Price paid: $ 350
Purchased from: Musiciansfriend.com
Sound — 10
I'd describe the sound as the bastard child of an AC15 and a Blues Junior. Not very high gain but plenty enough for classic rock if you don't mind turning the volume up as necessary. It gravitates towards semi-clean jazz to moderately aggressive blues type tone but is pretty versatile for classic rock and some hard rock. If you want metal, you can use a pedal to get close but it's in foriegn territory. You can get an excellent imitation of that AC15 rude upper mid chime by maxing the treble and mid and turning low to zero. The speaker is pretty bass heavy and gets worse with incresing volume (another reason the boost switch is useless) and can get a plain sloppy if the bass is high when it's pushed hard. IMO the center frequencies of the EQs aren't the most helpful and I would suggest a 6-10 band EQ if you're picky. It's very touch sensitive. It's almost like you can have two channels by picking hard or lightly. This might not be the most versatile amp for jumping genres but in it's comfort zone you can dial up the most mellow jazz to a blaring take no prisoners scream to salute those Who are about to rock. Personally, I love it.
Overall Impression — 10
I love this amp to death. Since I've had it every ohter amp I've plugged into is dissapointing. I find it to be the perfect Tool to get the sounds I like out of my guitar. Keep in mind that I lean towards classic rock and blues in my sound prefrences. If you want extreme distortion this amp can maybe do a decent impression but that's not what it's built for. If you want ballsy class A tube sound and not a tube distortion pedal or an amp simulator mulitFX that's never quite right this is the perfect medicine. Plus, looking down the chrome grate on the top and seeing those 2 little EL84s glowing oarnge will put a smile on any guitarists face.
Reliability & Durability — 8
No problems whatsoever so far. Well I did have to buy a little 4 inch fan to put behind it to cool the power tubes so they last a little while (class A is wide open all the time, gets pretty hot). Construction is solid as are the electronics. No standby Switch which is annoying. I have to turn down volume and gain all the way before turning it on than leave it there for 30 seconds or so to try to be easy on it but I feel like I'm abusing it anyway. The tubes have lasted 6 months of daily use so far so it can't be too bad.
Features — 7
It was made in america in '06 and came equipped with groove tubes (three 12ax7s with two el84s). Single channel with gain, volume, reverb, three band EQ, and a boost Switch for more bass. Single input. Boost is pretty useless if you can work the EQ knobs. Spring reverb is average at best but bearable. Plenty loud enough to play with a drummer and bassist.