THD Univalve Shootout
How will the Splawn Nitro Compare?

THD Univalve Tube Amp
     Click HERE for Pictures
 
      Click HERE for Pictures
 THD Univalve Sounds - all in mp3  Nitro Sounds - all in mp3
Clean Sound
Rhythm Sound
Heavy Rhythm Sound
Lead Sound
Clean Sound
Rhythm Sound
Heavy Rhythm Sound
Lead Sound
   
 Specifications  Specifications
THD Uni-Valve 15W Class A Amplifier Head Features:
15W Class A amplifier
Single-ended Class A circuit
Hand built
Accepts almost any power tubes in any combination
Ships with 2 - 12AX7s (preamp) and a single EL34s (power amp)
2 preamp tubes can be any combination of 12AX7, 12AT7, 12AU7, 12AY7, or 12AZ7 tubes
2 inputs: one for high gain and one for low gain
Volume, Treble, Bass, and Attitude knobs
Built-in Hot Plate output attenuator
Volume, Treble, and Bass controls
Attitude control knob
Hard-bypass switch for Hot Plate
Light bulb noise-reduction circuit
On-Off switch for light bulb circuit
Transformer-isolated line out with adjustable level control
Choose Line-Level or Instrument-Level signal
2 ohms to 16 ohms speaker load
Built-in dummy load
THD Uni-Valve 15W Class A Amplifier Head Specifications:
15-1/2"W x 8-3/4"H x 10-3/4"D
27 lbs.

 
New Splawn Nitro 100 watt Head
Splawn tone with more saturation
Voiced for bigger low end and lower midrange
Clean w/ Independent EQ, Rhy and Lead channel
Solo boost and Resonance control
Overdrive channel has an OD1/OD2
footswitch function (which gives you a gain setting for rhythm and lead sounds)
Effects loop
Half power switch
Three button footswitch w/ LED's
F/S functions
#1 Clean & Overdrive
#2 OD1 & OD2
#3 Solo Boost
Heyboer Transformers
with choice of Mullard EL34's, Tung Sol EL34B  or Sovtek KT88's
   
 Our Views  Our Views
The THD Uni-Valve is a Class A tube amp which is handmade in the USA. As you can imagine there are lots of features on this amp (check the above specs) which we will not go on and on about, suffice to say that this little amp has a lot to offer when it comes down to TONE.

You can fit almost any power amp that has the same base as a regular 6L6 (for example) and that alone can seriously affect the tone of this amp no end.

There are other things too, like switching out preamp tubes and mixing and matching those, and if you want humongous sustain, then just switch in the inbuilt variac for a sweet sustain that will go on forever.


There is no biasing of the 'tube' because there is only one! So, for all you technophobes out there just plug in the tube you want (really) and away you go.

This is not a high powered amp, but even at 15 Watts it can be loud with a 4x12 cab, so don't think you could not gig one - you could.

Another dirty little secret that they don't want you to know is that this amp is actually multi voltage. Yes it's made to show the voltage for your country, but inside on the transformer is all of the juicy inputs for different countries - and THD will tell you how to do it if you ask...  so this is really an international amp in the truest sense of the word.

It's a single channel amp so control of the volume on the guitar is a good option if you use one of these.

Manufacturers warranty is one year and tube warranty is (like the rest) a poor 90 days only.

It is a very reliable piece of kit, but it is expensive for 15 Watts.

In our view it is not suited to modern heavy rock styles, although the lead guitar can be awesome given time to play with the amp for a while - it is NOT an instant gratification amp in our view.

Negatives: One Channel, 15 Watts, Price.

 

 

 

 

 

The THD is a very unusual amp. On the one hand its hand made down to the last washer, and is very quirky as an amp, but on the other it can achieve a huge amount of things that the Nitro cannot come near - so in this 'shootout' in fact it's a draw....

The Nitro packs a punch - of that there is no doubt in my mind. This amp was developed for the guitarist that needed that extra drive and more importantly that bottom end that this amp just loves to deliver.

Each and every one of these amps is custom made for the user by Splawn based in Dallas, North Carolina, USA and there is a waiting list - always a good sign of a hot product.

The one on this site was bought towards the end of 2008 and was delivered a few months later in awesome condition which oozed quality right out of the box. There were absolutely no issues whatsoever with this amps pedigree and build quality.

The options when buying enable you to buy an amp customised for you and a unique product. Fortunately, most guitarists have never heard of Splawn amps - and that's a good thing if you are in the market - firstly because the wait time is kept reasonable (and quality will matter at production) but secondly that you will be buying one of the worlds premier manufactured and designed products for what is really an awesome price and extremely hard to beat.


The Nitro is a 100 Watt head which utilises a few tubes (which you can specify at order time) such as EL34, KT88 etc and likely there are more options if you contact Splawn directly.

Basically it's a two channel amp with extra 'solo' options residing on a foot pedal. It does not have all the bells and whistles of some amps on this site, but it does have a effects loop which is switchable, it does have a mains voltage switch for different countries and it does have an awesome tone.

There's also a handy half power switch if you want to be half soaked ( :-) ).

The amp features a great resonance control that can change this fire breathing monster in to somewhat of a pussy (in the nicest sense of the word) so that it is quite tame - for other styles of music than just modern heavy rock.

This amp comes with a Limited Lifetime Warranty to the original owner of the amp, but tubes and transformers are just 90 days... it seems every manufacturer wants to semi warranty those parts...  yet in law they would be liable for failure (at least here in the UK they would).

In any case - it is very unlikely you will need the warranty - or indeed the manual - this amp is as easy to play though as you can get.

This amp is one of the best kept secrets and the best priced top end gear amps available anywhere in the world today.

Negatives: None.

Price: £895 (Street) $850 (Second User)  Price: $1950 ($2250 Export)
   
The THD can sound like so many amps... it's got all sorts of wizardry to get every last tome out of the tubes if you're a tone hound...  but no matter what you try - it is NOT going to sound like the Splawn Nitro. Sound for sound is outweighed by feature to feature so both of the amps in this section are truly winners. The Nitro can never sound like a THD and vice-versa so there is not really any comparison between the two other than they are both handmade, and shine in the respective markets they are aimed at. The Nitro is as above and the THD is really awesome in the studio if you have an hour or two to get the sound - but don't try to make it in to a Nitro - you aren't going to make it...