The KYRO DULO 830 is a guitar amp built into a pedal. You’re able to power any guitar cabinet with this pedal and in this review, I’ll explain why you might want to do this over buying a traditional guitar amplifier.
In this review, I’ll be using the Limited Edition, which was the first 100 pedals produced. The Limited Edition run has sold out, so if you buy a DULO 830 now, you will get the Standard Edition – which is the exact same pedal as I reviewed with a slightly different enclosure.
KYRO DULO 830 Features
The KYRO DULO 830 is a clean guitar amplifier built into a pedal enclosure. The basic idea is that you can use it to replace your guitar amp and connect directly to your speaker cabinet.
Here are the main features of the DULO 830:
- Class D Power Amplifier
- 30 watts RMS through an 8 Ohm Cabinet (where the name 830 comes from)
- Compatible with 4 – 16 Ohm Passive Speakers
- Single Clean Channel with Mute Footswitch
- Three EQ Knobs with Presence Control
- EQ Bypass switch
- Bright switch
- Ground lift switch
- XLR DI Line Out with Cab Sim
- 24V External Power Supply (Included with Pedal)
The KYRO DULO is a unique pedal with a lot of features packed in, so in this review, I’ll walk through what all of the above features mean for you.
KYRO DULO 830 Ease of Use
The idea behind the DULO 830 is that it can be used in place of a standard guitar amp head unit. Instead of connecting an amp head to a speaker cabinet, you connect the DULO.
Let’s go through a few different examples of how you could use the DULO so you can understand why it may suit some guitarists.
Simple Guitar Rig
If you don’t use guitar pedals and you usually plug your guitar directly into your guitar amp, to use the DULO you simply plug your guitar into the DULO and connect a speaker cablet from the DULO to your cabinet.
The below diagram shows a simple rig connecting your guitar to the DULO, then the DULO connects to a cab.
In these diagrams, the blue cable represents speaker cables like these (link to Amazon) and the red lines represent normal guitar cables. Never use regular guitar cables to connect an amp to a guitar cabinet.
With the above rig, you would only get a clean sound as the DULO is a clean amp.
While you probably won’t want to use the DULO like this, it shows how the DULO can replace a typical guitar amp head.
The DULO is designed to be an extremely transparent clean guitar amp, so even if you like playing with clean tones, this setup probably won’t suit you. That doesn’t mean it will sound bad, it means that while the above rig will work, it’s not how you get the most out of the DULO.
Guitar Rig With Pedalboard
You can use as many guitar pedals as you want in a rig with the KYRO DULO. The important thing to remember is that the DULO needs to be the last pedal in your rig.
As shown in the below diagram, you plug your guitar into your pedals, then connect the last pedal to the DULO.
The DULO is a guitar amp, so it must be the last pedal in your rig. The only output to connect to the DULO is a guitar cabinet or use the XLR output to connect to a mixer or audio interface.
There is no effects loop with the DULO because it does not contain a drive section. This means you can arrange your pedals as you like and get crystal clear sounds out of pedals such as reverb and delay without needing to use an effects loop in a traditional guitar amp.
If you were to switch from your current guitar amp to the DULO, you would notice a change in the clean tone. How your drive tone would sound depends on the pedals you use as drive pedals can sound very different depending on what amp you use.
Guitar Rig With Multi-Effects Pedal
This is where the DULO truly shines. If you have a multi-effects pedal, you can make full use of all of the built-in amp models and tones by using the DULO instead of a typical guitar amp.
You simply plug your guitar into your multi-effects pedal, then connect the pedal’s output to the DULO.
With the above rig, you’re able to easily switch between all of the built-in amp models and rigs from your multi-effects pedal. Instead of buying a traditional guitar amp and leaving it set on a clean channel, you can use the DULO.
I’ll explain why this is such a great option for guitarists who use multi-effects pedals later on. The above diagram may not make it clear how powerful the above rig can be.
The key point to note for now is how easy the DULO is to use. You simply plug your guitar pedals into the DULO, then connect the DULO to your cab.
Guitar Rig With Computer
Another interesting way you can use the DULO is to run guitar plugins such as AmpliTube or BIAS FX through your guitar cabinet.
The idea here is that you plug your guitar into your computer using an audio interface so you can run any amp and effects modeling software. You can then send the output to the DULO, which can then plug into your guitar cabinet.
This means instead of jamming with a plugin such as BIAS FX through your computer speakers, you can run your rig through your guitar cabinet. If you’ve been thinking about ways to use your plugins in a live performance, this is an option to consider.
If you wanted to try using a plugin such as AmpliTube 5 with the DULO, you would set your preset up as normal, then disable or bypass the cabinet section. You don’t need to use the cab sim in any plugin because you’ll be passing the signal to a real cab.
