If your music involves moving some serious
air, DV Mark’s three-channel Bad Boy
120 is wooing you. This head, which uses
twin KT88 output tubes to pump out 120
watts of stadium power, weighs in at a mere
21 pounds. And get this: The DV Mark C 412 cabinet I tested it with is rated at 600
watts and tilts the scales at a feathery 47
pounds thanks to the Italian poplar construction
and Neodymium speakers.
Each of the three channels has independent
Gain, Master, Presence, and 3-band
Tone controls. A pad switch accommodates
high output pickups and/or active
electronics, while a footswitchable 6dB
Solo boost function can kick any of the
channels up to “11.” The rear panel offers
outputs for single or multiple speaker
configurations, as well as a send-levelequipped
effects loop that can be assigned
to any or all of the channels with the
Loop Assign knob. The included Smart Controller footswitch remembers all loop
and boost assignments, even after being
powered off. Also included are individual
switching jacks for the channels, effects loop, and the Solo function for players
with MIDI systems that send switching
information. A pro rig indeed!
As with the 40-watt combo and head,
the Bad Boy features a switch for High or
Low bias and a service port to interface
the amp with a computer for bias, tube
wear, and voltage readouts.
The Bad Boy’s clean channel has
headroom for days, facilitating chiming
arpeggios capable of ringing through
a double bass drum kit, or serving up
spanking-clean funk rhythms at volumes
that could cut though a full contingent
of keyboards and horns. You can overdrive
this channel by cranking the Gain
knob, but why bother when Channel 2
is waiting in the wings?
I was highly impressed by the adaptability
of the second channel. Tweaking
the Gain, Master, Solo boost, and effective
tone controls, I was able to dial in
everything from Texas blues to classic
rock crunch to Iron Maiden-level metal.
For solos, Channel 3 has all the gain and
sustain you need while maintaining good
dynamics and touch sensitivity. It is rare
that I hear a three-channel amp where all
the channels are equally appealing, but
the Bad Boy 120 fits that description. And
keep in mind that adding a boost or overdrive
pedal in front of this head effectively
doubles its sonic possibilities.
This amp certainly offers a high degree
of flexibility, but if you are into heavier
sounds, be sure to check out the Triple 6
head ($1,499 street), which is essentially
a Bad Boy 120 that’s voiced for metal and
packs even more gain. Either way, with
so much going for these amps in the tone
and portability departments, anyone who
needs this kind of power should give these
big rigs from DV Mark a shot.
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