Price paid: $ 299
Purchased from: Mars Music
Sound — 7
For the longest time I used an LTD EXP-200 (pre-lawsuit cheapo explorer) with simple humbuckers. It had a good chunk to it on gain channel 2, and I could really get a bluesy sound on gain channel 1. The clean channel was excellent for what it was, not too punchy but very clear. I primarily play metal and hard rock, but stray to simple rock and roll on occasion, and this amp could do it all pretty well. At high volumes, it was very crackly and not really great for large, live settings.
Overall Impression — 9
For rock, metal, blues, and perhaps even country this amp is a good match for practice and recording. It kept going long after I thought its service life had supposed to end. I've been playing for about 15 years. I now use a POD to record and practice, and it does well but it is nothing like playing straight through an amp. Sure, it never had the warmth of a tube amp or the power to cut through the mix at live shows, but it holds a special place in my heart. I would buy another one in an instant if I could find one. The effects were good, and one could get a David Gilmour-ish tone on gain channel 1 with the delay cranked up. My fondest wish is to get another of these.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I could leave the amp plugged in an powered on for months at a time so I could simply crank up my guitar and play. It was an excellent amp for years. I wouldn't use it much for live playing, unless it was mic'd and sent through a PA system so the lower volume tones could Shine through. It finally, 11 years after I bought it, died in April of 2010 after much shredding, writing, practicing, and generally doing everything I needed it to do.
Features — 8
I bought this amp back in '99. It seemed like a pretty good amp for the price. It is a 120 watt solid-state amp, with on-board effects, one input, two gain channels and a clean channel. It includes jacks for an input loop and also has a foot Switch for changing the channels and to Switch the on-board effects on or off. Gain channel 1 is just a typical overdrive, good for rock or blues; gain channel two has two gain circuits as well as a "shape" controls the eq (far right is a mid cut with low and high boost, center is flat, left is mid boost with flattened lows and highs if I remember correctly) which is excellent for hard rock and metal. I used this amp primarily in a practice and recording setting; I used it for a couple of shows with my old band and it didn't sound as good cranked really high as it did in a "not loud enough to piss off the neighbors" setting.