Sound — 10
Throughout this review you will hear me sing the praises of this amps sonic versatility. As I mentioned before, the cab is loaded with an Emience ten inch driver. With the help of a superbly built pre-amp this amp will redefine the low-down sound that you expect from a practice amp. Most of my buddies Who played this amp are fans of either a very muddy, undistinctive tone or a very high, tinny tone. Such as is often heard in metal recordings. I found that this amp delivered perfectly on the former, even at very high levels, shaking the floors with notes that nobody could understand or hear. However I was fairly disappointed with the latter. The highs seemed to have 2 settings, to much or not nearly enough. While moving the high control knob less than an inch, you could go from drowning in a sea of bass, to being forced into a tin can of treble. However the high and low mid controls more than made up for this minor flaw. For me the perfect tone is a deep, punchy heart thumping, clear tone. I've found that with this amp I can get my coveted punchy sound with little to no compression, which is very rare for an amp of this size, especially an off-make. Thank you Sundown!
Overall Impression — 9
This amp doesn't fail to disappoint, especially for an off-make. Using my Warwick FNA Jazzman I've found that it produces a gut wrenching punch. While with the more subtle Guild Pilot, it produces creamy, rich lows. Bottom Line: Despite some problems with the speaker at high volumes (knob around 7) and when popping, the preamp is superbly constructed, has remarkable tone, and surprising sonic versatility for an amp of it's size.
Reliability & Durability — 8
From my, albeit fairly limited, testing of Emience bass speakers I've found two thing. One, that they tend to produce an awful distortion at close to full output power, even if the speaker is matched for the amp. Two, the speakers tend to overextend at lower levels then they should, especially when slapping. This amp is no exception to the rule. The speaker does tend to distort when the volume is around 7, this is rather perturbing, and the speaker overextends something horrible when at the same level. The cab is tough, the handle well secured, overall very rugged.
Features — 8
Although this amp is rather short on features, it makes up for it with superb, versatile tone. Let's start with the guts of this amp. The sundown B-50 features 50 watts of power poured into an eminence bass driver. While I have never been a fan of Emience bass products, I was very impressed by the sound, power and efficiency of this speaker. The sonic versatility of this wedge-shaped amp is defined by a four-band graphic EQ. This EQ is composed of low, lo-mid, hi-mid and high controls. The two features that really sold me on this amp include an XLR line out, and a lighted faceplate. The XLR line out has a built in switchable ground lift which it makes it perfect for the studio. However it is also very helpful in a small club situation, because it is post EQ, and as a result of such eliminates the need for a mic. The lighted faceplate is slightly reminiscent of the Fender rumble series amps. However it is different enough to make this a very hip amp. Other features of interest include a headphone output and an RCA line level input.