Price paid: $ 350
Purchased from: Musician's Friend
Sound — 9
There are two inputs, Normal and Bright. They do alter your tone exactly as suggested. Bright does give you a slightly more punchy sound, especially in the distorted channel. I use Fender Guitars through this amp. A Jaguar, and an HSS Strat. Both have no problem dialing in sparkling cleans, blues twang, all the way on up to alternative/rhythm guitar crunch. If you are into metal or a lead guitarist, a pedalboard on the clean channel just screams. The dirt channel is a little hard to deal with, but once you set your pedals up to accommodate the amp, it is a phenomenal sound. As a guitarist for hire, I have used both the effects loop and straight in. I prefer using the "Bright" input on the front of the amplifier. I prefer to run straight in vs, the effects loop. I like driving the preamp with my setup. The stock tubes are not bad at all. Throw in a new set? I fell in love all over again. 9/10 on stock tubes, 10/10 with aftermarket. Using an "A" rated set and biasing this amp makes it sound better than any Fender, Vox, or Marshall I have ever owned. You wont find an amp under $2000 USD that will achieve this kind of sound for the price.
Overall Impression — 10
I am a studio guitarist for hire. I play all styles of music, from Jazz to Metal. I have been playing for more than 7 years, a proud owner of a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe (former stage amp), Vox AC-15 (former backup), and Orange Tiny Terror (my bedroom amp) in the past. I would definitely buy another amp like this if it was stolen, just because it sounds so good, and its such a low price. I love the clean channel and how well it takes pedals. I personally use mainly the clean channel and pedals to mold my sound. The dirt channel I wish could be a little more refined, but running a guitar straight in will yield very good results, especially when cranked. For some, it may not have enough low end: Keep in mind, this is Vintage voiced. It is focused on using mids and highs to shape your sound. The low end was the Bass player's job back in the day. I compared it to all of my past rigs, but this is by far my favorite. I wish it had independent channel EQ's, but its nothing to complain about. A very solid amplifier. 10/10 for Affordability, good sound, reliability, and road-tested durability. This will be on my backline for years to come.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I have had this amplifier for over a year now, using it in weekly band practices for 3 hours at a time, personal use through a 2x12 cab in my house, and steady gigs all year long. This amp has never given me any kind of problems, and I have never needed to have a backup. I have been using the stock factory tubes all this time. Because I have logged so many hours on this amp, I am re-tubing to get back some edge lost from the inevitable wear from tubes over time, but this amp has never quit on me, and I can be one of the first to attest this is a reliable, long term, gig-worthy setup.
Features — 10
This is a two channel amp that comes with a footswitch, effects loop, pentode/triode switch, adjustable impedence outputs, stock with 3 preamp 12ax7's and 2 6l6 power tubes. It is more than loud enough to gig anywhere a touring musician needs to turn up, whether it has a mic in front of it or not. I never have a problem with this amp cutting through the mix. For price vs. what you get, no amp company will give you these kind of features and sound for this price.