Price paid: $ 850
Purchased from: Sam Ash Music
Sound — 8
I play with an Epiphone Les Paul Classic with a dimebucker in the bridge and the distortion is pretty awesome. The lead channel has plenty of distortion so I can play bands like Metallica, Megadeth, and pantera, but with a little tweaking I can get a savatage and Symphony X tone out of it. The clean channel is also pretty good. In my opinion it's a little bright but that's probably just the pickup I'm using. The crunch channel is decent to get AC/DC-ish sounds out of, but I haven't really messed around with it too much. This amp can go from sparkling clean to over the top distortion with no problem and that's what I really like about it.
Overall Impression — 8
Overall this is a pretty awesome amp. It's a full tube half stack for a decent price. It has the awesome tone of a tube which really cleans up the playing. It is a huge increase in tone and clarity from my solid state, but it doesnt't have all the built in effets the SS did. It handles my playing styles without a problem and if it were stolen I would definately get a new one (prob go with 2X12 'cause it's cheaper so I could buy some pedals). No complaints about anything on the amp. The best feature is the lead channel which puts out some seriously heavy distortion. I was choosing between this and the Line 6 spider valve and this thing owns the spider in tone and features. I would definately recommend this amp to anyone Who wants to get a tube amp without spending their life savings.
Reliability & Durability — 9
It seems fairly reliable so far, I've only had it for a little while so I can't say whether it would break or not. Seems pretty rock solid and the footswitch is a tank so no worries there. It's just really freakin heavy, but what else do you expect. Overall, it's an amp, just don't be an idiot and drop it and you shouldn't have a problem.
Features — 8
I bought this amp brand new (2008) and it features 3 channels, each with their own equalizer and volume comtrol, a master volume, a master presence, a noise gait, and a master reverb. The crunch and lead channels also have seperate gain controls as well as the XL switch that boosts the gain. It also has an effects loop (not to be confused with built in effects) but honestly I don't really know what it does right now because I don't have any pedals. Overall this is a pretty decent amp with tons of gain, which is great because I like to play metal. it's all tube so you really get the clarity and tone of a tube even with the heavy distortion. The only thing that I don't really like so far is the fact that the noise gate is meh and teh reverb isnt the best I've ever heard, but neither are bad by any means. It also came with a footswitch which was really nice. My only with is for some effects but nothing else.