Price paid: $ 457.482
Purchased from: Sound-control
Sound — 9
I play classic rock, pop rock, power ballads, 80s metal, blues and lots of general rock. This amp is especially great for those of you Who like that '80s hair metal/ classic rock tone. I play both a Vintage lp style guitar with 2 P90, mini-humbucker size pickups in it and a Squier showmaster with a Floyd Rose and a hss pickup configuration through this amp. Although I mostly use the showmaster I much prefer the Vintage through this amp as it naturally has a nicer sound which is warmer has better playability and has longer sustain, however the Vintage has been broken since about 3 weeks after I got the amp and I don't have the money to repair it. I still think it sound great with the showmaster on most settings. However the humbucker can add distortion to the clean channel as it is open faced, in the bridge position and high output so unless you're playing metal try not to run this sort of pickup through the clean channel. I love the heaviest distortion you can get out of this. It isn't the sort of distortion for you pantera fans out there but it most certainly is fantastic for you guys Who love to solo neo-classical style. The sound is fat and warm on most settings and strange as it may sound wide! The sound is very spacious. Just like a valve amp can cut through the mix very well, this amp could fill a pretty large room with it's sound without the need for micing up. Unfortunately I haven't had the chance to play this amp through a larger cab to get the full 200 watts out of it but even at it's 10 o'clock setting on every channel it is loud enough for my band practice which is surprising considering the drummer is so loud! (as usual). The crunch channel could have been a little better but I barely ever get the chance to use it so that is no problem for me. It still sounds great for blues and jazz but for some reason it is naturally very very fat and not very trebly. With a change of eq this can be pretty easily sorted out. Also the built-in effects are amazing. They literally sound like they are coming from a dedicated effects processor. I'd say taking into account that the crunch channel isnt the same as the other channels in a strange way I can only give this a 9 unfortunately.
Overall Impression — 10
As I have said previously I play mainly hair metal, power ballads and classic rock and it gives afantastic sound for those types of music. If you play those genres of music, look no further because this amp is one fat, durable, versatile and plain amazing sounding solid-state amp I have ever played. I would buy this amp again if it was lost or stolen purely because there is not better amplifier for the amount I have payed for this one. My favourite feature is the octave minus feature. There is one thing I forgot to mention, unlike the Vox Valvetronix amp the auto wah actually works well and sounds good! When I went to buy this amp, at first I mistook it for a valve amp and when I brought it to my first practice so did all my friends. This is one beast of an amp. And there is only one thing I would change about it and that is the fact that there is no numbers around any of the pots. It would be a little handier but it's nothing special so that's still fine by me.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This is the most reliable amp I have ever seen. I wouldn't drop it out of a window like all the Boss pedal fans but that's because it is made of wood, not metal. But I would definately gig with it without a backup, and I have done roughly 4 times already. I haven't had any problems with it so far and I have had this amp for quite a while now. I think it comes with a one year guarantee but I'm not too sure. It might be a five year guarantee but I don't have those details with me atm so I can't give anything specific there. I have accidentally spilt a cup of tea on this amp but there has been absolutely no noticable damage. Apart from I suppose it would taste a bit like tea if you licked it! I love this amp so much I'm gonna have to give it a 10 just for the fact it's easily survived a tea spillage!
Features — 10
This amp has a lot of great features. It is a solid-state amp. It has 3 channels; Clean, crunch and heavy distortion. Each channel has a 3 band eq and has it's own unique sound. There are 3 different dedicated effects units. Each of these can be turned off by returning the pot to it's 6 o'clock position. The first covers these effects: 4 levels of chorus, 4 levels of flange, 4 levels of phaser, octave, phase wah and wah. The second is purely a delay unit and has 4 different types of delay: 4 levels of single delay, 4 levels of echo delay, 4 levels of ping pong delay, and 3 levels of special delay. and the third is a dedicated reverb pot. All of the effects sound fantastic. It is a stereo amp and uses a great speaker setup. The speakers are premium quality celestion 70 eighties and as standard come set with one speaker for wetter effects and one for dryer. In all this produces a great sound but if you don't like it like this the speakers can be changed to have both speakers very dry for the Eric Johnson tone or both very wet for that Joe Satriani style tone. There is a mute button on top also and a tap/ save button. This is very handy for people Who want great quality effects without the cost of having to get a multi-effects processor or about 15 seperate pedals. This amp comes with a four way footswitch. One for each channel and one to activate the saved effects on each channel. So in theory there is an equivalent of having 6 different channels when you use the effects channel. There is another great feature on this amp that will help those of you with effects pedals get a better sound. There are effects loop sockets two for mono effects and two for stereo effects (for those of you with high powered multi effects pedals). Using the effects loop sockets means that the effects you use can now go in after the preamp to get a different sound altogether. There are only two minor things I would change about this amp. It doesn't have numbered markers around the pots and it doesn't have a master volume. Personally I prefer this setup but some of my friends have pointed it out before and I can understand what they mean, but I think having a level and gain on each channel and also having a master volume would start to make things a little too complicated so I'm fine with the way it is!