Price paid: C$ 699
Purchased from: Long and Mcquade
Sound — 9
I'm playing with a stock Fender Jag Bass, and it suits my southern styles perfectly with the VPF knob at about 10 o' clock. Rolling back the VPF knob would bring out the high and low end more to suit a more technical style, should you need. I haven't noticed any excess noise, but I haven't turned the pre-gain knob past 11 o' clock. This amp can really pump, though if you're looking for a really transparent tone you might want to look elsewhere. I haven't experienced any breakup at high volumes, again though, I've never had reason to turn it past 12 o' clock. The gain is quite tasteful, not overdone, as long as you're not out to fry your input.
Overall Impression — 8
For any genre of music where a solid bassline is a must, this amp should be a perfect match. It has just enough push to cut through the mix, with the modest VPF knob to dial back any overpowering frequencies. I've been playing bass for 4 years now, and guitar for 8. I own a Fender Jag Bass, GK Neo 4x10, Traynor YBA200 and misc. Pedals. I didn't ask a single question when I bought this head, I simply plugged it in and let it speak for itself. I only regret not plugging it in sooner. If it were lost or stolen I would buy it again in a heartbeat. I love the tight focused sound and the massive EQ range. The VLE knob has remained mostly unused but the VPF knob is a beautiful creation. I would have liked another speaker out, but I believe the matching MB cab has a daisy out, which will suffice. I was actually going to buy a GK Fusion before I saw this, fortunately my local shop had sold it and I tried this one. Took her home that day because the tone had just floored me. I wish it had a limiter/compressor. That's about the only feature that would have really completed the package.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This head is a tank. Feels solid and sturdy as a brick. I would and do confidently gig with it without backup, just keep your beverage of choice off your cabinet. I haven't had it for too long, not long enough to judge the durability, but the S/S circuitry should be reliable enough.
Features — 7
Not sure the exact year of the amp, but it is brand new. Can't be more than a year old. I play a lot of southern rock and hardcore and this amp is more than versatile enough to cover anything from rock and roll to heavy metal and back to jazz. The VLE and VPF knobs work wonders when blending my tone into that of the rest of my band so that it really compliments the guitar while still being present enough to standalone. It only has one channel, which is fine for me. It has an FX loop, tuner out and line out. No headphone out. I would have liked a footswitch, possibly to toggle the FX loop or what-have-you, I'm just gimmicky like that though; simplicity is the key to this amp. I use this head for everything: shows, practice, recording, you-name-it. I've never had to turn it past 12 o' clock.