Price paid: $ 300
Purchased from: Ebay
Sound — 9
I'm using my SG with Alnico Classics and an ESP LTD EC-1000 with active EMGs. This amp can really carry the load, I would have sprang for the slightly more expensive B-52 cab with with Celestion Vintage 30s, but I figured I'd start with the matching cab first. I play a lot of blues, and A Day To Remember/August Burns Red type metal. This amp is great with the right pedals. Right now I'm running a DigiTech Hardwire TL-2 Metal Distortion through it and I must say, this pedal could make an Epiphone practice amp sound like a Champ. But if you want to read a review for that pedal, you won't here, suffice it to say, it is exactly what this amp needs to be pushed to the edges for distortion. The clean channel can be muddy, but getting the EQ just right and fiddling with your guitar's tone knobs, you can find exactly the balance of high and low you need without getting too throaty. It is very quiet too, I could stand right in front of this sucker turned up to about noon and get no hum or feedback, but while playing, get the perfect feedback that does nothing but deepen your sound.
Overall Impression — 9
I play a lot of drop tunings and the B-52 LS-100 and the matching LS-412 cab are perfect for my job. With a little tweaking. I've been playing for going on 8 years and this amp has suited me just fine for the past 6 months as my upgrade from combo amps. I've had Marshall AVT combos as well as a Fender Superchorus. This amp not only handles the workload, but it does it in stride. No resistance and just goes to work. I would definitely buy this again if it were stolen. The reverb on the footswitch and the separate EQs for clean/distortion are reason enough to buy this thing. If I could change one thing, it would be to add a headphone jack to the back right next to the record out.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This amp sat unused in a basement for 6 months before I started to use it, and lemme tell you, it was just like new from the store when I finally got to plug this baby in. When I got my cab from Musician's Friend, the sides were ripped a little from the ride over in the UPS truck, but cosmetics don't bother me. It's all about sound and not looks. But as far as durability and how gig-worthy this amp is, I'd say its right up there with the best, it can get as loud as you need to burn the front 20 rows down in an auditorium, and just enough sear to warm the pants in a small coffee house venue. Definitely an amp I would buy again, but like I said, I might upgrade to the cab with Celestion Vintage 30s in it. The handles on B-52 cabs are metal, not plastic. And it comes with casters. This thing is built to last and will do just that.
Features — 9
I give this amp head an 9 on features. It has two separate EQs for the clean channel and the overdrive channel, a master reverb and volume (reverb is foot-switchable), separate volumes for each gain setting, and a single presence knob that can be attributed to both gain channels, or one at a time, record out in the back, as well as an effects send/return with individual levels. The footswitch is what drew me in, having the channel select was standard, but then gain select and a reverb control. That was supreme. I've had this head for about 6 months and would appreciate something exactly like this, but with a headphone jack. Otherwise, this amp is perfect for my needs.