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When it comes to recording, this might just be the most versatile valve guitar amplifier we’ve seen…
Palmer are perhaps best known for their speaker simulator/load boxes, which have been (and are) used by a legion of guitarists. The Palmer range expanded relatively recently to include floor-based pedals and switchers, and in 2010 the first Palmer valve amplifier, the high-gain FAT50, quietly appeared, followed in late 2011 by a range of loudspeaker cabinets. With the release of the Palmer DREI triple single-ended, Class-A amplifier, designed by Palmer’s own Markus Torvinen, this steady advance is about to hit the limelight, because the amp is in a class of its own – quite literally.
It’s been quite a while since I played through a brand-new amplifier that gave me so much pleasure. Other than the fact that the tone control doesn’t do that much once it gets above halfway, there isn’t anything that I could find to fault on the Palmer DREI. Some may point to the fact that the DREI doesn’t have an effects loop or a DI out, but I couldn’t care less – I’ll happily give those things up in exchange for the pleasure of playing through this amp.
The Palmer DREI is one of those rare amps that are easy to use, sound great and that inspire you to play. Tone hounds are going to love this little head, and I’d like to hear it with a full compliment of vintage NOS tubes fitted. The DREI is also, in my opinion, superb value for money. Even factoring in the cost of a speaker cabinet, there’s nothing that I can think of that approaches the DREI in terms of sound for your pound.
If you’re looking to buy a recording amp or small gig amplifier, then, I recommend that you put the Palmer DREI at the top of your audition list. It is simply superb.