How will this 5 watt tube amp stack up to the needs of an apartment player who mainly records and jams at lower volumes?
Supro’s Delta King 10 has been on my mind since it was announced during the virtual NAMM madness earlier this year. Boasting 5 watts of power, two channels (one clean, one dirty), and built-in boost and reverb controls, it feels like perfect apartment-playing tube bliss. There’s a 12AX7 tube pre-amp, and then a vintage Supro-voiced 6V6 tube power amp to provide plenty of headroom and just a touch of compression. The boost switch engages a FET-style boosted tone that adds just a slight amount of dirt, but retains a nice clean, bell-like signature. Right next to that is the drive switch, which engages a Pigtronix FAT gain channel that adds a ton of natural body and overdrive. The rest of the control knobs include a channel volume, master volume, treble, bass, and reverb knob for some user friendly but still versatile tone shifting.
Sound & Opinion:
I really ended up loving the Supro Delta King 10 as a pedal platform amp. It’s clean, compressed, and generally creates a very flexible palette that you can alter via your pickup, pedal, and signal chain setup. I mainly played through my hollow-body Stanford Crossroad Thinline 30, as the P90s paired well with the amp to create a room filling sound at lower volumes. There was little to no buzz or hum, except for when I hit a fuzz pedal on, which made it a joy to record with. With only 5 watts of power, it was also really easy to dial in all sorts of amp tones from cranked amp breakup to more sterile, treble-rich cleans. With higher treble, I did feel the Supro started to thin out a bit and become sort of ice-picky. So I do think it is really limited by having only a 2-band EQ, but the use of pedals rectified most unpleasant sounds that arose when trying to demo it and record some tracks for my own records. The built-in FET boost sounds great though, and that soon became an always-on sound when paired with the compressed, clean channel. Moving over to the overdriven channel was fun, and I really liked the sound of the overdriven channel when I opened up the master volume a bit. At the lowest volumes it just felt way too compressed. It’s pretty fun for open chords, single note riffs and arpeggios, though it didn’t nail the punk wall of sound you know I love. Not that I really expected it to…
Conclusion & Final Score: 7.3 out of 10
Overall, I felt that the Supro Delta King 10 does exactly what it sets out to do: create a flexible pedal platform for at-home recording. It is missing some of the “oomph” I’d want in a small combo amp that I’d mic up for live shows, but it really comes alive with pedals and tone tweaking in a studio setting. The built-in FET boost, reverb, and drive channel are highlights for me in terms of versatility, but you’d definitely want to invest in a footswitch to get the most out of these specs. If you’re looking for a clean, crisp pedal platform on a budget, this has to be a top tube amp contender. It certainly doesn’t hurt that it looks great, either in the black or tan tolex with the racing stripes. This Delta King 10 is a great option for singer-songwriters, guitarists stuck in a cramped dorm or apartment, or players who like to shape their signal chain from the pedalboard.