Subscribe to Mixdown Magazine




The DV Mark’s DV Jazz 12 is a 45 watt solid state combo amp with onboard reverb. It’s a classy lit­tle box that almost looks like it’s dressed in a tuxedo. The con­trols are all top-mounted and you get a full suite of EQ: tre­ble, mid­dle and bass, plus a vol­ume con­trol, reverb level con­trol and an aux­il­iary input jack for plug­ging in an iPod, CD or mp3 player. It’s the same pre­amp and power amp sec­tion as the smaller 8” speaker ver­sion that’s avail­able, but this one fea­tures a 12” DV Mark Cus­tom speaker. The reverb is DV Mark’s lat­est gen­er­a­tion dig­i­tal reverb, which seems to be the same kind that’s included in the DV 40 212 combo reviewed else­where in these pages.

On the rear panel you’ll find a bal­anced XLR Line Out for send­ing a sig­nal to a mix­ing desk for stu­dio and live appli­ca­tions. There’s also an inter­nal speaker on/off switch so you can silently prac­tice using head­phone (and there’s also a 1/8” mini plug for head­phones on the back). Don’t worry: because this is a non-tube power amp, you can’t cause all sorts of elec­tri­cal apoc­a­lypse by turn­ing off the speaker the way you would with a valve amp. Oh and there’s a speaker out for con­nect­ing to an 8 ohm exten­sion cab.

By the way, this is an extremely light amp, which is great news for per­form­ing gui­tarists who hate lug­ging gear around. You could carry your gui­tar case in one hand and the amp in the other and never get that awful “uh oh, I’m off bal­ance — do I let my gui­tar hit the wall, or my amp?” feel­ing that we’ve all known and dreaded at rehearsal stu­dio load-ins.


For test­ing I used my Gib­son Les Paul Tra­di­tional with Sey­mour Dun­can Seth Lover hum­buck­ers, which are faith­ful recre­ations of the ear­li­est Gib­son PAFhum­buck­ers from 1955. What I dis­cov­ered imme­di­ately was that the DV Jazz 12 really prefers to be pre­sented with a neck pickup sound. This is to be expected of course, since the neck pickup is where the vast major­ity of jazz gui­tar play­ing occurs. The bridge pickup sounded thin, twangy and slightly honky through the DV Jazz 12, yet the neck pickup sounded full, multi-dimensional, almost piano-like and yet with a sweet soft­ness around the edges. It’s an extremely lis­ten­able sound that just makes you want to keep play­ing for hours.

The dig­i­tal reverb adds a lush bed of ambi­ence, and higher lev­els seem to thicken up the reverb effect rather than sim­ply make it over­whelm the pro­gram mate­r­ial. It’s one of the nicest-voiced dig­i­tal reverbs I’ve ever come across, espe­cially when you’re using such a pure clean sound with it.


This is a sur­pris­ingly loud, complex-yet-simple-toned ampli­fier which is great for live per­for­mance, record­ing, or just get­ting jazzy around the house. It helps that it looks like a classy piece of kit, and it’s so damn light that you’ll want to take it every­where just in case the mood strikes you for some full-bodied, ambi­ent, sonorous tone.