While jamming with plugins sounds fine if you have decent headphones or computer speakers, I can tell you that it feels completely different when you plug into a guitar cabinet. When you try out the amp models in AmpliTube 5 or BIAS FX 2 through a guitar cab using the DULO, it becomes obvious how far modeling technology has come and how real these plugins feel.
If you’re looking for a way to use plugins through a real guitar cabinet, this is definitely one of the best ways to do it.
Direct Output Rig
The KYRO DULO has an XLR jack for direct output to a mixer desk or PA. This means in addition to powering your guitar cabinet, you can also run a direct signal to somewhere else.
For example, in a live performance, you could run a small cabinet on stage and have the DULO send a direct output (with cab sim) to the mixing desk.
The cab sim only works on the XLR output, so it won’t affect your regular output to the cab. There is a switch to turn the cab sim on or off, so if you set up a multi-effects pedal to use the cab sim there, you can disable the cab sim on the DULO.
The XLR output has a separate knob to adjust the level (on the far side of the pedal as shown in the below photo). This means you can adjust the volume knob on the face of the pedal as you like to set up the volume on your guitar cab, then dial in the level for the XLR separately.
While it may look awkward having such a small control knob for the DI Level on the far side of the pedal, it’s not something you’ll need to use often. Once you initially dial in a decent level, you would use your PA or mixer to fine-tune the level as needed.
There is also a Ground Lift switch, which can be used to disconnect the ground from the XLR connector.
Using DULO’s Controls
The DULO includes the typical tone controls you would expect on any guitar amp.
You have your traditional EQ knobs: Bass, Middle, Treble. You also have a Presence knob and a Volume knob.
These knobs work exactly as you would expect. In addition to these EQ knobs, you have a toggle switch to bypass EQ completely.
The reason you may want to use this is if you use a multi-effects pedal to set up your tone. You can bypass the DULO’s EQ completely and have full control over EQ using your multi-effects pedal’s EQ settings.
The advantage of bypassing EQ is that you’re able to set up the perfect EQ settings for each tone you set up on your multi-effects pedal. For example, the ideal EQ settings you use for a lead guitar tone will likely be different from the ideal EQ for a clean tone or a rhythm tone. By bypassing the EQ section on the DULO, you effectively get a clean slate for each guitar tone you set up.
There is a Bright switch that boosts treble and the higher end of the mid-range. Whether you would want to turn this on or off depends on your guitar and the rest of your rig. One flick of the switch and you’ll have a pretty good idea on whether you should leave it on or off.
Compatible With Any Speaker Cabinet
The DULO 830 can connect to any speaker cabinet as it can match any impedance between 4 and 16 ohms.
The important point to keep in mind is that the power output possible will depend on the type of cabinet you use.
Here is what the power output will be for different speaker impedance values:
- 60W at 4 Ohm
- 30W at 8 Ohm
- 15W at 16 Ohm
The name ‘830’ comes from the power rating of 8 ohms and 30 watts. They could have branded it based on the 60-watt rating at 4 ohms, but 4-ohm speakers are extremely uncommon.
There are built-in short circuit and overheating protection to ensure nothing blows up if you crank it.
KYRO DULO 830 Sound Quality
The sound quality you get from the DULO depends heavily on the type of rig you use. That’s why I went through the different types of rigs earlier.
If you were to plug your guitar directly into the DULO and plug that straight into a cab, you’re likely to be disappointed with the tone.
When the DULO is used on the right type of rig, it can produce some impressive results.
The DULO is kind of hard to talk about sound quality because the idea is that it stays out of the way of your guitar tone.
When you buy a Marshall amp, you’re buying it to get a Marshall tone. When you buy a Fender amp, you’re buying it to get a Fender amp tone.
The important point to remember about the DULO is that its goal is to simply provide power to the cabinet with a transparent tone. You’re not getting one to get a ‘DULO’ amp tone – you’re getting one to give you a clean slate for your pedals to shine.
The reason you might want to have a transparent guitar amp is so you can make full use of amp models from a multi-effects pedal.
If you have something like a Line 6 Helix (compare the different Helix options here), you have access to a wide range of high-quality amp models.
If you plug a Line 6 Helix into any guitar amp, you’re not going to get the full benefit of those models because the amp will color your tone. Even if you dial in the dryest clean tone possible with your amp, it’s still coloring the tone to an extent.
If you have a Helix (or any other amp-modeling pedal) and plug it into a Marshall, everything is getting colored by the Marshall. If you set up a Vox tone on the pedal, you’re not getting the proper Vox tone because it’s getting passed through the Marshall.
Running amp models from a multi-effects pedal and plugging into an amp is like connecting two guitar amps together. It’s redundant and degrades your tone.
With the DULO, you’re able to get the full benefit of any amp model without an amp coloring your tone.
