Price paid: $ 260
Purchased from: Local store
Sound — 8
I use it with my Gibson SG and LP with humbuckers and my Strat with single coils. It plays many of the classic Fender tones very well, the tweed, blackface and 'Fender chime' type voices are really enjoyable and surprisingly good. I would not say they are the same as the originals, but are nearly as good and very responsive and clear. The gain knob works well, allowing for rolling the volume off on my guitar to control the dirt. They sound good from classic, bell-like Fender cleans to the dirtiest Blackface rock. The Marshally sounds are not quite as good, but certainly a fair approximation and equally fun. Responsive, and surprisingly close to real thing once you account for the fact that a 10 inch, inexpesive Chinese speaker cannot equal 4x12 Celestions. This leads to the amps biggest inability, the Metal type sounds are OK, but if brutal metal tones are your main thing, this amp is probably not your best choice. This amp sounds best at moderate volumes, like just under what you would want if you played with a drummer. It can keep up with a drummer and still sound quite good, it just sounds best a little lower. I understand with a new speaker (something like the Eminence Ragin Cajun) it sounds even better louder. Overall the sounds are better than any other modeler I have heard, more organic and responsive.
Overall Impression — 10
Overall I am very impressed with this amp, especially for the price. I think it is a great starter/practice amp that has the ability to play live shows. For a beginner it is both responsive to encourage good technique and very versatile for someone who hasn't dialed in their tone. For a more experienced person it is a great 'jack of all trades' amp that masters a few sounds too. It sounds good at bedroom volumes and great at louder volumes.
Reliability & Durability — 10
No issues, though I have read that some earlier models needed a baffle tightened on the speaker mount. I haven't ever gigged with it, but for a quieter band it would work fine, I would trust it without a backup. I have had no issues. It seems well built and has been kicked around in the back of my pick-up a bit.
Features — 8
Many features, two channels, 17 voices, variable gain, two tone knobs and decent if limited effects. This hybrid tube amp, with a solid state preamp, tube phase inverter and tube power circuit. It has 15watts and a 10inch speaker. It also has a line out and a footswitch is available for channel switching and effects on/off. It is very versatile, some of the voices are quite good, some are decent and only a couple are lacking. The only feature I wish it had is a headphone jack.