Price paid: $ 300
Sound — 10
I will start out by saying that the way the amp ships it sounds like total garbage. There must be a rule somewhere that states that all factory presets have to be over-the-top caricatures of famous sounds. The input gain (look in the manual, section 3.1) in particular was far too high for any of my guitars, and this caused a buzzy, farty sound on all the high-gain models. Changing this changed the entire sound of the amp. Most of the sounds are very usable. I currently own three tube amps, and have owned more in the past. I have NOT owned all the amps modelled-who has, really? I can't judge whether the amp models are accurate on that basis. I CAN say that I can find most any sound I'm searching for with some tweaking-the models sound, generally, very good. So I'm not basing this rating on 'authenticity', but rather usability. Although the amp is rated at 70 watts through it's internal speaker, it is certainly not a LOUD 70 watts-I have doubts about this thing hanging with a drummer.
Overall Impression — 10
I think this amp is going to get a real workout with me-it's very versatile, sounds very good and was really dirt-cheap. As far as bang for the buck, I can't think of anything that can touch it. This rating (like the real world!) considers price.
Reliability & Durability — 10
It's heavily built of MDF, so that's a mixed bag. I'd certianly prefer void-free birch ply, but this thing cost $300 shipped, so let's be realistic. The MIDI jacks have far too much wiggle for me to be comfortable with the long-term durability of the unit, but to be fair my V-Amp 2 has been very reliable.
Features — 10
I have owned a V-Amp 2 for several months, so I was an 'informed' purchaser of the V-Ampire. There are a number of very useful amp adn speaker models, as well as effects, available. Frankly, I can't think of a useful effect or amp simulation this amp lacks. That said, there are stones among the roses. The amp models range from 'adequate' (like the British Class A simulation, which is based on the Vox AC-30) to 'excellent' (like the British HiGain model of the Marshall JCM800), with many in between. I will say that of the 32 amp models and 15 speaker models, I tend to use 8-9 of the amps and 6-7 of the speakers routinely. Consider, though, that I would not like all of those AMPS if they were present; it makes sense, then, that I don't like their models.