Price paid: $ 114.82
Purchased from: Online
Sound — 7
I'm using an Ibanez RG220 with Seymour Duncan humbuckers. I play many many genres, from metal to blues. Let me tell you this - it is incredibly loud. For room practice, I use volume level 1 - otherwise it gets way too loud. It can easily overpower drums during practice. The clean channel is my favourite. It has a nice tone - I was actually surprised by the nice warm clean tone. The clean tone has its own gain knob, so you can increase it to get an overdrive kind of sound. The clean can definitely handle funk and blues as well as overdriven kind of cleans for grunge. With a nice amount of reverb, you can get a nice John Frusciante-type tone. Not sure how it would work with jazz. The X-channel (distortion) isn't as good as the cleans, in my opinion. Very, very high gain - suitable for metal, but not much else. Sure, you could play some hard rock with it but that's as far as it goes. Not much variety with the X-channel. Also, like many other SS amps, you can hear hums in this mode.
Overall Impression — 8
If you're looking for a cheap but great practice amp, take this one into consideration - especially if you're starting out on guitar. It's a nifty little piece of gear to have. If you're on a tight budget and want to rock hard as soon as possible, buy this amp. I am aware that this amp is much cheaper in America than in New Zealand (which is where I am right now). My favourite feature has to be the clean channel - not a lot of feedback, nice crunch sound on high gain mode... it's almost addictive. Although I would recommend something like the Peavey Vypyr 15W or the Vox VT15, this is a cheap (and great) alternative. I chose this amp because I was on a tight budget. It has its flaws, but it is a nice practice amp. It is in fact one of the loudest practice amps I've tried out - and I've tried out many practice amps. I wish it had effects like many other practice amps such as flanger and delay. Also, it would have been killer with a footswitch. If I were to lose this, I would consider buying it again. But I would rethink my options beforehand.
Reliability & Durability — 9
The thing is built like a tank. You can tell by the looks of it. It even has a closed back, I wouldn't worry about it breaking down. It has not broken down on me yet. I don't think it will for a while. I think I can stay with this amp for a long time. I think it's giggable to some extent. The amp can get very very loud. But for gigs, I'd rather use another amp.
Features — 7
Made in 2008, China. Ibanez's SS 15-watt practice amp has 2 channels: clean and distorted (x). Very high-gain. Has a headphone jack, basic EQ knobs and you can also plug your iPod or mp3 player into the amp so you can play along to your favourite tracks. This model also has reverb. It has no built-in effects, like delay and flanger - and also has no footswitch.