The brand new Metropoulos DVL-1 amplifier is the culmination of more than a decade of friendship between William DuVall of Alice In Chains and George Metropoulos. The mission was simple: build the ultimate plexi-style 100-watt amplifier with maximum flexibility and functionality and zero compromise in components, signal purity, and tone. Of course, this is much easier said than done. But William and George both feel that they not only accomplished the mission, they've exceeded it.
The DVL-1 utilizes an all-tube EL-34 two-channel, four-mode design. Each of the four modes is named for the year of Plexi-fueled rock awesomeness that it sonically represents.
Channel One houses the DVL-1's '65 Mode and '66 Mode.
The '65 Mode nails the "maximum R&B" tones of 1965-era Pete Townshend up to the full-throated JTM-45 growl of AC/DC's Angus Young. The '66 Mode gets us into the glorious heavier blues-rock tones of Cream and The Jimi Hendrix Experience.
Channel Two houses the DVL-1's '68 Mode and Mod Mode.
'68 Mode is inspired by the 1968 Marshall plexi amp used by Edward Van Halen on the first six Van Halen albums and tours. It's well-known by connoisseurs of British-built vintage amplifiers how much the classic plexi amps produced during the late-1960s could vary in tonal quality due to the availability (or lack) of parts used for assembly. It's also generally accepted that the particular '68 plexi owned and used by Edward Van Halen from 1977-1984 had a special magic about it. Edward dubbed his tone the "brown sound" and that explosive, harmonically rich sound has remained the highest, most elusive benchmark for hard-rock guitar tone for over 40 years. Thousands of musicians, guitar manufacturers, and amplifier companies have tried to replicate the brown sound across the decades. Nearly all have failed miserably. After years of extreme diligence and deep-dive research, George Metropoulos was able to acquire a 1968 100-watt Marshall plexi amp from the exact same production series and built from the exact same parts as Edward's magic Marshall (right down to the very close serial number). George's amp possesses the same sonic voodoo. It is this amplifier that was used as the basis for the Van Halen-style hot-rodded plexi greatness that is the DVL-1's '68 Mode. And we are proud to say, after numerous exhaustive A/B comparisons, that the '68 Mode on the DVL-1 actually BEATS George's vintage 1968 Marshall plexi in terms of low-end girth, midrange clarity, high-end smoothness, and overall "balls," to use the vernacular of plexi aficionados worldwide. If you want to achieve pure Van Halen brown sound nirvana, the DVL-1 is your amp.
And then there's Mod Mode. This is where we get into even more extreme heaviness. Mod Mode starts where the '68 Mode ends, jacking things up with even more gain and low-end "thunk." Think Metallica or Alice in Chains. Mod Mode offers maximum heaviness but with a clarity, musicality, and harmonic richness often missing from other super high-gain amplifiers.
If George and William had stopped there, they would have already created one of the greatest all-tube amplifiers ever built. But they wanted to build the ULTIMATE 100-watt amplifier for plexi enthusiasts. So they dedicated even more sleepless nights to building a couple of additional key features into the DVL-1's design.
Despite the incredibly luscious gain already offered by the '68 and Mod Modes, the DVL-1 also has an independent Gain Boost channel with its own Gain, Level, Bass, and Treble controls.
In addition, the DVL-1 also has a MidBoost for those occasions when you just need a little extra kick within that frequency range. The DVL-1's Mid Boost is very musical without a hint of harshness. William DuVall hand-picked the capacitor himself at George's workspace in Detroit. It's just enough to give certain lines or fills within a song the extra cut they need without being overwhelming.
The DVL-1 achieves the best version of every classic rock guitar tone William and George set out to represent. But all that amazing tone without ultimate functionality would still fall short of the mission. So they made all four modes - '65, '66, '68, and Mod - AND the Mid and Gain Boosts completely footswitchable using the DVL-1's custom-built footswitch. This means that not only can you instantly jump from one channel or mode to another, you can access the MID BOOST and/or GAIN BOOST while in any of the modes.
Here are just a few potential real-world examples of how this awesome functionality might be used:
Ex. 1) You're rockin' hard a la The Who Live At Leeds in '65 or '66 Mode and you want to peel out on a Townshend-esque free-flight solo. But you don't want to use any overdrive or distortion pedals. You want real AMP distortion. And you want to retain the basic tonal character of '65 or '66 Mode. You want that same tone only with more volume and sustain - not merely kicking it up to 11, but more like 12, 13, and beyond. The DVL-1 has got you covered. Just hit the Gain Boost button on the custom footswitch and enjoy your flight.
Ex. 2) You're already dealing out maximum heaviosity in Mod Mode but want to kick up the volume and sustain even further with a face-melting solo that lifts your blistering fretwork up over your already-loud band. The DVL-1 has you covered. Hit the Gain Boost button on the custom footswitch and watch the faces hit the floor.
Ex. 3) You're jangling away in Beatles/Tom Petty/Neil Young territory using '65 Mode and that special guitar fill or melody line that absolutely MAKES the song is coming up. You need it to be heard more prominently than your normal rhythm part but you don't want to overpower the rest of the band. Maybe there's a lead vocal happening simultaneously that you can't afford to drown out. Maybe your guitar part supports the chorus of the song. You just need a little extra lift to make your part soar. The DVL-1 has got you covered. Just hit the Mid Boost on the custom footswitch and do justice to both your guitar part AND to the song as a whole.
Of course, there are hundreds of other applications for this incredibly versatile amplifier. We look forward to hearing how YOU use it.
To sum up, George Metropoulos and William DuVall have created THE ULTIMATE plexi-style rock-n-roll amplifier for discerning players who want nothing but the very best. The Metropoulos DVL-1 is destined to become a classic.
- Two separate channels, with independent gain and master volumes
- Channel A offers '65 mode and '66 mode
- Channel B offers '68 mode and MOD mode
- All modes are accessible via the footswitch
- BOOST is a separate function, which can be applied to any mode. Think of it as a high voltage, clean boost in front of the amp. Just built in and with its own dedicated volume level control
- Foot-switchable Mid Boost, separate from the BOOST circuit and applies to all modes
- Variac mode simulates using a variac to operate a plexi at 90V AC
- Switchable for 50 or 100 watts output
Output: 100 watts RMS, 150 watts peak
Weight: 44 lbs / 20 kg
Dimensions: 29" x 10.75" x 8.25" (736mm x 275mm x 205mm) (feet not included, add 1.25" to height)
AC operation: 100, 120, 230, 240V AC 50HZ, 60HZ
Controls: gain, treble, middle, bass, presence, master volume, boost gain, boost master
Switches: power, standby, variac, modes ('65/'66, '68/MOD, MID BOOST)
Outputs: speaker impedance, speaker jacks (2)
Footswitch: 6 pin XLR, 5 buttons
FX loop: send, return, level
Output level switch: 100W, 50W
AC input: IEC
Fuses: 4A MDL mains, 1A DL high voltage, 1A time delay gma internal