAT working with Gabi has been!!!! I fully recommend Gabriel Amps!!!!!
Hey man….I did try and email you and it came back to me. I just wanted you to know that we had been in the studio…this amazing studio in upstate NY. It was gorgeous…they had over 50 vintage amps and 150 vintage guitars!!!!! And of all those guitars there was none better for overdubbing certain parts than my V18!!!!! When I need a part to really cut through the mix, I went to the V18 everytime!!! Our engineer loved it and is going to tell some of his studio guitar playing buddies about it….hopefully you can add some more family members to the Gabriel family!!!!!!!
What a great interview in tonequest….I still need to read the vintage guitar mag article…I’m sure it was favorable. I’ve decided on our up coming tour…”the Christmas Tour,” I’m only using the Gabriel….forget the whole 2 amp deal…I actually only used it all summer too….
Taylor Barefoot, (currently guitarrist for Casey Desmond, former for Halogens):
The first few moments after plugging in I was speechless…. This amp went beyond my expectations in every way. Using Matchless, vintage marshalls, Vox and other sought after amps I feel that in all honesty this thing is at the top of the heap and personally, the best amp I have ever heard in my life. If you know me, that is a life changing event. I’ll be giving it a thorough shake-down this evening doing some tracking with the guitarist of a band called Red Lotus out of NYC, but never have I felt like this just simply plugging into an amp. Pure magic! Thanks so much!!!
Matt Campbell, Leeland:
“I love the V33. I have been using it on the 2007 Casting
Crowns Tour. It adds so much to the sound of our band that was not
there before. I use many other vintage amps all the time, and the V33 far
exceeds the many of them in tone. I like the blue and green back speakers; it
allows for the best of both worlds. I have only been playing this amp
for about two weeks and I love it. I look forward to using on the
next album. I would suggest this amp to anyone who is picky about tone
and quality. Good experience from the beginning.”
Justin Ostrander – SONICFLOOD guitar player, Nashville:
This is a hand-built 18 watt dual-channel amp. One channel is a Bright sound with an EF86 preamp tube, and the other channel is a Marshallish (think 1974) sound. The Bright channel features Cut, Gain, Tone, and Volume Controls; the Marshallish channel features Tone and Volume controls. Two inputs per channel. On the back of the amp, there is a Contour click knob with six settings A-F, A being the thinnest and F being the fattest. Two speaker inputs, a fuse, impedance selector (4, 8, 16 Ohms), and a Gain Switch input round out the controls on the back. The Gain Switch is a footswitch that allows you to switch between two different gain settings on the Bright channel only. All in all, the amp has a lot of great features. VERY versatile amp.
This amp was designed to hit the sweet spot of Vox and Marshall overdriven tones without blowing your head off. The tones that come out of the amp are just SICK. In addition to the V18, I’ve owned amps by Dr. Z, Bogner, VHT, Fender (vintage, not the new stuff), Ampeg, Germino, and others, I’m sure, although I can’t think of any others right now. I have to say that the V18 is the greatest sounding rock amp I’ve yet plugged into. The two channels really do sound like what they were meant to sound like. It is by far the fattest sounding EL84 amp I’ve heard. I run mine through a custom 212 cab by TruTone loaded with two Webers: a Blue Dog, and a Silver Bell.
The only concern I could see people having is regarding headroom. That was my one reservation when ordering this amp. I wanted to be able to use it in a gig setting without needing to be mic’ed. The amp is plenty loud for a club gig, even with a loud drummer. Just roll your tone knob back on your guitar, and you can get a very loud clean sound–not pristine clean, but a hairy clean. For what the amp was designed to do, it is flat out amazing. I can’t say enough good things about it.
I have had no issues except when it first arrived. UPS must have dropped it in front of a moving truck from a two story window. Gabi (builder of Gabriel amps) had packed it INCREDIBLY well–wrapped in plastic, then put in a box, then wrapped box and all in bubblewrap, then fitted with 8 styrofoam corners, then wrapped in more packing material, and then put in a larger box. After a half hour of cutting the packing tape and unwrapping boxes, I FINALLY got the thing out, plugged it in….and nothing. Nothing happened at all. Well, the jewel lit up, but that’s it. I called Gabi, and he walked me through opening the back of the amp up to inspect it. The EF-86 tube was out of its socket with loose pins, and the chassis was bent. I looked back at the styrofoam corners and sure enough, one of them was broken. So, obviously UPS dropped it. More on that story in the next section. Since that incident, I have gigged with it a lot, and I’ve had ZERO problems.
