Hartley V5

5 watt class A single-ended.

EZ80 rectifier. EL84 power valve. ECC83 pre-amp valve.

Single channel. 2 inputs.

10″ alnico speaker.

We wanted to built an amp with usable pure distortion at a reasonable volume for recording and rehearsal. It’s turned better than we expected. It’s LOUD – plenty to keep up with a small drum kit and use for small gigs. The dense 3/4 ply construction of the cab + the 10″ speaker makes it louder than any 5 watter we’ve heard before. We’ve used an EL84 power valve, breaking away from the ‘American’ 6V6s & 6L6s in our other two models.

There’s lots of debate on the nerd forums about what Class A single-ended actually means – it’s the purest that a valve amp can be – a single pre-amp valve feeding a single power valve (and a proper valve rectifier but that’s a separate debate).

What it means in terms of playing is an amazing responsiveness – play gently at half volume and it has a lovely clean tone – play the guitar harder and the volume goes up and the wonderful rich distortion comes in.

At full volume (ear-plugs needed) it has the purest full-bodied distortion imaginable. The sustain too is incredible.

Price: £550

Made to order.