NAD: The BEST Amp I've Ever Heard!! Kustom KXB500

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Low Class, Aug 3, 2014.

  1. Low Class

    Low Class

    Jul 4, 2005
    New amp arrived yesterday. Over 40 years of playing and always searching for the "holy grail" in bass amplification. I've owned every brand imaginable with the exception of Glockenklang. I read the reviews, I talk to other bass players, I find out what bass players I like to listen to are using, yet nothing has really hit the bulls eye for me. My tonal goal has been an amp that sounds natural with no color, a tight full sound with good punch and definition. Off the top of my head the best (pre)amp that had the best natural uncolored tone would be a Demeter. What it lacked however was the punch and tightness I was after. GK for example has that tight punch to it, but it is colored and sounds like a GK. The closest thing I've ever found to the sound I wanted was an old Gibson GB440, relative to the AMP/Thunderfunk family.

    In a recent search I ran across an amp that was previously completely off my radar. In researching this amp further I found that Brad Johnson, a long time TBer, owned this model amp. Brad is an old AMP guy and I've noticed that we always have similar tastes in gear, so I PM'd him and asked about this amp and he replied giving a raving review.

    Based on that I ordered it and received it yesterday. I was shocked right off the bat to hear everything I wanted in my bass sound. What is this amp I'm been referring to?

    A KUSTOM KXB500. That's right, I said it! KUSTOM!!!
    Never in a million years would I ever think I'd not only own a Kustom, but would be also bragging about how great it is.

    Okay, so you're now saying "yeah, yeah, yeah, heard that before. Sounds great and he hasn't even had it on a gig yet!" Well last night I did not have a gig, but I took it to a friend of mine's gig who is also a TBer(Dr. Stankface) to give it a real world test. He normally plays through a NV610 with a Mesa M6 which sounds real good. We've also tried other heads with his rig like GK, EA, and Genz Benz.

    We plugged up the KXB500 and he played on it for a few minutes before the gig started and he immediately fell in love. First set the amp sounded really good. During his first break I recommended a EQ change and the second set started sounding even better. Then halfway through the set he made another minor change and all of a sudden it was like the sky to heaven had opened up. The look on Dr Stankface was one of "OMG!!". We both had smiles on our faces the rest of the night as we had both realized we had finally found the holy grail. Dr Stankface was so impressed that between his 2nd and 3rd set he went to eBay and ordered one right there.

    In a nutshell, the best way I know to describe this amp is that it's like a solid state version of a Demeter. Everything I didn't like about a Demeter is not present in the Kustom. There's no coloration, warm, articulate, punchy, full sound, it's all there. It's the perfect amp to use as a canvas if you want to add any effects.

    This amp has been out about 3 years and I am shocked that it has not caught fire by now. It's only $399 street, has every feature you would want, 5 year warranty, and even includes rack ears.

    As I stated, I've owned EVERYTHING!! The Kustom KXB500 is the real deal!! I'm sure everyone looks right past the Kustom name and that's why it hasn't caught on, but if you are serious about your tone you need to check out this amp.

    I still can't believe I'm bragging about a Kustom, but now I'm ready to be an active member in the Kustom club.
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2014
    G RICH 5, jeff7bass, klejst and 20 others like this.
  2. Cool. Nice to find something that you love that isn't insanely expensive.
  3. Low Class

    Low Class

    Jul 4, 2005
    If this amp was twice the money my opinion would not change. The price is just the icing on the cake.
  4. orangejulius3

    orangejulius3 Supporting Member

    May 6, 2013
    La Habra CA

  5. That's impossible, it simply can't be.
    Over here, that amp is 349,- Euros and made in China.
    Better reconsider. :D
  6. Low Class

    Low Class

    Jul 4, 2005

    I know, it doesn't cost a $1000, not made in the USA, and it's Class D. There is no way this can be a great amp, but it is.
    Woofer likes this.
  7. shawshank72


    Mar 22, 2009
    I would love to hear this amp in action.....
    I was on the fence of purchasing this at one point but passed based on the kustom name, ive tried their combos before and they were laughable.
  8. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    I remember playing through a Kustom Groove Bass head and being blown away by how perfect it sounded. Nice, round low end, smooth top end, and clear in the middle. I'm not sure why I've never owned a Kustom; I have no doubt the KXB500 is a stellar amp.
    jeff7bass likes this.
  9. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    SW, OK
    Is there a more powerful model of the same series?
  10. Low Class

    Low Class

    Jul 4, 2005
    500 watts is the highest wattage, but it's a powerful 500 watts.
    G RICH 5 likes this.
  11. lowsideonacurve


    Feb 24, 2011
    What cab where you using?
  12. Low Class

    Low Class

    Jul 4, 2005
    Last night he was using Berg NV610. At my house I've plugged into a Berg HT112ER stack and a Eden EX115.
  13. jmlee

    jmlee Catgut? Not funny. Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2005
    Halifax, Nova Scotia
  14. Low Class

    Low Class

    Jul 4, 2005
  15. jmlee

    jmlee Catgut? Not funny. Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2005
    Halifax, Nova Scotia
    Point taken. It's in the same KXB series, but hardly micro and much more expensive at near $700.
  16. Low Class

    Low Class

    Jul 4, 2005
    Actually they are $629. If it sounds as good or better than the KXB500 it's still a great deal if you can deal with the weight.
  17. I'm intrigued !
    Nice write up Low Class, please keep us updated as the love affair blossoms ;)

    Edit: does it have a voltage supply switch for 110-240v operation ? Cheers...
  18. Low Class

    Low Class

    Jul 4, 2005
    Just got a text from Dr Stankface who is still blissful from his experience with this amp last night. Quote" That is a #itching amp!"
    shaginwagin and Pimmsley like this.
  19. somegeezer


    Oct 1, 2009
    I had a similar experience with my GK. Both the price being low, and the sound being exactly what I wanted. I fall in love with the thing again, every time I turn it on.
    I can't think of many better things, than having an amp that just suits what you want from it.
  20. Low Class

    Low Class

    Jul 4, 2005
    Nothing wrong with GK, but my MB200 and MB500 is not in the same league with the KXB500 IMO. But it's always a good thing when you find an amp you're happy with.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2014