When UPS dropped the amp, and I found the damage with Gabi on the phone, he had the amp picked up from my house the next day and overnighted back to his shop, where he went though the whole thing, one point at a time. He then overnighted it back to me. He paid for all this extra shipping and even waived the $80 or so that I still owed him for the amp. Gabi is a prime example of how a one man shop can have impeccable customer support. He returns phone calls and emails very quickly and has an infectious enthusiasm for guitars, amps, and that quest for the perfect tone.
I have been playing for 12 or 13 years, and I just moved to Nashville to play music full time. If the amp were lost or stolen, I would find a way to get another one. There’s really nothing that I hate or even dislike about it. I could see myself ordering another one in the future…maybe one of the new V33s in a combo format instead of a head. Overall, this amp is very impressive. Many who have heard both have compared it to a 65 London. Very similar features. Personally, I dig the V18 more. I know it’s tough to try one out, as Gabi only has one dealer, but if you order one, you will not be disappointed.
Clark Beasley, Atlanta – currently on tour with Matt Redman:
Thank you so much for your patience with this amp purchase. I have appreciated your personal attention from the start.
The amp sounds smoking!! The thing that everyone comments on (besides how awesome it sounds) is that it always sounds like it’s right there in your face. It cuts through the mix effortlesly but isn’t harsh.
Even with a large amount of gain, it still sounds smooth and every note is pronounced.
This is definitely THE AMP for me!
Thanks again, Gabi for helping me find what I was looking for.
Your new fan,
Trey Hill – guitar player for Jason Michael Carroll
Long time no see brother.. just thought i would write you a quick note and attach a picture.. i don’t know if you’ve ever had ur amp on a big country tour, but it’s heading out w/ Brooks and Dunn and Alan Jackson this fall!!! i left Sonicflood in January to take a gig w/ a new country artist, Jason Michael Carroll (www.jasonmichaelcarroll.com).. he’s on Arista Records and just released his debut album “Waitin In The Country”…which was the #1 album on the Billboard Albums Chart in it’s first week!! we are keeping SO busy, and the Lowcarb V18 LC is getting a workout!! when i was in Sonicflood i was using a multiple amp setup, but with Jason..it’s just the good ole Gabriel.. i’m loving the tone dude..thanks for hooking it up last year!! i’ll send you more pics from the tour when they’re available… keep in touch!
Man, the V sounded killer!!!! I thought it sounded great at home, but put it in a band context and it really shines. Just thought I would let ya know I really enjoyed playing it @ the gig Thursday night. Got a lot of compliments on my tone from the other band mates. Iv’e been playing guitar for 17 years and been through a ton of amps…….Fender, Marshall, Dr. Z, Matchless. Not trying to kiss a@# or anything, but that amp is probably closer to what Iv’e been hearing in my head than anything that I’ve played through. Also have an early 70’s Ampeg V2 that I’ve had for a while that I really dig, but it’s too loud for a lot of the gigs that I play. Volume wise, the Vis perfect for the size venues that were playing right now. I ran it through the Bright side for the first set, sounded great. Ran it through the Marshally side the last set, sounded great.
Jeremy Redmon – BIG DADDY WEAVE guitar player
I’m not really sure who to boast on more…Gabriel-“the Man” or Gabriel- “the Amp”. Both, by the way, are equally great. I’ve always been primarily an AC-30 guy… I love British Class A amps. So when the time came to get another amp, I searched through endless magazines and manufacturer websites (from mass-produced to high-end boutique) for ideas of what I was looking for. I soon narrowed my search to a lower-wattage, Class A, separate head/cab, with a little versatility. In the studio one day, a friend of mine (knowing of my search) told me about an amp he had just seen that was basically an AC-15 on one side and a Marshall 18 watt on the other… and so it began.
