Price paid: $ 349.99
Sound — 8
This amp is brutal for a practice amp. I bought it expecting a little combo I could turn up and roar on at moderate levels, and i've yet to turn the volume past three. It is unbelievably loud for 25 watts. Louder than I remember my Marshall half stack being at 7 or 8. Volume control is strange, though. It will be silent until about 1.5 or 2, and then it jumps in fairly loud. I tried running a booster pedal into the front end, but it just made it louder with a little grit, I've yet to figure out how to get this thing to distort. The harder I've pushed it, the more it sparkles, which really isn't so bad. I've pegged the volume for a split second here and there, and it's just...incredibly loud. No distortion at all. Strange... Reverb is weak, I'll get into that later. Sound wonderful for what it IS doing, though. Beautiful bouncy clean, even with the stock tubes. Strum a chord and it chimes like bells.
Overall Impression — 8
It's a nice sounding amp, and the price is unbelievable. Even with the busted reverb, which I'll get fixed, I feel this amp is a steal.
Reliability & Durability — 6
This is where this amp's rating gets hurt. It DOES have hum, as all amps do, but I have a feeling my power tubes are messed up or something. I've switched out all the preamp tubes, but I've yet to touch the 12AT7 driving the reverb or the EL84s. the reverb pan is mounted to the base of the amp, so it picks up vibrations right off of the floor, and this can lead to some serious noisiness. As far as my reverb goes, as far as I can tell, it's busted. it was faint when I first got it, and now I just get a wave of feedback when I run up the level on the reverb knob, so I'm going to try swapping out the 12AT7, and if that doesn't work, mounting some padding in between the reverb and the base of the amp. The amp itself works fine otherwise, no complaints for 350 bucks.
Features — 6
Epiphone Galaxie 25, made in 2003, just before they switched from black to blue tolex. I'm glad I got the prior, having a blue amp is a bit too showy for me. Single channel, volume and tone controls, (no gain knob), and reverb control. 25 watts, all tube. I'm more of a two channel kind of guy, but I can make do. A gain knob would have been nice, but a distortion pedal would do the trick, I guess.