Price paid: $ 500
Sound — 8
The sound on the clean channel is superb. I think it is the best sounding clean channel I've heard aside from all-tube Fenders I've played. Now, I am a Fender amp nut, so I'm partial obviously. On the other hand, the Drive channel isn't that great. It can be used for a crunch to a mellow bluesy overdrive just fine, but past 6 on the knobb it starts to get really harsh and muddy. I compliment it with a Boss overdrive/distortion pedal and get really great results though. The boost channel isn't very smooth, but does boost the volume a lot. But again, if you already have the overdrive set high than the boost will only take it into total screachy mayhem territory. I mainly rely on the Boss pedal for more gain. The other problem is the treble isn't nearly good enough for most hard rock. I think the makers voiced this for a strat and I play a much less tinny PRS. Maybe with a strat it's just right, but for my mahogany humbucker guitar it sounds a little lacking. Again, the Boss pedal allows me to tweek in some extra treble and the final result is just awesome anyway. Finally the reverb tank just downright sucks. It is weak. But a replacement is simple. However since I don't use much reverb I haven't felt the need. I have to mark down to 8 because of the drawbacks of the Drive channel and reverb. But if you add a good pedal, this can be a centerpiece in a badass rig. As for the volume, man is this thing loud. And plently of headroom, while still allowing for a little crunch if you use a guitar with hot pickups. With my PRS If I'm at rehearsal volume I have to roll a tad off the volume for total clean. But with a hollowbody I have with softer pickups, I never get any crunch at all until the thing is just too loud to be in the same room with. By then the hollowbody with feedback uncontrollably anyway.
Overall Impression — 9
I think it is an excellent value and has reaffirmed by believe that Fender makes the best amps around. Combined with a couple of good pedals and this baby can sound incredible in a variety of styles. Not the best for metal, but for anything from jazz to blues to hard rock it does great. Finally, I really dig Fender's classic looks. Makes me feel like I'm playing a Vintage tube amp from the 60s.
Reliability & Durability — 10
It's tough as hell. Nothing wrong has happened to it and I gig all the time with it. I don't see why anyone would bring a backup amp to a gig. It has really solid input jacks, a sturdy burch frame and general Fender quality (as for their amps, I actually dislike their guitars). The fact that it is solid state makes it inherently reliable. This, and the price factor, is why I got a solid state in the first place. Having previously owned a DeVille, I thought this would be a serious step down, but in reality it isn't all that different. Yes, a tube amp will sound better, but it will be much less reliable and for me, there are so many other factors that contribute to a musician's sound other than the amp, that I chose for reliability of the tube's single and solitary benefit.
Features — 9
Made in China, don't know what year. The amp has two channels, one clean and another overdrive with a boost on the footswitch, and independent 3-band tone controls and vol. It has a master reverb that isn't that great but useable. 100W of power that in practical terms are loud as hell. two 12" speakers made by Fender. Total sold state. I give it a 9 because the reverb isn't that great. Also, it doesn't have an external speaker out. This is instalable though.