I must have owned 30 plus amps, some I loved, some I was massively disappointed in, some that excelled in one area but not others and everything in between. I was quite jealous of those that had a specific amp or at least style of amp that suited them and they stuck with it.
Up until last year I had not owned any Dumble style amps. For whatever reason I’d not got round to spending any serious time with them and the little time I had spent with them I was left somewhat cold and disappointed. A few years back at the Leeds Guitar Show Dan Whitelock Jones asked me to have a go on one of his creations, a 50 watt Bluesmaster. Sure enough I plugged in his Heritage 535 and was blown away by it. We also then got complaints and Dan got into an argument because of the volume I was playing at. Sure enough I was suitably impressed.
Fast forward a couple of years and I picked up a secondhand ODS that Dan had made. It’s wonderful, I went to Dan’s house for him to service it, I tried the same Bluesmaster I’d tried before and had to have one (he wouldn’t let me walk out with his).
At the back end of the year I picked it up and it’s honestly a bit of a revelation for me. It’s nothing like my preconceived perceptions. Yes it will do the Mayer, Ford, Carlton type of thing but because I can’t play like them it doesn’t sound that way. The two things that shocked me about it the most, the amount of drive it has. I thought it was a fender amp but I’ve never had a fender howl like these can. The second thing was the speed of the amp, it’s so quick and a little unforgiving. Each note blooms both good and bad. What a reward though, it just sings.
For the longest time I wanted an amp that had great mids, wasn’t shrill, lovely cleans and clarity when driven. I was shocked it was a Dumble style amp.
We for some reason still look to the US for a lot of our equipment which is odd as we’ve people like Dan around in the UK with a superb product. Dan is a total gent, he is knowledgable and detailed whilst being approachable and a good laugh. If you are in the market for a Dumble style amp then Dan should be a man you talk to.