Price paid: $ 50
Purchased from: New York Music
Sound — 7
I've played plenty of budget guitars through this little amp, from my Japanese LP copy to a PRS SE Paul Allender. I mainly use an Ibanez RG471AH and cover a wide variety of musical styles from prog to funk, jazz to all types of metal. Maybe even a little country. While this amp shouldn't be expected to produce great tones for any specific genre, I will say that it is excellent for beginners and intermediates alike. The EQ allows users to dial in pretty decent tones and the cleans are not as bad as other reviews make them out to be. I personally don't use the Drive channel; I keep it on clean with the gain at 5 and stick a Boss MT-2 in front of it. I EQ the amp to get a nice clean tone then EQ the pedal to match. With this setup I've achieved a vastly cheaper, solid state version of Petrucci's tone (read: not amazing, but good and enjoyable). I've recorded with this amp and haven't had negative comments about my tone. I bought a Vox VT+ 120 and ended up returning it when it couldn't exceed this amp's tone. My amp does have buzzing when it's first turned on, but that clears up in a few minutes with some play. I'm rating sound at 7/10 because of what I've been able to achieve with an MT-2, taking in the amps' faults.
Overall Impression — 7
Keep in mind that this is designed to be your first amp. I bought it because it was all I could afford and I wanted to go home with an amp that day. If it was stolen or lost I would only be disappointed because of its' sentimental value. My overall rating is a 7/10. I see 5/10 as a neutral area, and I'm basing my review on comparisons against other solid state amps that are decently cheap. I would recommend this to beginners that are looking to get into guitar or parents that are unsure if their kids will get into it. I've been due for an upgrade for years now, but until I have budget room this amp covers my basic needs.
Reliability & Durability — 8
This thing takes a beating. I'm writing this in December of 2012 and I purchased it used in 2006. I play guitar almost every day and have taken it to many practices and jams. It's been sat on, knocked off tables, thrown around a teenager's car trunk, etc. The humming developed shortly after I purchased it, but it hasn't declined sonically otherwise. I would rate my personal amp 10/10 for reliability, but given that I've owned it for so long that I've grown up and started taking real care of it I'll go with 8/10, as some people do have issues. Six years for $50 isn't bad at all, and it's still going strong.
Features — 5
I purchased this used in 2006 as a starter amp. It's age is unknown. It's solid state, has a normal and a Drive channel, a volume knob for each channel, a push button switch for the two channels, a 3-band EQ and a gain control. There's an auxiliary input for MP3 players that I've never used and a 1/4" headphone jack. It carries the generic low-end Fender amp style: black tolex, silver cloth grill and a huge logo. I'm rating the features at an even 5/10 because it's exactly what you can expect for the price paid.