Price paid: $ 1738
Purchased from: Fender
Sound — 9
I am currently using a Fender 50th Anniversary Strat with single coils as well as a Gibson Les Paul Studio that was hot rodded with EMG actives to suit my needs. I also run it through a Fender Custom Shop Tone-Master 4x12 with V 30 Celestion speakers. Basically, the 130 watts cleans the tone up a lot and the Noisegate finishes the rest to the point where it is dead quiet with the perfect tone of a tube amp. Basically the amp produces a high quality tone that I have no complaints about.
Overall Impression — 9
This amp can be used for anything due to it's almost infinate combintations of effects, amp types, cab types, and routing of the board. I would recommend buying it to anyone if you can find one seeing as they are fairly rare now, but I'm not sure if I would buy another just due to the price. One way to look at it though is that the price you are paying includes effects, so in the case of a regular head, you would need to buy a ton of a effect pedals or a rack for a lot more money than it costs to get it all in one package. I really have no complaints towards this head and I really enjoy playing on it, so that's basically it, enough said.
Reliability & Durability — 8
Overall, a high quality head. I have never had a real issue with it as long as it is kept clean. It will perform beautifully as long as you treat it well. Once the midi cable got kinked and sketched out the footswitch buttons and had to be replaced. Long story short, keep everything having to do with it in mint condition.
Features — 10
This head was made in 2004 I believe and is probably as versatile as they come. This is a tube powered (2 Groove Tubes) solid-state (yes, I said that) that really booms with 130 watts into a stack (65x2). Has 1 true channel although the 4 button switch allows it to act as 4 channels, each having their individual settings making it extremely versatile. Along with the 20 some-odd Fender amps as well as probably 40 Fender Custom Shop presets, there is room for 80 effects settings for you to create and save in the Players Lounge. The amp features a built it tuner, noise gate, compressor and studio grade effects ranging from backwards delays to flangers, phasers and pitch-shifts. Anything you want, is there. Aside from these effects, it does have a full on effects loop as well as midi outputs, inputs, recording out lines, and a bunch of other things. Along with the effects: you can tweak every effect to suit your needs, honestly every parameter of it can be changed and be mixed with other effects, so you can run multiple ones at the same time. There are honestly too many things about this amp, so lastly the important bit: the basis of the amp is that if will re-wire itself to act as a a variety of Fender amps by use of variable circuitry and motorized knobs that spin themselves. Many people are skeptical about how 'authentic' the sound of Vintage amps are in comparrison to the real thing, but on more than one occassion has someone came up and said 'that's unbelievable how identical they sound' (coming from a guy playing a Fender Bassman Rig beside me) I guess it works.