Price paid: $ 449.99
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 4
I'm currently using a Standard (Mex) Stratocaster with this amp. This amp doesn't really suit my style at all, I guess you could say. I like alot of classic rock, classic punk rock (not Green Day), blues (SRV, Chuck, B.B.), hard rock, local rock bands in Baltimore (Fishnets, Shambles, Blondsai) and some current rock (probably only RCHP, and maybe some other). Anyways, this amp can't do any of those genres too well. Except for Hard Rock, the Rhythm is decent for AC/DC, Velvet Revolver, and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Clean is decent, not good, Rhythm is decent, not good, and solo is just no. Each channel has one sound, and none of them are grear. It's made to be a loud amp at 120W, but that's how they get you to buy it. Most people, like my dad, see 120W watts and go "That's an awesome deal!" Yet, they look past the crappy tone, and technical problems this amp endures. But, the thing is, no kid Who's just starting to play guitar needs 120 watts. Get him a nice 15W Fender Blues Jr., and save yourself the extra $50. Not only is this amp's wattage a little overkill for a beginner, the distortion is brutal, a dn overkill on the Solo channel. Kids will play on the solo and think they're rock gods, until they play on the clean settings and realize how many mistakes they are making.
Overall Impression — 4
Well, a mis-match on my dad's part. He got me an amp designed for Greenday, and Panic At The Disco punk wannabes around the USA (hopefully not world) who think any power chord with a little bit of gain sounds good. When instead he could have gotten a better deal on a better amp. But, that's what happens when you get "expert advice" from a Guitar Center employee. I've been playing since October of last year, so I got this amp after about 3 full months of playing. I also own (as stated before) a Mexican Strat (which was also a present). I wish that I had at least been given the chance to check out this amp before my dad purchased it (it was a suprise gift). I would have at least tried out some other amps there, and made my decision. If this was stolen or lost I would most definitly not buy it again, and if given it again, would sell it before I'd open the box. What I love about this amp nothing. I do not "love" absolutely anything about this amp. However, I did like the reverb, and the Rhythm channel was okay in my books. What I hate about this amp are all the terrible delays, the other effects are dull (the wah is horrible), the channels not being good at any one thing, but isntead being okay or crappy at most things, and most of all the dang Solo channel. If my dad hadn't bought this amp, I was planning to use the other money I had to buy a Vox, why, dad, why? Though, I do thank him very much for spending so much on an amp for me, though not worth it, and buying me the Mex Strat = worth it.
Reliability & Durability — 5
I haven't had any problems as far as the amp breaking down so far, but it cannot be played too loud on the Solo Channel without giving out a high-pitched ring. This amp is also kinda heavy. Not back-breaking, but some skinnier dudes (such as myself) might struggle with stairs or long transports from the parking lot. But, luckily it has wheels, though not the nicest, they work fine. Therefore, the amp is durable, but it's sound isn't too "reliable".
Features — 4
This amp was bought as a Christmas gift for me from my dad this past Christmas, so that makes it a 2005. I play alot of music, the main stuff I play are Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, New York Dolls, and good ole' Zeppelin. This is a 3 channel solid state amp, those channels being Clean, Rhythm, and Solo. Has alot of nice effects, but the reverb was the only one that impressed me, and a very unneccessary automatic tuner. So, the channels: Clean - nice, but soft, and lacks that nice tone. It's nice until you realize it just sounds like your guitar strings would if they were just alot louder (by this I mean a very plain, and cold sound). I try blues on this, and its clean, but I hate the tone on it. Very one dimensional. It's clean, but it's nothing worth what you pay for this amp. Rhythm - a fun one to fool around with. Never very clean, doesn't sound too greats with the gain down, but can a pretty gritty sound with the gain up. Basically, by dubbing it the name "rhythm" I think they had the AC/DC sound in mind other than say that of The Rolling Stones or The Smiths. It can get, like I said, quite dirty, and gritty with the gain all the way up, and you can get a tolerable tone of this channel. Nothing too impressive, just one of those "can do most things 'okay'" kinda channels. Solo - quite an unneccessary channel. Dirty, no matter how high the gain, and tends to ring and hurt the hears at what most would consider a normal volume (about 30%-40% on the knob, 6 and up on guitar knob). Very, very dirty, constantly hearing buzzing/fuzzy noises that sound horrible, and really take away from the joy of playing. The channel sounds so bad, it is constantly making you adjust the knobs every other session or so. I also have suffered slight ear damage (ringing for about a week to two weeks) from trying out the effects on this channel. Very disappointed. Never have been happy with this channel, probably never will. Effects - chorus, flange, phase shift, vibrato, octave down, touch-wah, and Reverse Wah, 15 delays, reverb. Reverb being the only one that I prefer to play with on a normal basis. The wahs aren't very noticable with gain on, and tend to drown-out your tone on the Clean channel. The Chorus, Flange, and Phase Shift were sounding great to begin with, but you immediately find out that they sound the same. The delays barely vary. You have single wave, double, etc. They all sound a little weird to me with the reverb and chorus on aswell. Like an over-exxagerated echo. Automatic Tuner - crap! "Beep beep beep!" is all you hear when you play becuase of this thing.