Price paid: $ 650
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 10
I play a Strat with single coils and it gives off a vintage blues sound. Their are better sounding amps but not for the price I paid. It goes with my favorite styles blues and rock. But I also play high gain metal and punk (Slayer, Leftover Crack) and it doesn't do those at all without a pedal (do I even need to say it?) It can be pretty noisy at high gains but that comes more from my guitar (the piece of s--t). It can make any style of blues by itself and with a few pedals you can get anything. Be warned: this amp is very bass heavy (which can be a good thing). The amp distorts at three but it's a nice bluesy distort. This is enough though considering 2 hurts my ears. Plus with some modes (just changing the tubes is one) you can bring up your headroom drastically (louder clean tone before it distorts). Unfortunately the distortion purrs instead of roars. (buy the f--king pedal already!) I give this a five based on the clean tone not the distortion.
Overall Impression — 8
This is probably one of the best blues amps for it's price (except maybe the Deluxe and Blues Junior, but I wouldn't feel comfortable on stage with those smaller amps). It's a great blues amp but pedals for anything else (if you haven't bought a pedal yet you don't deserve to have variety out of your amp, you twat). I've been playing for a few years and I have all Fender gear. A strat, an acoustic, and a frontman (hey it's cheap). I tried this amp out bfore buying it so I got what I expected. I probably should of got something heavier than a ds1 for distortion but it works. If it were lost or stolen I would buy the same amp for blues. Unless I had a considerable amount of money to spend, then I'd probably buy another Fender for blues, or a Marshall or Mesa Boogie for anything else (imo nothing worth it in my price range). If your not big on blues then check out the peavy classic 50 for some alternatives. I love the clean tone on this amp but the distortion. I think you know buy now. I chose this over other products because it fits my style and I got about $100 knocked off by bargaining. As long as you by a distortion pedal you'll be fine with this amp and you can do about anything.
Reliability & Durability — 6
This amp seems sturdy and I would gig with it without hesitation. The amp has never broken down but I haven't had it that long. I can only give this a 3 because I haven't had it long enough to check it's reliability.
Features — 8
The amp I bought was brand new but I got them to lower the price by bi--hin' for awhile. The amp has fantastic cleans. But the distortion is really only good for blues and doesn't do that too well either. Luckily I mainly play the blues so that's why I bought this amp. If you want to play metal or anything with heavier distortion you definetly need a pedal. I have a DS-1 but that doesn't throw out quite as much distortion as I would like so I would suggest a tube screamer for blues hard rock, or a metal pedal for metal (your preference). It has 3 channels one labeled clean and the others are drive and more drive. With technical investigation though I found it is really only one channel and the drive and more drive functions just drive preamp tubes loud enough to distort (don't worry the master volume brings down the volume so you don't blow out the house). The downfall of this is that their is only one equalizer for all three channels and you can't switch from a bassy sound to a trebly distort without a changing the equalizer or using a pedal (buy one!) It has an effects loop which you will need for all you pedals. I only wish this amp had better distortion that would make it perfect. The reverb is a little over the top past 7 (all the knobs go to 12). Turning it past this and it becomes undesirable to play with (imo). At 7 though it can simulate the slap back echo on Jimi Hendrix's Red House (this amp nails that tone almost perfect). I use this amp everywhere, in my room and on stage. The clean tone breaks up around three but thats loud enough for most gigs actually(and with some mods you can give it more headroom). It can be too loud for room practice at about 1/2 of a volume incriment. Although it goes up to twelve it isn't all that tremendously loud. 7 and twelve are almost the same. Don't worry it's still plenty loud. This amp is all tube and has 4 ten inch speakers wich give it great sound quality. But for even better sound you can swap in some new tubes and speakers (you will need to re-bias if you change tubes).