Price paid: $ 400
Purchased from: direct
Features — 9
SS-10 is separated into 3 individual channels: Clean, Crunch, and Lead. Each of the channels may be accessed and switched via the red selector buttons or also by the optional AMT FS-2 foot switch for hands free operation. Each channel is designed with is own gain and level controls, which makes fine tuning extremely easy; and a final master volume control to adjust the total overall output db of the unit. The SS-10 has three outputs; Amp Out, Cab Sim Out, and Headphones Out for easy monitoring in the studio. There in a guitar signal input jack on both the front and back of the unit, and also an FX loop Send and Return with level knob. The gain channels have a 3 way switch on them, it modifies the tone stack. I can only describe it as an effect similar to switching a 3 way switch on the guitar, biting, middle, and smooth. I received it from Russia with the FS-2 footswitch. The FS-2 has a plastic input barrel and nut, the nut was broken. NOW Switchdoctor has an alternate one listed on his Rock Blocks footswitch site, buy that one, much more sturdy and the same price.
Sound — 9
CLEAN CHANNEL will provide you with anything from smooth warm driven tube sounds, to bright and shimmering clean tones. This is capable via the 3 tone control knobs Low, Mid, and High; and also by help of the special EQ adjustment switch. The switch offers 3 unique tone stacks from where the clean channel's tone starts with. Then from one of the 3 positions, the tone can be even further modified with the control knobs. You will find this useful in getting a wide variety of clean guitar styles. Useful also in compensating for various pickups from different guitars.
CRUNCH CHANNEL is used for those semi-clean to mean sounds. Blues overdrive, classic rock drive, and vintage '80s hair metal crunch; all easily dialed in on the SS-10's Crunch channel. Controls of the Crunch channel include Gain, Level, Low, Mid, High, Presence, and a 3 position selectable Treble Shift switch.
LEAD CHANNEL is for those mean to EXTREME+ guitar tones. Blistering, screaming, pure tube metal distortion powerhouse. Perfect for aggressive guitarists and drop tuners! The SS-10 lead channel will please even the discriminating players who are never satisfied with the amount of gain. AMT knows heavy guitar technology and the SS-10 will provide more than enough! Similar to the Crunch channel, the Lead also provides control over Gain, Level, Low, Mid, High, Presence, and has a Treble Shift switch. Take your guitar to low B, we're ready!
The only problem i have with this unit is that the effects loop is tricky to dial in. If you run it fully wet, you need to pay close attention to the out put or levels on your effects or it can get overwhelmed easily.
But it's a freaking gain monster, you want metal, you've got it. The clean channel IS CLEAN, but it can be pushed. So there are a ton of tone options in this thing. A nice crunch tone is available from the second and third channels with judicious use of the gain knobs.
Reliability & Durability — 9
As stated, I received it from Russia with the FS-2 footswitch. The FS-2 has a plastic input barrel and nut, the nut was broken. NOW Switchdoctor has an alternate one listed on his Rock Blocks footswitch site, buy that one, much more sturdy and the same price. Overall it seems pretty tough, it's small and packs a lot into the unit, but it works really well. The push button switch between the two gain channels is a little finicky, hence the footswitch being a good choice.
Overall Impression — 9
I play an eclectic bunch of stuff, but most of it is played with way too much gain. This makes this pre-amp perfect for me. But, like higher end amps, it's high gain but not sloppy, so it makes me stay tight. My blues/metal leanings lend themselves to this unit and I'd definitely recommend it to anyone looking to go rack mount. I am using it with an older Rocktron Velocity 100 and a stereo cabinet and it just plain works. So far I'm really liking it.