Earforce Two Review

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews' started by Scattered Messiah, Aug 29, 2011.

  1. Scattered Messiah

    Scattered Messiah Kassandrian Dreams

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    Hi folks.
    I chose to make this my first review.
    I own this amplifier for over a year now, and since then my amp-GAS is gone for good.

    1) What is this?
    This is an Earforce Two, a twochannel amplifier handmade in P2P style in Germany, by a company named Earforce.
    The basic design is rather puristic, including,
    a cleanchannel featuring gain - bass - mid - high - volume controls,
    a overdrivechannel gain - bass - mid - high - presence - volume controls, a mastervolume, a serial effects-loop and a solo-boost.
    The cool thing about these amps is, that almost every aspect of them is customizable. This goes from design issues such as tolex, LED-colours, Grill or cloth, ect ... to such things as tubes, wattage and everything you wish except MIDIfication.
    I chose the 50W version with KT88s, no technical extras. Designwise I went for Snakeskin Tolex, white chickenhead knobs, a green Power-Switch, blue cleanchannel-LED, red overdrivechannel-LED and a green boost-LED.

    2) the Sound
    Cleanchannel: The cleanchannel is designed for pedal use and - *drumroll*- for clean tones, who would have thought?
    It has some Fender genes to it, responds to dynamics very well and really brings out the character of the guitar used.
    The whole thing is enhanced by an extremely effective EQ. The controls have a big impact on sound and they interact with each other. This gives you the possibility to go from pristine, sparkling or even glassy cleans to warm & mellow cleantones.
    The only thing, the cleanchannel will not do by itself is a crunchy-cleantone, where you get the slight overdrive intro it, as it is really difficult to get this channel overdriven (without the use of pedals).


    Overdrive:
    This is the shit!! The attack of this amplifier is fast as hell. Its behavior is rather direct and Uncompressed, meaning you sound killer when you play good, but you play shit you sound shit as well. The tonal characteristics of this channel are difficult to describe, but I’ll try nevertheless.
    At first, it really let's the guitar shine through, and, up to now, everyone sounded different playing it.
    In the mids, it sounds somehow like a 5150, but slightly less muddy in the low-mids and a bit more open. The bass is very fast and tight, which makes this amplifier really suited for downtuned stuff. The highs are of the “aggressive but not really harsh” type.
    But the real way to unleash the beast is the controls! Like with the cleanchannel, they have a huge impact on sound and interact with each other (as shown in this vid by Lasse Lammert ), so you get a vast array of different sounds, even though the initial character stays.


    The Boost (is a boost, what else):
    The Soloboost primarily makes it possible, to get a footswitchable volume drop or increase. But it also alters the sound of the overdrivechannel slightly. The overdrive gets a bit more compressed and fluid … just perfect for soloing!


    3) Overall
    Many might say, that 50W are not enough. But up to now, I never got into a situation, where they were needed full. Just think about it, that we are talking "real" 50W here, not like the Engl Fireballs 60W (which actually measure out at 35W-ish).

    Pros:
    - Great sounding amplifier
    - Huge soundshaping possibilites
    - Small company, superb customer service (comparable to the guys from BareKnuckle)
    - Customizable in about every aspect (you get YOUR amp!)
    - Cool looks
    - These things are made to last, mine survived a decent amonut of physical stress without a word
    - Handmade and P2P, so it’s easier to repair, bias and work on the thing.

    Cons:
    - Unforgiving, this thing forces you to play clean!
    - Only two channels and no hundreds of knobs might take some time to get used to
    - TO use the full potential of the amplifier, you need to get familiar with the EQ, which may take some time
    - 2000€ is a bit of money (but here in Europe, a Rectifier costs about the same or more)

    Edit: Pic won't work, today evening I'll fix
     

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