Price paid: £ 190
Purchased from: Ebay
Sound — 9
I'm currently using a Gretsch 5126 with Twin single-coil Dearmonds, and play mostly swing and rockabilly, and this amp really suits my playing, giving that old-school amp sound with virtually no humm or hiss at room levels, and a little if cranked. The clean stays clean almost all the way up. And the gain is great if you like that kind of thing. This amp gives a great clean sound, with the gain channel having plenty of, er, gain. The reverb is a little thin and if you dial it to 10 "sings" a little, but backed off a little is useful if not excessive. I'm planning to use a delay/reverb pedel eventually, so it's not an issue, but there'e plenty of room in the open back to fit a bigger tank.
Overall Impression — 9
I've been playing off and on for 20 years, and just love the sound of this amp. For anyone needing simple controls, and a retro sound, with crystal cleans this is a great amp. I'd certainly recommend this to anyone that doesn't want to pay 650 for a Peavey or Fender equivalent. The only thing I'd change would be the polished chrome control plate for a brushed alloy one, as the relections can make the dials a little hard to read. And tweed! With a tweed cover, the Classic 30 would have run for it's money!
Reliability & Durability — 9
The handle on the top feels a little flimsy, but should be adequate for the job. The tolex is the same as any other, and the grille cloth has a nice retro look. Coming after a Vox VT40 Plus, this is a great, simple, old school amp. Would I gig with it? Yes, but it might need miking for bigger venues. I've not owned this amp long enough for it to break down, but it seems pretty rugged.
Features — 8
Made in China in 2011, and normally selling for over 400 ($600) this is a great little all valve 30 watt amp featuring 1 x 12AT7, 2 x 12AX7, and 2 x 6L6 valves, with a 12" Celestion 70/80. It has a spring reverb, but no other on board effects, making it about as old school as they come. With a single input, separate clean and gain channels (the gain also has a useful "bright" switch), there are metal jack sockets (listning Vox?) with an effects loop and footswitch sockets. You cab also run extra speakers, with outputs compatable with 1x8, 1x16 or 2x16 ohms. From left to right the controls are; clean volume; gain and separate level; treble, mid and bass, with the bright switch; reverb and main volume; jewel light; standby and on/off switches.