When Budda Amplification debuted their 18-watt Twinmaster Ten in 1996, the handwired amp met immediate success and established the company as a leader in the emerging boutique market. Since then, the company’s evolving lines of amps have garnered a loyal following among players and collectors.
Both before and after Peavey Electronics’ purchase of Budda Amplification in 2008, Superdrive amps have formed the backbone of their product line. The latest addition to it is the V-Series—a collection of 2-channel, 6V6-powered amps that includes a 20-watt head, a 20-watt 1x12 combo, a 40-watt head, a 40-watt 1x12 combo, and the 40-watt V-40 2x12 combo model reviewed here.
With its black-and-crème vinyl covering, black-and-silver woven grille cloth, black piping, and Budda’s purple oval logo, the V-40 has a sleek, no-nonsense appeal. Featuring a quartet of 6V6 power tubes, the handwired amplifier drives a pair of custom-designed Budda Phat 12" speakers and offers plenty of power for club gigs and theater stages.
The V-40 has a refreshingly Spartan front panel. In addition to On/Off and Go/ Rest (standby) rocker switches, the V-40 has six wedge-shaped knobs—a push-pull Master that does double duty as a channel selector, Bass, a Mid knob that you can pull out for a thicker tone, Treble, Drive, and a Rhythm knob that pulls out for brighter response—an instrument input, and a jack for the included channel-switching footswitch. Around back, it sports Send and Return jacks for the passive effects loop, a Slave output jack with a Level knob, two speaker output jacks with a three-position switch for setting 16-, 8-, and 4-ohm impedance, and a standard AC connector. The Slave output and Level control lets you send a signal from the V-40’s preamp to an external power amp. You can also use the effects loop’s Return jack to receive a slave signal from another amp and run it through the V-40’s power section and speakers.
Though it wasn’t terribly difficult for me to carry the amp short distances with one hand, I certainly wouldn’t describe the 2x12 combo as “lightweight.” The speakers boast beefy magnets and the custom-wound transformer further contributes to the V-40’s heft. Though the V-40 has several weight-relieving features, such as an aluminum chassis and a custom pine cabinet, this is a solid tank of an amplifier.