Koch Multitone 100W Head
16th February 2004
There is nothing strange or frightening about the Koch Multitone head when you first sit down with it - more like sitting down with an old friend. The look is classic and stylish, and the sound is classic tube tone... warm and friendly.
The front panel of the Koch Multitone has a vintage feel, with black/silver control plate and tweed front. The knobs have a retro look without being cheesy, and over all the presentation of the unit was very neat and professional. In ten years, the Koch will still look cool, regardless of current style or fashion.
The clean channel produced a very pleasing warm tone with a minimum of knob twiddling. The tone circuitry for this channel is in the preamp's input stage, giving great response.
Using the rhythm pickup, a smooth bluesy tone was produced, and switching to the bridge position gave up a glassy but even sound, not unlike a well played-in Strat or Tele. The clean channel's drive control allows for a variety of clean tones, without any annoying rough edges. It took me no time at all to go from soupy jazz chords to brittle funk, with power to spare. When the clean channel was turned up, the sound remained clear and even, which is the beauty of a big amp. Having been impressed by the clean sound at high levels, I was interested to see how the dirty channel responded at low levels - usually the catch when using a 100W amp.
The Dual-Gain control on the Overdrive/Gain channel produces a broad range of tonal colours, from fluid warmth to nerve - shattering distortion. I found myself likening the sound to a blend of vintage Marshall and Boogie Triple Rectifier. The tone circuitry of this channel is in the output stage of the preamp, which gives a little extra control of the overdriven sound. The dirty sounds of the Koch are rich and colourful, and that was before I even bothered to blend in some of the amp's reverb (which for an amp reverb is really quite nice). With an effects rack patched in, this rig would suit any performance from lounge to metal, and do so admirably. These sounds, by the way, were obtainable at any volume, which was very pleasing to me for two main reasons:
1) I didn't have to play unreasonably loud to get a good tone.
2) Being able to do this mean that the amp would actually be usable in a normal live or studio environment.
One of the (many) things I like about the Koch is that when you turn a knob, the sound changes. The tone controls are responsive and the speaker damping control is a treat, giving a tight and punchy or more 'open' sound at the flick of a switch. Overall, the Koch Multitone 100W head is a classic piece of equipment, and the perfect workhorse for the guitarist who needs consistent quality, performance and versatility.
On a more technical note, valves are the standard 12AX7 preamp and 6L6/EL34 configurations, which for my money are tried and true. You could try different valves (such as the KT88, for instance), but quite frankly, why bother?
I've already mentioned that the on board reverb is more than acceptable, when so many tank reverbs just don't cut it, and the effects loops (1 series, 1 parallel) are buffered, cutting down on extraneous noise from external units.
Construction is faultless, which you would expect from a hand-made European amp with quality components.
In closing, I have to mention that this amp is not cheap, retailing at just over AUD$4000. The price, however, is comparable to similar amps, and the Koch has the features and performance to hold it's own against the best that the big names have to offer.
More information on Koch amplifiers is available from the Eden Electronics website:
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