Soldano rolls out a 30-watt combo version of its high-gain classic Super Lead Overdrive – and it’s pre-modded with a Depth control

The Soldano SLO 30 is a 30-watt combo version of it's classic Super Lead Overdrive
(Image credit: Soldano)

That ripping noise you hear might be the sound of guitar players the world over tearing up their high-end guitar amp wish lists and starting again upon hearing the news that Soldano has launched the SLO-30  – a new yet classic design from the iconic US amp brand that reimagines the mighty Super Lead Overdrive platform as a compact 30-watt 1x12 combo.

The SLO-30 is released alongside a pair of open or closed-back 112 extension cabinets. All are kitted out with a high-powered heavyweight Celestion G12H-150 Redback 12” driver, and you have the options of classic black or purple vinyl coverings – or should you feel nostalgic for the hot-rodded electric guitar aesthetic of the ‘80s, there is a snakeskin option too. 

Whichever you would pick, you will have yourself a heck of an amplifier. The SLO-30 has of course been available as a head since 2020, and like the head, this combo takes the sound and the same high-gain performance from a two-channel set up as its larger 100-watt sibling. 

The addition of a Depth control to the amplifier’s power section will be a welcome feature for long-time Soldano fans. This was an ever-popular mod on older models. Alongside a Presence control and a three-band EQ that serves both Normal and Overdrive channels, the SLO-30 offers players no shortage of tone-shaping power. 

Further improvements have been made to the noise floor, with Soldano going under the hood to equip the SLO-30 with DC-based filament circuit and circuit separation which reduces “crosstalk” between channels. The tube-buffered effects loop has also been upgraded.

The SLO-30 features five 12AX7 tubes in the preamp, with a pair of 5881 / 6L6 tubes in the power section. You can switch channels via the footswitch, but everything you need to control the amp is on the front panel. There is a toggle switch for selecting channels. The Normal channel has a Bright switch, and switchable Crunch and Clean modes. Each channel has its own preamp and master volume dials.

Between both channels, you have a wide range of tones, from gin-clear cleans all the way through to high-gain saturation. The SLO-30 weighs 55 lbs and is hand-wired in the USA with “military grade components”. It ships with a lifetime warranty for workmanship. 

At $3,199 ($3,399 for the purple and snakeskin versions), it is not a budget guitar amp by any means but the SLO is Soldano’s flagship amp and a legendary sound that soon attracted the great and the good of the guitar world when it debuted in 1987. Most famously Eddie Van Halen used the original 100-watt SLO-100 on Van Halen’s For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge. 

Now, if three grand is too much to spring for, there are alternatives, with Soldano releasing a $249 solid-state version last year, the 30-watt SLO Mini, and exporting this SLO tone mojo as very impressive preamp/distortion pedal

The 112 extension cabinets, meanwhile, are priced $699 for the black version, and $899 for purple or snakeskin. For more details, see Soldano.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.