We happened to be playing outside of Chicago the next week and I decided to give Gabriel a call. He graciously brought an amp for me to try and I immediately fell in love. It was exactly what I was looking for. I ordered the V18 head with the 2-12″ open back cabinet. Gabriel, being as awesome as he is, had the amp finished in just a couple of weeks and shipped it out to me on the road. All of you can attest to the excitement you feel when opening up a package with a new piece of gear in it…we all become little kids. From the very first note played on my Gibson 335 through the Gabriel, I knew this would become my favorite amp. Going from Strat to Tele to 335, from overdrives to boosts to effects, everything I have tried sounds great through this amp. The only problem is I can’t decide which I like more… the “marshall” side or the Bright side. That’s a problem I can live with.
The V18 is a dream in the studio. I’m using it on every song on our new record. Being able to switch between the two amp channels, and the difference in tone of the Celestion “blue” and “green” in the cabinet, give me an extremely versatile tone palate.
What else can I say…it’s lightweight, two amps in one, amazing Class A tone… this is a great amp made by a great guy.
DJ Lipscomb, currently on tour with Steven Curtis Chapman:
Watch DJ Lipscomb’s V33 Video Demo [10Mb]:
“I tried out a number of different brands in my hunt for a new amplifier and none of them compare to the V33. I looked at BadCat, Matchless, Marshall, Bogner, and all of the high-end boutique amps but something about the V18 caught my attention. My good friend Brad Wigg from The Afters let me try out his V18w for a few days and I was blown away!
The moment I plugged my guitar into that amp I knew I had found the tone I was looking for. Crisp, sparkling clean tones with just enough bite to keep you on the edge of your seat on the Bright channel and the dirty crunch of a vintage Marshall on the other. And that was on the 18w head! The V33 has plenty of headroom for the clean tone I am looking for and enough volume to accommodate any venue. I am extremely happy with my V33 and have gotten tons of compliments from fellow players on the tone. This amp can do anything. Thanks Gabi!”
Emil Kindlein, Timisoara, Romania, Eastern Europe:
I just got the amp shipped. Ultra – packed, it made it over to Eastern, Europe Romania..
I didn´t owe an amp in the 70´s, I was born then.
I haven´t been to a fancy studio to compare it to other 50 vintage amps ((see Mike’s rave)
And people don´t send me amps to ask my opinion (see Bob’s rave)
One thing I can say:
I do remember trying to add some reverb to “save” my guitar sound. But I was never happy enough. Reverb made the guitar sound so “plastic”. Now as I play the Gabriel the tone just lives, it has a place in space. I shouldn´t say that sustain is my reverb but I can say I won´t use reverb for a while.
Other times I needed to fatten the sound. So I did add chorus. Same story, never satisfied. Now with Gabriel I get what I want just going trough the pickups and tone controls.
Drive!!! I can´t believe how many sounds I can produce just messing around with volume, tone and pickups.
Now I owe an amp!
Why go to a fancy studio, I got Gabriel, just kidding.
And hey, I just wrote my first amp review.
Neil Greenhaw, Nashville:
This amp new out of the box was amazing!!! I have owned many amps including Mesa Boogie, Fender, Marshall, Koch, Bad Cat, etc.. The V18 model amazed me with it’s versatility!! This was a custom V18 head made by Gabriel. I love the features of this amp head… I wouldn’t add or take away anything from Gabriel’s work.. Amazing Tone!! This is great for both live & studio applications.
I finally have an amp that can do blues, rock, or simple clean Jazz. This head has the 2 most sought after tones… The first side of the amp is like an old Marshall from the 60’s and the other side is modeled after an AC15!! I have used it on live tracks and also for live performances!!! I use Paul Reed Smith Guitars, Fender Guitars, & Gibson Guitars through this amp…
Brad Wigg, The Afters
This is a brand new amp that was hand built for me by Gabriel. It’s a variation of the old Marshall 18 watt heads from the 60’s but with a twist. One side is a Marshall-ish side with a tone knob and a volume knob.
The other side is a Bright channel with a contour switch, cut, gain, tone and volume controls. I don’t know how else to say it but this amp simply ROCKS.
It is truly one of the best sounding rigs I have ever heard. He sent it to me with a custom slant-face 2×12 closed-back cab that is sooooo sweet. I’m mic-ing both speakers at present, with a 421 on top and a 57 on bottom so my tone is both defined and FAT.
I’m on a decent sized tour at present with quite a bit of production, lots of lights, speakers, blah blah. The cool thing about this amp is that I don’t have to have it cranked up to a hundred thousand db for it to get good. You just turn it on and and give it the goods and the tone is there. The Marshall side is very Marshall. Gainy, growly drive. The Bright is smooth and silky. This amp is literally everything that I want in an amp.
