Kustom The Defender 50W 1x12 Tube Guitar Combo Amp  

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The Defender from Kustom provides an intoxicating blend of hot tube amp tones and never-before-seen features. To maximize the amp's classic tone, The Defender is built of solid Pine and uses a Plywood... Read More

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The Defender from Kustom provides an intoxicating blend of hot tube amp tones and never-before-seen features. To maximize the amp's classic tone, The Defender is built of solid Pine and uses a Plywood Baffle Board. All-Pine construction gives the amplifier a rich, resonant tone that will inspire any lover of historic tube amps. The cabinet is covered in high-quality black Tolex with a raised stitching pattern, similar to a motorcycle seat.

An exclusive preamp operates unlike any other. Called Duo-Mod, the proprietary Kustom circuit uses traditional Volume and Master Volume controls, but that's where the similarity ends.

Here's how it works: When turning the Defender's Volume control down to get cleaner tones, the Duo-Mod circuit progressively reduces gain in multiple locations throughout the preamp. The result is stunning clarity throughout the Gain control's entire range. In other words, clean tones get cleaner and medium-gain tones stay chunkier and dynamic, while not sacrificing their higher-gain potential.

In the medium-to-high gain ranges, the Kustom Duo-Mod circuit progressively adds gain in multiple locations throughout the preamp. The result is smoking hot rock tones with punch and clarity that set it apart. In essence, the Kustom Duo-Mod circuit produces a wide variety of tones from a deceptively simple one-channel amplifier without the need for additional gain switches or controls.

The Defender's Master Volume doesn't merely control the overall amplifier level. The guitar amp also optimizes the amp's overall EQ to produce perfectly tweaked tonal results no matter how the input Volume and Master Volume controls are set. For example, when the input Volume is cranked for distortion and the Master is set lower, the amp's midrange and high-end are adjusted to eliminate any harshness. This system lets players make large changes in gain settings with minimal adjustments of tone controls.

For added flexibility, the Defender amp also has a Master Volume Bypass switch, which lets players entirely disable the Master from the circuit to achieve the penetrating tone and headroom of vintage, non-Master type amplifiers. It's perfect for players who like to use outboard overdrive and distortion boxes to spice up their sound. For even more power amp gain, a variable Power Amp Boost control provides up to 10db of footswitchable volume that is perfect for making guitar solos stand out in the mix.

Amplifier features include two EL34 output tubes, three 12AX7 preamp tubes, a 12-inch Kustom speaker and a Bright switch that provides either a fuller, American-style bass response or a tighter, British flavored low-end. A player's preference of either EL34 or 6L6 power tubes may be used in The Defender, thanks to a switch which adjusts the amp's bias circuitry accordingly — perfect for guitarists who like to experiment with their tonal options.

A classic spring reverb circuit provides everything from a warm, ambient effect to an all-out cavernous wash of sound.

  • Two EL34 output tubes
  • Three 12AX7 preamp tubes
  • 12" Kustom speaker
  • Bright switch
  • Amp bias circuitry adjustment switch allows use of either EL34 or 6L6 power tubes
3 year parts and labor warranty on all amps, PAs, and speakers, including speaker cabs.

  • Customer Reviews

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by PowerReviews

(based on 3 reviews)

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Reviewed by 3 customers

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


Think Hendrix and SRV in a clean box where you can turn up the grit- GREAT AMP


from hobbyist

This is about my 12th amp ever owned in 25 yrs (some tube some SS --- Crate, Roland VGA, Line 6, Holmes Bluesmaster, Univox, Fenders, etc, etc). So I don't have a lot to compare it to as some other people here, but I am just a hobbyist and never gig�ۡ��_. However, this is my first ever amp review so bare with me... I was looking for a good basic amp that could run clean and get dirty when needed. I wasn't looking for effects as I have many many pedals for that already. If you�ۡ���re looking for cool effects this is lacking, but it does have a few goodies it does very well. Controllable top end. Unlike some other amps I have used you can run this at various volumes without losing playability. It can be played low and still "feel" as though you're pushing it. The volume drives the pre-amp tubes and master drives the mains (EL342). This can also be bypassed. First time I was able to achieve this well without a separate pedal. Speaker is reasonable. 16 ohm Eminence stock. I have no plans to change it yet. The amp can be configured to take 16, 8, or 4 ohm speaker configurations with a simple switch change. Reverb is pleasant but a tad on the dark side. Better than most of my other amps for sure. The Defender has three 12AX7s and two EL34s. The EL34s can be replaced with 6l6�ۡ���s and can be easily biased with simple switch. I have not yet tried this. The tubes are easy to get to as well. There is only one input and no effects loop. For me that is fine... I don't use them even on amps that have them. Controls location. This is where it shines for as well. I got the one they just discontinued. The controls are in the font�ۡ��_ where they should be! Why do some higher end amp manufactures insist on putting controls in the rear top deck? This amp is nice with the controls on the front. Can be placed under a shelf and can be access easily. For me this is a big plus. Unfortunately, they changed the model and this now changed�ۡ��_ ugh! Although the new 50 has some more features. Sound is where it's at. Very controllable clean to grit. I think very comparable to the Fender Hot Rod Deluxe. I actually chose this over a used HOT Rod at the same price as the new Kustom. Both great amps but the tone was excellent on the Kustom for a new amp I just had to go with it. Best way to describe is that the tone surrounds you and you just don�ۡ���t want to stop playing. Best amp for blues and classic rock tones I have ever tried hands down. I have no mod plans for this one. Plus this can play loud or quite and as I mentioned... It doesn't significantly loose the tone or feel at different volume levels. Reliability & Durability: Don't know... Too early to tell... Plus I do not gig. No reason to think it wouldn't hold up. It is also a solid pine box not ply. Seems solid to me. I will post back if come across anything breaking down. OH... There is this... I did get a microphone tube rattling around... I never had this happen before and didn't know what it was making the noise so I called Kustom and was told of a local service place... They took me within a hour and replaced the bad tube at no charge to me. This place said that Kustom brand stands behind their warrettee better then some others. So if it does break I am not too concerned I guess. Bottom line... If you want cool built-in effects or heavy metal tones this is not your amp. If you want a classic style plain ballsy tube amp this is a very good pick. Think Hendrix and SRV in a box! Of course if Hendrix got his paws on this it would be shattered and lit on fire... With love. I suggest to go play it before you buy it. It really is warm and fun to play. I know the big guys (Guitar Center, Sam Ash, etc) sell them but don't normally carry the Kustom line in stock. You may need to check local stores to try it out. I would never have come across the line if my local store didn't have it sitting right there. Once I tried it I was hooked. No brainer. Hope this helps!

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(10 of 11 customers found this review helpful)


Amazing tone quality!!!

By LPman8185

from Geneva, Illinois

I've had this amp for about 6 months, and it was worth every dime I spent on it. The fantastic and diverse tones you can get out of the Defender are truly amazing, especially considering the relatively low price of the amp. I'm running a Boss DS-1 Distortion through it, and also a Digitech Weapon occasionally. No other amp I've played on handles the sound of the distortion like this one, you can really turn that thing into a monster! This amp is perfect for any type of playing and any guitar player out there!

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(11 of 11 customers found this review helpful)


What a Surprise

By J Man

from Rockaway, Oregon

I happened to buy this amp by chance. I had been looking for a decent tube amp for a while, but didn't really want to fork out the big bucks. I bought this amp because of the price, but boy was I surprised. This thing kicks butt. The tones that come out of this thing are amazing. I think the best part is plugging in my podx3 and flipping the master off switch. This thing cranks. Using external effects is where this amp shines.

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