Price paid: $ 350
Purchased from: ebay
Sound — 10
The sound of this amp is killer. Best clean channel in a tube amp out there. Better than a Peavey JSX, Peavey 5150, Peavey Valveking, Marshall AVT150, Marshall TSL 100, Marshall DSL 100. Like any tube amp, with a little volume and saturated tubes, it sounds pretty damn good. I put EL34 power tubes in it for an additional snap in the sound (hard to explain). It did sound pretty nice with 5881 power tubes, but those were used and I haven't put new ones in it. Putting a Tung Sol 12ax7 in V1, high gain JJ 12ax7 in V2 and a Sovtek LPS in V5 (phase inverter) will turn this amp into a metal machine in a half. I use an EQ in the effects loop as my volume boost for my leads. Good ol' Randy Rhoads trick. Master volume would have been nice, but once again, I make due.
Overall Impression — 9
This is a very versatile amp. Only 2 channels, but killer tone for the price. Yes, a volume boost channel would be great, as well as a footswitchable effects loop, but for $350 used, you can't beat it. Getting the right tube combo and an EQ or some other effects in the effect loop will make up for everything else. Having the ablility to switch between 100watts and 50 watts as well as tube bias (5881/6L6 and EL34) is also killer. All that, minus the features I wanted, but add in the killer clean channel and lethal distortion channel when giving it some volume, all for less than $400 leaves me with a 9 for a grade.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This is my second one of these. I regret having to sell my first one, but we all know about starving musicians having to sell precious gear for rent money. I had to play around with tubes to figure out what I liked, but it was my favorite tube amp that I have ever owned. My first one was $500 used. Since the Carvin V3 has come out, this amp has dropped in price and a great bang for the buck. Getting this second one at $350 and knowing what tube configuration I want is great. Sound wise, it turns some heads as well, in a good way.
Features — 9
2 channel amp, has effects loop (non-footswithable to turn on and off), master reverb which is footswitchable. With this amp, I play thrash/speed/death metal. Impedance switching to match the ohms of the amp cabinet that you have. 5 preamp tubes, 4 power tubes with bias switch (5881/6L6 to EL34) and a 100watt to 50watt switch. I do wish there was a footswitchable effects loop or even a volume boost channel, but Oh well, improvise :-) BTW - this is one of the few amps that sounds great while leaving the mids at 12 o'clock.