Cool thing is that I can use an A/B switch to go from Bright to Normal at any time just like having two amps. But I DON’T have two amps. I have one amp that is very, very lightweight and portable. And soooooo pretty. It’s like looking at a formula one race car.
Another cool thing is that it’s just as pretty on the inside as the outside. It’s all hand-wired point to point circuitry with NO PC BOARDS. It’s simple and beautiful to look at. The attention to detail is quite
Ernie Santella, Santella Productions:
I was thinking of playing around with a Vox amp. I did own a DC-30 back around ’90 but at the time it didn’t fit my playing style. But tone and tastes change and now I want something different again… but still have options.
A while ago, I bought a Rocaforte Custom 18. Killer Marshall tone, but limited to one tone and mostly with the amp dimmed. So, then I came across Gabriel amps.
The V18 head intrigued me. The Marshall 18 watt I liked AND the Bright tone in one amp. It delivers both in spades, actually in fours. Both clean and cruchy Marshall and chimey clean and gnarly cranked Bright. There is no tone altering channel switching, but with a simple A-B box, you can do it yourself. I find myself heading in new territory all the time with the different tones you can create. I really do enjoy the Bright channel now. The Matchless was probably great too back then, but I didn’t appreciate it at
the time. And I don’t remember the DC-30 going as far overdriven as the V18 can go.
That’s a really great tone, the Bright channel wide-open.
The amp has really surprised other players. They love the tones I can get out of it, especially with just rolling the volume back on the guitar. Great touch-sensitivity too. Sounds great with a variety of guitars.
Currently I’m using a ’66 335, a Relic 60’s Strat w/Lollars, and a Re-issue LP. I wouldn’t say one type of guitar suits it better, they all sound great and equally welcome with this amp.
Gregg Scott, Seattle:
MAN! my strat never sounded so beefy. Cocheese raved about the AC15 side and I can see why…for some reason I want to compare it with a milk shake (sweet, rich and thick). Leads sing and punch. But also, I want to rave about the Marshall side. I may be crazy, but this sounds reminiscent of an old fender bassman, which I LOVE! It has that snappy fender feel to it, with a nice chime but a little more mean. LOVE IT.
The controls are perfect for zeroing in on what you want. The CONTOUR control allows you to add/cut low end. Man, this is great since I play mostly single coil guitars. I turn it up and WOW, my strat has like… (pardon the phrase) KAHUNAS again!
I don’t have a humbucker guitar, but I guess if it was a little bassy, you could back off the CONTOUR. Also, the CUT knob.
Sometimes you are playing a venue were highs, due to the acoustics, are being magnified for whatever reason. This is where the CUT knob will pay off. Just turn to taste, and relieve any exaggerated highs. Ohm selector…great versatility for using different cabs or speaker combos. Also the GAIN selector is a great plus for boosting a solo.
I been playing many years and I am glad I found the V18. There is really nothing that erks me about this amp. It makes me happy.
(photo credit kellymoorephotography.com)
Jim Duyck, San Angelo, TX:
My cabinet came loaded with the standard setup: one Celestion Blue (on top) and one Celestion Greenback (on bottom). The internal wiring is with 16 gauge Monster Cable speaker cable and a nicely soldered Switchcraft 1/4″ jack. The speakers are mounted on threaded bolts with nuts – no screws to come loose if you like to change out your speakers.
The cabinet has no particle board – only birch plywood with solid wood braces and dovetailed corner joints. Also, it has a removable panel in the middle to change the cabinet from closed back to open back. The handles are heavy-duty metal – none of that plastic junk. I ordered my cabinet in all black, which has the aged gold piping in the tolex seams and a tan basketweave grill cloth. It looks gorgeous!!!! (especially with my matching head on top of it)
Gabi and Anthony recently revised the dimensions of this cab and I actually got the first new one!!! The exact dimensions of my cab are 27 1/8″H x 26″W x 12 1/8″D bottom x 9″D top. The dimensions are almost the same as the current Marshall 2061CX Hand-wired cab, with the Gabriel being ever-so slightly wider and taller – mine actually fits in the caster tray of our other guitarist’s 2061CX ATA case, but it’s a squeeze getting the lid on.
