Price paid: $ 249.99
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 8
I play a Squier Affinity Strat, with three single coils. The guitar came with the amp (well, rather the other way around) and was pretty decent. The clean channel is really clean, and the Drive channel delivers a nice overdrive ranging from Hendrix-esque stuff to heavy Slayer-like gain. This is the type of music I play, and it really does sound very, very decent for the price. It is not noisy at all, except with a ton of gain on the Drive channel, of course. The sound is a bit bland. Not an exceptional tone, but it does sound decent. The clean channel is clean on all volumes, and the overdrive is mild to aggressive.
Overall Impression — 8
The amp is fine for all The Music I play. Not perfect, but for the price it's really decent. I have been playing for two years, and own a Crate GTD65 solid-state amp as well, through which I usually play, because it's just plain better. I would not buy another one if it were stolen or lost, because it's so small. I would probably buy a tube amp instead. I really like the clean channel, the gain channel not as much because I don't like the sound of the overdrive too much, but it works. Again, this entire review is based on the price you could get it for, not compared to much better amps.
Reliability & Durability — 10
OK, this amp simply cannot be used at a gig because of the wattage, but it is very reliable. I would trust it without a backup (even though you shouldn't, of course). It has never broken down, and I don't think that it ever will. I have never thrown it around or anything, but still, it looks and seems really sturdy and looks like it could take some abuse.
Features — 8
OK, first off, the guitar came in the Squier $250 starter pack, not separately for $250 of course. Separately it would have cost $79.99. I don't know when it was made, but I bought it less than two years ago. It was made in Indonesia according to the sticker on the back. The amp has two channels (clean and overdrive) with a button to Switch channels, and a headphone jack. No effects loop or footswitch. I almost never use the two auxiliary jacks on it though. The back has a socket to plug a power cord into, which came with it, and is about 5 feet long. On the clean channel, there is a 3-band EQ, and a volume, and on the overdrive (comprehensively labeled "Drive") channel there is just a volume control and a gain knob. The knobs are nice Vintage-style witch hats, used on a lot of older Fender amps, and the chassis of the amp is covered in a nice sturdy, smooth, black tolex. For a practice amp, this is pretty nice, just I wish it had an EQ on the gain channel and maybe an effect built in. The amp is entirely solid-state, and 15 watts. Also there is a very sturdy handle on the top used to carry it, and nickel amp corners. There is one 8-inch speaker, and two tweeters (or woofers, I'm not really sure, I can just feel them through the amp cloth).