Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 10
I use this amp with an Ibanez EDB700 and an Ibanez GSR190. For the most part I keep it set to Vintage with the bass and treble cranked and the mids more or less neutral. With those settings the sound is smooth and full. You can tweak it all day long if you're that kind of person; unlike some other amps I played that had different 'voicings', this one really does give you audible differences with different settings. One thing I absolutely LOVE about this amp is that it's totally silent. There's no hum, buzz, or extraneous noise even with a lot of other equipment around and all kinds of interference. This was a huge selling point for me; nothing irritates me more than hum, except maybe string noise. Even at higher volumes the sound stays clean. This was also a big selling point for me; one of the things I noticed about many of the amps I played through (Ampeg in particular, though I know lots of people Who worship them) sounded sludgy and tended to break up the louder they got. I was looking for somthing that would stay pure all the way up, and quite honestly, I didn't find anything that did it better than the Peavey amps I played. Quite honestly, I have only cranked the gain on it a few times because it's not something I like. To me it sounded pretty brutal, but to fans of distortion, I don't know what you'd think of it.
Overall Impression — 10
I spent months looking for The Perfect Amp. It's hard when you have a particular sound in mind and you have to go searching for something to replicate it. I literally played dozens of amps, from the cheapest all the way up, and sometimes more than one of a particular model (I am a firm believer that every single one is an individual and can sound different despite everything externally appearing the same). I've been playing a year and a half and basically I play metal (Iron Maiden, mostly) but also as of late getting into more blues and classic rock. This amp works for me no matter what I play through it. I had really wanted the Peavey Tour 700 half stack, but not only was it way too much money, it was just way too much amp. For about a quarter of the price I am getting as close to that sound as possible in a package that weighs a ton but doesn't take up my whole room, either. It's perfect; everything I wanted, but affordable too. If this were stolen or lost I would have another within 24 hours. The only thing I'd ever consider replacing it with would be the Peavey stack I mentioned. Nothing else, of all the different brands and types of amps I played, came close to this one. The only thing it could use, and this is being nitpicky, is a set of wheels. I absolutely love this amp.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This thing is built like a tank. I think you could probably drop it from the roof and it would be just fine. No tubes to worry about; it has "Trans Tube technology" which, according to their documentation, basically replicates tube sound in the 'Vintage' setting. It's never broken down for me; once or twice I had some crackles from a dirty volume pot, but that was just because of a dusty room. I have no doubts this amp will last just about forever.
Features — 10
When I went looking for an amp I had a very particular sound in mind. I brought my bass with me and literally played through every amp in the stores we went to. Originally I fell in love with a Peavey Tour 700 half stack, but that was out of my league. This amp is the closest I can get to that sound in a size and price that's reasonable. It has three channels: max, modern and vintage, an effects loop that can also be used as a CD input, and a headphone jack. It weighs about 60 pounds, and doesn't have casters, so be prepared for that if you plan on hauling it around. It has a 3 band EQ with a 'shift' knob that allows you to really get in and tweak the midrange. I use this amp at home, but I think that it would be fine in a small club.