Sound Quality: Magical. The two speakers really to pick up where the other one leaves off, working quite well together. Gabi even broke them in for a good while for me, putting them through their paces at his shop before he installed them in the cab.
Reliability: It’s a solid cab with solid speakers and solid wiring. I don’t expect any issues.
Customer Support: It’s Gabi!!! It doesn’t get any better. For more info, read some of the amp reviews.
Overall Rating Good looks, solid workmanship, and great tone…what more could I want?
Bob Tekippe, Vintage Guitar Magazine:
This V18 is the Vintage Guitar Magazine amp I recently reveiwed for them. I purchased it from Gabriel Bucataru who builds his amps by himself. I review alot of amps for Vintage Guitar Magazine and some are great and some are not so great. Some I choose not to review at all. Once and awhile one comes along which I cannot live without and the Gabriel V18 is one. It is a simple design which is based off the vintage 18 watt Marshall 1974 and AC15. The V18 features two channels.
One is the Marshallish channel and the other is the Bright channel. The Marshall channel uses 12ax7 preamps while the Bright channel employes an EF86 preamp tube. Both channels share EL84 outputs. I play a variety of music and this amp will cover it all except for metal.
A high gain pedal would allow it to do that. The configuration is a head with 2×12 cab.Tone controls are simple and the tone selection switch in the back of the amp is killer. Also a pedal is include which you can dial in two preset gains on the Bright side. Both cchannels share a cut control.Even though it is rated at 18 watts V18 has plenty of power for most applications. The V18 has no effects loop or reverb which may not attract some but I feal It’s not needed.
Simplicity equals good tone.
Tyler Crow, Seattle:
I have been looking for a builder adenturous enough to tackle a hybrid Marshall 18 watt/AC15 (with EF86 preamp tube) for a few years now. The first two builders I asked were not up to the task. I heard great things about Gabi’s work over at the 18 watt page and after one email to Gabi, he said that he would love to give it a try. I was jazzed to say the least! The sheer energy and excitement that Gabi has for tube amps is simply intoxicating.
After our phone call I knew that we were on to something very special. At each step in the process, Gabi kept me informed of everything…and I mean everything. He posted pictures of the progress of the amp in a custom photo gallery. What a classy touch! He sent me an digitized image of the control layout to be absolute certain that it was to me liking. I am just not accustomed to this level of service and attention to detail.
Well, the amp was delivered right on time just as Gabi had quoted when we began the project. After plugging it in to my Germino 2×12 cabinet with reissue Greebacks, I was treated to some of the very best tube tones I’ve ever heard in my life! I’ve played lots of boutique amps in my day and this one hangs with the big dogs, if not chases them off the porch! The 18 watt side has all of that nice Marshall toothiness but with the sparkle of the EL84’s keeping you from getting lost in the mix or clashing with other instruments’ frequency ranges. There are just Volume and Tone controls on this channel; all the controls you need for this channel to reach its potential.[…]
The Bright side is where the honey stays. This is one of the most impressive tones I’ve heard in my life! The EF86 is a gainier tube than the 12AX7’s in the 18 watt channel. The tube just oozes in fat, thick, and juicy sounds. With the volume set low and appropriate EQ settings, there are clean and jangly Bright sounds on this channel. While these sounds are very impressive, the true beauty of the Bright channel lies in the overdrive it is capable of attaining. At around 3 on the volume knob the amp just starts giving up the goods. By 6 or 7 you are in vintage tube amp heaven!
You don’t need any booster or overdrive pedals to get this guy going. It is a gainy bugger; that vintage edge and bite with a thick midrange that, unbeknownst to me, I have been in search of for many years. It is THAT good.
It is never muddy, retaining the character and cohesiveness to push the guitar up front. The controls are positively interactive and allow much tweaking to fine tune the amp to certain guitars, cabs, or rooms.
I simply could not be happier with the amp or the process of dealing with Gabi. The tones are otherworldly and Gabi has been a 100% joy to deal with every step of the way. He is a true gentelman and treats his customers like gold; a rare thing these days. The guy and the amps are top notch.
Scott Borrey, L.A., CA:
Your amp sounds GREAT !!!!! I have many 18 watt or lower amps, yours is the best sounding & coolest looking one i have. I will have Steve Miller check it out next time he visit’s the office. I am sure he will want one.