Price paid: $ 700
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Features — 10
There are a lot of different features that pushed me to purchase this amp. For me the final selling point was the user tube bias on the back of the amp, all you need is a good meter and the manual! This amp will use pretty much any tube you want to throw in it. I am quite a gear nut so I love switches and extra tonal characteristic choices at the flick of a switch, this head kills it! The only thing that disappointed to find was that these amps are Chinese but so far it hasn't failed me. I would recommend this amp to anyone that plays guitar and wants to upgrade their gear!
Sound — 9
The amp has a killer metal tone that stands out from the rest in my ears, I have been playing guitar for 16 years. It has almost a 5150 feel to it but raunchier, the gain channel is amazing and you can dial in almost any tone you hear easily. I also own a Mesa Single Rectifier Solo 50 head and it took me about two weeks of tweaking to get my tone out of it, Mesa amp can be very tricky but the Vengeance took about an hour and has been at the same settings since for metal. There is one thing that absolutely drives me f--king nuts about it though, the fan hum. When you are all up in the mix you do not really here and a good sound guy will throw a gate on the mic but when you are practicing at home with the volume at a decent level to get a great tone it drives me crazy almost to the point of me taking it out of the circuit but I will most like mod this part of the circuit will a filter to get rid of the noise as best as I can.
As far as my setup, from guitar to the front of the amp - Jackson Warrior (EMG 57/66's) - Polytune - ISP Decimator - 535Q Wah - MXR ZW45 - BBE Sonic Stomp - Maxon OD9 into the input jack, in the loop - TC Electronics John Petrucci Dreamscape Chorus - EVH Flanger - Mak Custom Electronix Octronix - EVH Phaser - Carbon Copy Delay all to custom pedal switcher.
The only thing I have done with this rig is swapped out two of the Egnater Elite 75 speakers from the cab to V30's to get more punch out of it and I can use the cab to get great tone from both of my heads! The cleans are amazing as well, very rich and full bodied sounding but the reverb could use some work at high levels it is booty and would of been better in the spring form, I am an analog nut.
Reliability & Durability — 9
Yes, the amp will hold up in live settings and even on tours, IMO it is a quality built Chinese amp. I would never go to a show without spare tubes with any amp though just like I wouldn't not restring a guitar before a show. If you buy this amp I would invest in a road case just in case as with any higher end piece of gear. I have had the amp about a year now with not one issue in tone, durability or reliability. I would not go to a gig without a backup amp merely because I own another amp so I would be stupid not to.
Overall Impression — 9
Again I play mostly metal and progressive rock mainly but do dabble in most other areas as well and this amp nails them all IMO! This amp is a metal beast and is a lot cheaper than the Armageddon and sounds exactly the same all you need is an ISP Decimator up front, the Armageddon has one built in, BIG DEAL. At full 120 watt volume the amp allows quite a bit of headroom but still is no where near as loud as my 50 watt Mesa. At home I keep the volume at about 12 o'clock on 60 watts and get a KILLER tone that is more raunchy than my Mesa Rec. Eventually I want to run both amps, the Egnater for rhythm and the Mesa for lead. Bruce is a very good guy and if you leave him feedback on his page he will personally email you back, and you can score some swap from the Egnater team as I did.