Price paid: $ 30
Purchased from: Friend
Features: I am unsure of the year of manufacture, but it is a made in US SLM product. It is a diminutive amp - app 16 x 12 x 8 inches. I purchased it because the guy needed some money and I thought the size would be great for travel playing.
This little amp is a 2 channel stereo amp with a staggering 10/10 watts for a total of 20. There is no footswitch but channels and reverb/chorus are footswitchable if one were handy. It has 2 line outs (R/L) and a headphone out as well. All are front mounted. It has 2 Crate 6.5 inch drivers and they are satisfactory but could do for an upgrade - but not sure if this is worth it on a 30.00 amp. The effects, reverb and chorus are adequate but weak. It has a spring reverb tank that sits with the magnet of the speaker directly above it that detents the springs performance. I centered the tank between the speakers and this freed up the springs and improved the reverb performance.
The level of volume coming from this tiny box is amazing, at full volume it has a slight rattle so it is best to keep the volume below 9 or so. There is a shape feature that includes gain and level and seems to give a moderate overdrive grind to the sound. This is a great help on such a small amp to give some growl.there is the standard clean channel with EQ, low, mid, high and volume. This work as expected and if played with enough you can get some tremendous sounds. The reverb/chorus I'd switchable from a button and controlled by the same level pot. It would have been better if both chorus and reverb could be used together.
I only use this amp for travel and the occasional practice. It is extremely well suited for these purposes. It can get loud, far more so that I would have thought but is definitely a bedroom practice unit. It has surprisingly clean sound and a soaked gain vibe. The weakest point of the amp would be the speaker size as they severely limit the bottom end.
I use a MM Silhouette with this particular amp and it sounds very nice with a smooth sound when you back off of the tone and volume of the guitar. Lends itself very well to fingerpicking. It is a reliable little rig and should last a long time, the old school quality Crate is evident and for it's size seems a little heavy. This works great through a 2X12 cab and really comes alive. Strats sound a little flat with this amp, but the MM and a Tele are smooth as silk as long as the volume is kept at a moderate level. You just gotta play with the controls until the sound rolls out the way you want it. I have way too many Basses and guitars to list as well as amps, I keep using this little box out of convenience and simplicity. It is just fun to play through. I have been a bass player for over 40 years and that is my main instrument, however I am a godawful guitar player but enjoy a little blues and jazz and the occasional 70's rock. I would recommend this amp to anyone that is either an aspiring guitarist or the person that is short on space. Give it a try, you may just like it too. I give this little jewel a rating of 8 due to it serving its intended purpose so well. // 8
Sound: This little amp produces surprisingly clean sounds until overdriven then iot gets harsh, and not in the good way. The chorus is mediocre, but that is what pedals are for. After moving the reverb tank, the reverb is better but still dry. Again, I prefer the clean sound anyway. The SCG channel (gain - overdrive) is fine as long as the volume is kept in check. All in all, it does exactly what it was intended to do, play sound at moderate volumes for practice. The distortion is a little noisy and doesn't have a tube sound in the least, it is just increased grind. At high volumes the clean channel can get somewhat screechy, roll off the volume a little and you will be fine. // 8
Reliability & Durability: I wouldn't gig with this amp, it is only 20 watts and even amped through a PA it wouldn't serve well. The amp is rock solid and quality built. It has never stopped on me, just keeps on making the sounds it was intended to. Being SS, it is reliable but lacks that genuine tube sound, come on, what is better than an old tube rig? // 9
Overall Impression: I've had this amp for a while now and it matches most of the music that I stumble at trying to play. Like I stated earlier, I own enough guitars, basses and amps to open a music store with my flagship instruments being a 1962 Fender Jazz Bass, a 1974 Fender Jazz Bass - fretless, MM Baritone Silhouette and 24 inch scale Silhouette, Gretsch Baritone 5265, assortment of P Basses, J Basses from Alembic to Warwicks, Strats, Teles, LP, acoustics, resonators etc. Like I said, I've been collecting for 40 years. I have Ampeg, Peavey, Crate, Vox, B-52, Kustom and Ashdown amps in bass and guitar. Full stack Crate cab - loaded with Celestions on bottom and Jensen on the top. A custom built cab with Vintage Celestion 12T75's and a custom built 2x10 bass cab. Way too much stuff to keep track of, some Vintage and some modern. I still like to play through this little rig as it is so easy to plug and play. Give it a shot if you can find one, it is well worth the little amount you will pay. // 8