Price paid: $ 300
Purchased from: Music 123
Sound — 7
This amp has a lot of gain on channel three, depending on how you set the ch2 eq and scoop, you could get from an eighties Metallica to a modern metalcore tone. That being said there isnt a whole lot of clarity, players into technical metal will quickly notice their notes blur together. At higher volumes (4-6) this clears up just a little but begins to feed back. Channel 2 is the most useless, it tries to imitate a medium overdrive sound, but is very thin. Luckily though, there is clarity and no feed back. This channel would provide an acceptable zeppelin, sabbath, or pop/punk sound. The clean channel is one of the best you will find on a solid state amp, if you leave the eq settings fairly low. Turn them up and it can get shrill or boomy. It sounds good at any volume and never overdrives no matter what pickups you have in your guitar. This amp is plenty loud, and you should never need it turn it past 7, 5 if you are miking it like most venues do these days.
Overall Impression — 8
If you are in the market for a big solid state amp, this is my suggestion. It can cover all styles of music quite adequately, and will provide much more gain than any other popular solid state model. But take it as it is, this is a 300dollar amp, anyone expecting a mesa or a Bogner will be severely disappointed. I would not try to reacquire this amp if lost, Bugera would probably be my next step, possibly a tube Peavey.
Reliability & Durability — 8
The head itself is a workhorse. Since I bought it, it has seen several shows, hundreds of practices, tons of time in the back of a pick-up, and several drops; always coming out beautifully. That cannot be said about the foot switch. That's junk. The plastic nuts holding the inputs in stripped within six months, less than four months later, the wires connected to the inputs jacks came apart. This would be a simple soldering job, except that you can't reach it with a gun or a wand, so I still play with no foot switch( I left my band for college, otherwise it would be a bigger deal). So my only complaint with the durability is the cheap plastic knobs and nuts.
Features — 6
This review is for the 2007 model flexwave head. I have a cabinet with celestion seventy80s instead of the stock cab, a massive improvement. This amp is "three channel" amp. As for channel one, it consists of a vol, low, mid, hi knobs, channel two is basically the same, but "channel three" add only gain and scoop knobs using the eq from channel two. This is unfortunate, as it is unlikely that that you would want the eq set the same for both overdrive channels. Effects and reverb knobs are present also but sound very similar to the effects put in other solid state amps. Effects are remembered as you change channels, which is nice but it can be a pain when you want to change effects quickly. An effects loop is also available, but you must purchase a cable from Crate to take advantage of it.