Price paid: £ 150
Sound — 5
With all EQ set flat there is still quite a prominent boomy prominence due to the 15" driver and porting. However I don't think it's deep or articulate enough to be impressive, it's kinda dull like the sound of an idling jeep. Turning the bass dial up adds to the boom but really needs to be balanced by an increase in treble to make the bass listenable. Low-mids are better and make the amp workable but not spectacular. Not much difference between the top of the hi-mid range to the Treble knob and I don't really like turning either of them up, although to be fair treble is kind of a guitar specific issue. With a cheap Yamaha bass the treble knob brings out the worst in the instrument, with a Fender P it's not so bad.
Overall Impression — 5
After playing through some better amps and owning some smaller but better practice amps, the HCM65B seems like a weazy and inefficient teenager. It's not good enough to justify it's weight and doesn't sound as deep as a neat little Peavey microbass which passes off a 80hz hump much more efficiently. Seems to me like it was designed as a stopgap between a practice amp and a full grown stack, unfortunately I really wish I'd just saved my money instead.
Reliability & Durability — 6
It really hasn't stood the test of time; I need to give it some percussive maintenance to get it to work a lot of the time (no joke). I'm not sure wether the direct out/FX loop was ever entirely hiss-free, but it certainly isn't now. The 'kickproof grille' is quite good though, kickproof, fallproof, brickproof but not beer proof which is more of a pressing problem.
Features — 8
Fairly easy to use. Although as a beginner, a parametric EQ section was confusing and it took me a while to work out the gain dial was also a compressor dial.