Price paid: $ 275
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Features — 8
This amp was made about six years ago. It has three foot-switchable channels (Clean, Drive, More Drive) with independent EQ's between the Clean and Drive/More Drive. 100 watts, 2x12 cabinet, reverb, effects loop, all the standard stuff you would expect. One thing about this amp is the weight. It's HEAVY! Seriously. If this thing ever died, I would use it for a boat anchor. For a large boat. Like a battleship. It seriously weighs a LOT! If there was a way to put it on a "diet," I would.
Sound — 10
I play punk, progressive rock, and blues. It isn't the greatest for pure metal, but most Fender amps aren't. If you're looking for an amp for metal, buy a Mesa, a Line 6, a Randall, or a Marshall. That's not to say it can't do metal (More Drive + Mid Scoop button = pretty good metal tone), but it's not what it was necessarily built for. For punk, blues, or even progressive rock, though, it works pretty well. I do use some effects with it (DigiTech RP200, DOD Stereo Chorus), and it plays well with those in the effects loop. I was worried when I got it, because most solid state amps can sound "fuzzy" and "sterile" when overdriven, but this amp is surprisingly warm. I like it enough that all I use the DigiTech multi-effects unit for anymore is some delay and modulation effects through the effects loop. Also, this thing is very, very LOUD! I have to be really careful to not annoy my neighbors with it. What I don't understand is everyone's gripe with the reverb tank, since mine is almost too strong, but I'm not going to complain about that.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I'm very confident that this amp would hold up playing live. I don't crank it a lot, but when I go to jam sessions, it holds up nicely. I get a lot of positive comments about how good it sounds. I've stood on it, spilled beer and pop on it, kicked it, loaded it into car trunks, and it just asks for more. It's like a poor man's Twin Reverb, but without the added fragility of tubes. The tolex cover isn't even showing signs of wear yet, the speakers sound excellent, there's no noise. I did blow a fuse once in it (my own fault, never EVER plug a cable into the effects return with it on and touch the tip!), but even that was, relatively speaking, was easy to change.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall, this is a very good amp, much better than just about any other amp in this price category. Is it a "metal" amp? No. It can do metal, but that's not its strong suit. Can it do blues, punk, hard rock, country, jazz, pop, progressive rock, or just about every other genre you can think of? Yes, and it can do it very well. If it were stolen, I'd find another one and buy it, since this isn't the most expensive amp, and they're really a dime a dozen on eBay. I've had it six years now, and it hasn't let me down yet. Is it perfect? No, but for $275tax, I wasn't asking for perfection. That said, this keeps up with other amps that cost four times as much. I'm very pleased.