During testing, it was obvious to me that this is the big reason some guitarists should consider getting the DULO.
I have a rig where I set my guitar amp to clean, then I use my multi-effects pedal’s amp models for my drive tone. I set my amp to a clean and dry tone, but it’s still coloring the signal.
When I plugged my multi-effects pedal into the DULO, it was immediately obvious how much better it sounded. It was clear how much my other amp colored my tone.
While I had to make some adjustments to my multi-effects pedal to adjust for the change in amp, it’s obvious to me how much better this setup is compared to what I had before.
Whether you would benefit in the same way depends on your current setup. If you’re using a clean tone on your amp and using amp models in a multi-effects pedal for your tones, then you will likely see an improvement by switching to the DULO.
If you have a multi-effects pedal but you don’t use the built-in amp models, you may not see what all the fuss is over.
As mentioned earlier, the power output possible from the DULO depends on the impedance value of the speaker you use.
If you have an 8 Ohm cab, you’ll get 30 Watts out of the DULO. With a 16 Ohm cab, you’ll get 15 Watts.
I have a 16-watt speaker in a 1×12 cab, which means I get 15 Watts when using the DULO.
As someone who mainly plays at home and occasionally jams with a band, the DULO can produce plenty of volume.
15 Watt may not sound like much when you can buy 150 Watt amps or higher, but from what I can hear, it’s more than enough for a lot of guitarists.
If you use 8 Ohm speakers or a 4×12 cab, you’re going to get a lot more volume out of the DULO than I do.
If you’re a live performer, also keep in mind that you can run your guitar cab at the same time as a DI output straight to the mixer.
Overall Impression of the KYRO DULO 830
The KYRO DULO 830 solves a problem a lot of guitarists don’t realize exists. If you use amp models in a multi-effects pedal, you’re missing out if you’re plugging that pedal into a traditional guitar amp. A traditional guitar amp will color your tone so you never get the proper effect of the amp models from your pedal. In that situation, it’s like running two amps at once.
The DULO is at it’s best when you use it as a clean slate for your multi-effects pedal. You can make the most of high-quality amp models without your amp adding extra color that may or may not suit the tone you’re after.
As a guitarist who has been using a multi-effects pedal’s amp models running through a clean guitar amp, the DULO was a big upgrade for me.
Alternatively, you can buy the DULO here on the Thomman Music website.
Who is the KYRO DULO 830 for?
If you have a multi-effects pedal and you like to use the amp models built into the pedal, the DULO is perfect for you.
If you tend to set your guitar amp to clean and use your pedal for your drive tones, the DULO was designed as a better alternative. Instead of running your guitar amp on clean, you can use the DULO as a transparent amp to power your cab.
Also, if you like using guitar plugins such as AmpliTube, BIAS FX, Neural DSP, or other popular guitar plugins, you may find the DULO useful.
With the DULO, you’re able to run your plugins and instead of using headphones or your computer speakers, you can send the output directly to your guitar cab. You can bypass your guitar amp completely so you can get the full benefit of any amp models from the plugin.
What I personally like the most out of the DULO is the simplicity of using a pedal instead of a guitar amp head. In the rig I have set up with the DULO, I have my multi-effects pedal connected directly to the DULO, then the DULO plugs straight into my cab. Both pedals connect to the same power board, so I can place my cab anywhere without having to worry about powering a guitar amp head as well.
Who isn’t the KYRO DULO 830 for?
If you like the drive and clean tones produced by your guitar amp and you actually use them, then the DULO isn’t for you.
The DULO is designed to replace any guitar amp with a transparent amp so you can make full use of pedals and amp-models. You won’t want a DULO if you actually use the different tones and channels your amp provides.
How to Get the Most Out of the KYRO DULO 830
While you can use the DULO in a variety of different ways as explained earlier, you get the most out of it when you use it in combination with amp models from a pedal.
If you have a multi-effects pedal with inbuilt amp models, use the DULO to power your guitar cab and use your pedal to produce your amp tone.
You can either bypass the EQ section on the DULO and use your pedal’s EQ controls or use the pedal’s EQ knobs to set up a tone you’re happy with.
Let your ears tell you which is the better option for you, but the big advantage of bypassing the DULO’s EQ is that you can set up a custom EQ on your pedal for every preset you create. This means you can dial in the perfect settings for each type of tone instead of everything running through the same EQ settings.
Here are some relevant guides to help you get the most out of the DULO:
- Ultimate Guide to Guitar Amp Settings
- 7 Tips for a Great Guitar Amp Tone
- Guide to Guitar VST Plugins – if you would like to experiment with running a plugin with the DULO
- Comparing Line 6’s Multi-Effects Pedals – if you don’t have a multi-effects pedal, this guide is a good place to learn about the options