In the early 2000s, Epiphone released a line of retro-looking tube amps with some serious style and awesome sound. One of the bigger models to come from that line was the Blues Custom 30, and while ‘Blues’ is in its name, there’s not much this 2×12 combo can’t do.
Power-wise, this is an all-tube circuit that includes tube-driven spring reverb and even tube rectification, giving the full, authentic saturation of a valve amplifier that so many guitarists are looking for. the output wattage is rated at 30 watts, but it is a very loud 30 watts, and so the 15w mode-switch feature is a welcome one.
The cabinet is reminiscent of a ’50s-era hi-fi, when home entertainment equipment components were as much furniture as functional electronic devices. There are some tears in the cabinet’s wrap, and a little white paint on the front of this particular unit.
The controls of this amp are complex enough to give you some serious versatility in sound. The clean channel has standard T/M/B controls and volume control. The tone stack has a very cool switch that allows the EQ to be separate 0-10 controls or an interactive sum-adjustment stack.
The drive channel has a drive (gain) and level control as well as its own mid control, and these channels are switchable either by a button on the panel or via a footswitch. Top it all off with a fat, washy master reverb control, and you’ve got a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-most scenario on your hands.
The rear panel features taps for 16ohm, 80hm, and even 4ohm loads, the latter making this usable as a bass amp (among other things). Not much need for cabinet considerations, though: the Eminence Lady Luck speakers packed in this combo are specially designed for this circuit and were only ever released in this amp. They do the trick, let me tell you.