Top critical review
One person found this helpful
I TRIED AND WANTED TO LIKE IT, HEY IT'S A TUBE AMP, IT HAS TO SOUND GOOD. Uhhh...well,
on March 31, 2014
After reading all the stellar reviews at all the various web sites I thought, wow, this is going to be a great sounding amp. Yikes and was I ever wrong. I really wanted to like the Kustom 5H and kept checking the tracking with baited breath, but after getting it and connecting it, all I heard was a very (annoyingly-loud) sterile-sounding amp. No break-up, no sweet spots, just harsh loudness. I played it through an earcandy BOA ES cabinet containing a (recommended) CK12 speaker. Yes recommended, just go to the very comprehensive Jensen web site and it has speaker recommendations based on your input of wattage and other factors. And the speaker documentation there is nothing less than superb. Back to the amp; I kept trying various scenarios, w/humbuckers/single pole pickup’s/boost pedals etc, and it just kept coming back to, wow this sounds terrible (and, it is way too loud) no matter what I would try. The loudness is somewhat difficult to explain, but it is a type of loudness that hurts your head/ears and does so in a bad headache sort of way. I’m not one to purchase something reviewed so greatly and then find I’d need to start making endless “MOD’s” if you will, just to try to see if I’d get a decent sound from it. To that end I’ve obviously returned the Kustom 5H and have gone back in-time a bit farther to a used Crate VFX5112 all tube EL34/12ax7/powered amp and man, what a great sounding amp and; the afore-mentioned earcandy cabinet is also attached and it too sounds wonderful.
I am sorry I wasn’t able to get a great sound from the Kustom 5H. I like Kustom products and I loved the fact they have a customer service technical center (from the sounds), based in the USA and the person I spoke with there was very knowledgeable, very friendly and easy to talk with. He even answered the phone very promptly with very little wait if any. Go to the Kustom site and their tech support line is listed if you ever would need it.
I guess for the price point, this 5H would make a good spare amp to have along if you were in a band and your main amp would go south on you.