Reviewed: DV Mark Little 250M amplifier

CMC Music | | Expect to Pay: $895

Say what you will about DV Mark products, but there is no denying the company as a whole is a big name in the riff game. They pride themselves on producing combos as well as matched head and cab pairings that are consistently the ‘-est’ in whatever field they find themselves playing. Whether you’re after the highest gain structure imaginable, the smallest profile, the highest power rating in the smallest package or just the most affordable, Marco De Virgiliis and co. have at least one design with your name on it. They’re hungry for innovation in the DV research and development department, and it is this voracious longing for perfection that sees them pump out design after design like the goose that lays golden eggs.

If the Little 250 M is anything to go by, the CD towers around the Mark World offices must be pretty well stocked with hard rock and metal classics. This tiny yet mighty little number is a twin channel, 250 watt rock machine. Channel one is full to the gills with the kind of clear, bristling, high-gain juiciness that keeps people with the world’s fastest fingers like Michael Angelo Batio at the top of the DV artist roster. Channel two is more reminiscent of the bluesy crispness of classic British Class A tube amps from the 70’s, but with more headroom and a tightened sense of control that comes from the solid state bedrock upon which it is built. The EQ sweep on both channels is as broad and far reaching as you could ever want without stretching into weird Q settings. Overall, this little black brick ticks both the power and simplicity boxes.


I’ve watched with a keen yet quizzical interest as people with a penchant for heavier music reach back into the solid-state bag of tone trickery for inspiration. Certain internet groups (that shall remain unnamed for various reasons, not the least of which being avoiding incrimination) have become increasingly populated by ‘new-old-amp-day’ pictures posted by proud parents of Peavey and Acoustic branded builds of days gone by. Some of them look like they sat in the shed since they were first purchased, but it seems that worshippers of the darker side of life are leaning towards the inimitable power and tightness afforded by tube free amplification and yielding great results. For followers of Mark’s catalogues over the years, this will feel like people are finally catching on to what they’ve known all along; if you want sheer, unbreakable, earsplitting power and controlled, suspension bridge tight tonality then solid state is the one true way forward. The Little 250 M, while it may have a dinky sounding name, delivers all that and more with 250 watts of unmitigated clarity and headroom you could fly a Boeing through.


Believe it or not, some people still look to the old instructional videos for guidance. Some people still wear spandex, tease their hair, and wish that David Lee Roth never left Van Halen. Equally, some people swear that Clapton is still God and that anything that doesn’t have a 12AX7 in it sounds like wet bread. If you want unadulterated power, surprisingly clear and rich tonality, supreme portability and all the trimmings of a JCM2000, then look no further than the Little 250 M from DV Mark.


Hits and Misses


Power, clarity, flexibility, and a small footprint


Not nearly as characteristic clean tone as your favourite tube amp