Top VOS, a bump in the mids, and the volume cranked up to 4 o’clock, the 3rd Power
gave me the familiar power-chord wallop and
sustain I know from my Marshall.
The 3rd Power’s tone controls will be
familiar to any Plexi owner too. The mid
control affects both volume and gain dramatically, and the midrange cuts in that
special way that screams Marshall. Backing
the volume down to 1 o’clock steered the
Les Paul into AC/DC rhythm territory.
Most interesting was how close the single
12" Celestion came to a 4x12 in terms of
response. Perhaps it didn’t blow my pant legs
like a leaf blower, the way some Marshalls
will. But the dynamics of guitar and speaker
interaction were startlingly similar.
Though the British Dream’s ’ 68 Plexi
channel has a very distinct, Marshall-like
voice, it still enables the character of individual guitars to come through loud and
clear. Strats exhibited their signature spank,
and P-90s barked mean and raw. It’s a testament to good amp design when guitars
retain their personality and character, and
the British Dream walks the line between
transparency and authority with aplomb.
With the British Dream, 3rd Power gives Vox
and Marshall lovers a killer one-two punch
in an amp that’s considerably more compact
and manageable than either of those legends.
The tones are amazingly authentic, if slightly
more modern at times, and the response is
startlingly spot on for a 1x12 combo attempting to approximate the sound of much more
monstrous cabinets. The addition of the proprietary cabinet design and removable back
panel gives you both open- and closed-back
sounds in one package.
Personally, I would prefer a single input
and channel switching over dual inputs,
as that design necessitates an A/B box. At
times, I found myself wanting a master
volume or power scaling to bring the levels down for recording, but the ability to
switch from 30 to 15 watts gets you most
of the way there and is invaluable for a
gigging musician. In the end, 3rd Power
has once again come up with yet another
winning and imaginative design—one your
aching back and bandmates will thank you
for, if you’ve been hauling around an AC30
or plexi to gigs.
you want AC30 and Plexi tones in
a single, relatively small package.
you prefer channel switching and
a master-volume control.
or use a mobile device to download
audio clips of the amp at