Price paid: $ 530
Purchased from: Gilliam (Local store)
Sound — 8
Currently playing a Schecter Gryphon with GHS 11-50's in D or C standard, and a project Ibanez 7 string with an 81-7, all through the IS412C matching cabinet. The amount of low end this amp puts out is incredible, and to be honest, at times obnoxious. I find that a setting of 7 to be enough when at louder volumes, otherwise I overpower the bassist. That being said, this amp is targeted at metal guitarists, which it handles amply, but is capable of a plethora of other sounds. More versatile that most would expect from a solid state, I play anything from Melo-Death to straight up Death metal, blues jams every now and then, and even a little classic rock. The hot channel is equipped with enough gain for anyone. At 10, the distortion is ready to blister unsuspecting band-mates, but hardly and real feedback through my passive Duncan Designed (plenty of feedback on the EMG, mainly due to some wiring problems that I'm working on). Yet at lower settings, can really accentuate your playing, and make an old-school lick a la Page come to life. The clean channel's actually really good. Can be tweaked every which way but Tuesday thanks to the independent EQs and hue control. Reverb isn't studio quality, but isn't necessarily lacking either. Has the potential to be an extremely versatile amp, but needs a fair amount of time in front the amp tweaking the EQ.
Overall Impression — 8
I really think that this could be a great amp for anyone who needs something a little "bigger". A wide range of tones and sounds on board, not to mention the effects loop, which takes whatever pedals you throw at it incredibly well; currently using a Boss Loopstation in the loop, and a Crybaby inline with the guitar, and it sounds great. Have used some DigiTech multi-effects and a Boss MD-70 (I think) and the amp loved them. I've been playing for 8 years now, and I can say that this amp is really a Diamond in the rough. Durable, loud, versatile, it does everything you ask it to, and then some. It's not the 6505 that I really want (because the 2X12 is alot easier to move around and has a sound I love), nor is the 6505 a TBX150H. I think people bash on the amp because of its market and how they're set up. Admittedly, the only cab I've played it through is the IS412C slant cabinet that I bought with the head. But it really accentuates the tone of the head, and I can only imagine how it would sound with some slightly better speakers. The only real downfalls are that the foot Switch comes separately (I paid $30 for mine) and that being a cab/head combo, it can be very tedious to move around (Is relatively light, just takes up space), but is bearable. I honestly can't say that I'm the least bit dissatisfied with the amp. I nearly bought a Mesa Triple Rec but ended up buying this to save money. I'm glad I did.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This thing's a rock. I've owned it for about 3 years now, and the only thing wrong with it is from haulin' around, a few scratches (very few) hear and there, but otherwise like new. It's been well used and traveled, and still looks and sounds as good as it did the day I bought it. Seeing as how sturdy this thing is, and as I don't have a back up, I would definitely gig without a spare.
Features — 8
Comes loaded with features for something in the price range. Two independent channels, both of which can be manipulated with the foot pedal (sold separately, unfortunately..). Each channel has a "boost" mode (Overdrive on "normal" channel, X Mode on "Hot") that give a little more bite to the sound and slightly tweak EQ. The Overdrive mode is a volume/gain boost that really makes the clean channel sing, and the X Mode boosts the hot channel's mids and treble, making it ideal for smooth soloing. It has an effects loop that is right on the front of the amp, which I find easier to deal with than rear mounted ones. Most unique features are the hue knob and the parametric mids on the hot channel. The hue knob is similar to a presence control, and the parametric EQ allows you to really dial in different tones. Also, there are two inputs for the foot switch; one allows you to change channels and toggle reverb, the other toggles channels and "boost" modes.