Price paid: $ 300
Purchased from: eBlab
Features: This is a lesser known model of B-52's foray into tube amps. Its very similar in features to an AT-100, only with two power tubes instead of four. The architecture is a high gain 6L6 format with a tube rectifier option (it can be switched 3 ways, tube/blend/SS)
Like the AT this is a 2+1 channel amp. There is a second volume control(boost) that shares the same EQ on the lead channel. It has a crappy contour setting I don't utilize (Mine is run full on so there is no mid cut) If you want scooped tone you can do that with the EQ knobs. // 8
Sound: A lot of folks said these early B-tubers were Recto clones. They are in that ball park. But I believe the voicing is different to a recto. Which isn't a problem for me. It isn't as generic as every other metal head shlubbing a mesa around. (I can say that cuz I'm too broke to buy one)
There is plenty of tuberific gain on tap. I personally like the way a 50-60 watt head breaks up differently than a 100 watt. The EQ settings allow me to get a smoothe creamly lead tone, like I like it.
And the cleans aren't too shabby. Maybe better than a recto- which isn't really known for it's cleans. Relax haters I know Mesa's sound better cranked.
Anyway, I think for the price you can not do better in a guitar amp. It hasn't ever let me down. And It survived a cross country UPS journey. I believe the dude I bought it from was in Delaware, to me in Utah. // 7
Reliability & Durability: Like I said, I've never had a problem. Knocking on wood. I have giged out and rehearsed with it for over a year, no issues. I know b-52's rep isn't stellar. But hell even Mesas break down. Thank you China for doing a bang up job on mine.
I have to put 19 more characters in this field before I can submit the review. Damn, I've gone on too long now. // 8
Overall Impression: I play 80's-90's influenced hard rock/metal. I have a demo track on my page if you care to hear the amp. The production value isn't great, but you can get the jist.
Anywho, I jumped out on a limb to buy this online untested. And I couldn't be more satisfied, given the money I spent. I actually wouldn't mind scoring another one to run in stereo. // 8