Purchased from: Roberston Music
Sound — 7
I play a MIM strat through it, because I wanted all matching gear when I got it. It works well for a beginner to not be overwhelmed with sound possibilities. The clean channel has a kind of old-style quality to the sound in that it's not the best, but you still get the message across. On the clean channel it does lack in volume especially if you are trying to play with anything else. The distortion is great though. The thing really find it's voice with the gain volume at 3-4. I've only gotten it up to about around 7 without bleeding ears. It has a great kind of Bush-like distortion. With the distorted channel volume is not an issue at all. It can stand its own, probably not for an actual gig though. It does have a pretty loud 60 cycle hum on the distorted channel. I did have a problem with it picking up radio frequency really quietly, but I got a new monster cable and a new pickguard with foil on the backside of it and that has killed the interference. Basically, better cable = better sound.
Overall Impression — 5
As I said before it is a great first amp to get to see if your really going to learn to play without being overwhelmingly complicated. However, this amp will not be enough with out buying some sort of effect or something to change up the sound every now and then. Basically it gets boring! I would recomend getting the 15R so that at least you'll have reverb to play with.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This amp is a tank. I have an older model where the knob panel is recessed under the edges of the box(like a lot of 80's and early 90's model amps), so they are pretty well protected. Mine has the black expanded metal grill over the speaker, black rubberized coating and chrome corner pieces. It has been through several tumbles to result in no damage. I say tumble because it wasn't just a simple drop. I have done nothing to take care of the amp or to ensure it stays in good condition and it still functions like new. There is no crackling in the electronics, no surges in volume, no wierd noises or problem with the integrity of the system.
Features — 2
This is a bare bones amp. I'm not going to list the knobs, but it's a basic 2 channel solid state starter amp. So as far as features go it is pretty poor. Mine is an older model with only a 1/4" headphone jack and a jack for an extention speaker(useless for a beginner).