Sound — 9
I am using this amp through the Ibanez TSA112C cabinet. I am using Cort X-11, which goes to a Boss NS-2, and then to a BD-2; digitech hardwire Tl2; to amp; effects loop (back to NS2; Boss DD-7; digitech hardwire RV-7). The clean sound is really awesome, with lots of bass in it. It sounds thinner in triode mode, but really fat in pentode mode. As far as the TS9 goes, it sounds really warm. You can get the buckethead kind of overdrive out of it. I am using the BD2 as a boost to get a really compressed sound, and you can shred easily on this amp. I usually play metal, and with the the TL2 distortion this amp sounds like an ELQL savage head, if you set the parameters properly. Yep, this amp is extremely pedal friendly, and I get a slight hum for which the NS2 is sufficient. You can use this amp to get a nice clean sound, a blues kind of sound to metalcore (obviouslt you will need a distortion pedal). If I keep my guitar volume knob down, I get an awesome crunch sound out of this amp. The clean channel is extremely dirty in high volumes. I cranked it up once, and by controlling your dynamics properly you can express your emotions with utmost detail I would say. T would not say the distortion is brulal, it is dirty.
Overall Impression — 9
I am thinking of getting another of these heads right now as soon I have enough cash. So yeah, I guess you get the idea that I love this amp. Along with the pedals I own, this amp has been a perfect match for my style of playing. If you consider buying this amp make sure you at least have a delay pedal. And another od pedal in order to boost the signal for the TS9 wont hurt either. And also use the TSA112C along with it, it will sound a lot better compared to other cabs, at least the ones I triet out.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I use this amp to practice in my room. But yeah, I think you can count on it for small scale gigs such as jazz clubs or bars. It has been only a month since I have bought this amp, so it would have been really unfair if this amp did break down in such a short notice. But if you satisfy these following criteria: 1. You are a intermediate or better when it comes to playing the guitar. 2. You still use digital multi FX and solid state amps. 3. You have enough cash to change your gear but not that much to buy a dual rectifier, I would say you and consider buying this amp.
Features — 8
Made in China, this amp is all tube with 2 x 12AX7 (Pre) and 2 x 6V6 (Power) tubes. It has a clean channel but there is a switchable TS9 circuit built on the front end. It also has a 6db boost. The signal chain is as follows: TS9; boost; send-return; preamp(along with passive eq); poweramp; transformer; speaker out. Yes, it has an effects loop, which is obvious considering that it has no built in effects. It has a 5 watt triode and 15 w pentode mode switchable easily by a rear panel switch. Really helps when you want to practice in a room with two roomies who listen to hip hop all the time. They can't complain about the sound. The only complain I have about this amp is that the boost could have a control.