Price paid: $ 75
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Features — 4
Not sure about the year, but mid 2000's I believe. Features are basic small amp bits. And in theory it really fills a niche that needs filling. I didn't want any of the digital effects that plague smaller amps nowadays. Was very excited when I first learned of it. The best thing is the nice speaker, and as I tear it down over the next few minutes, keep that one compliment in mind. The reason I'm reviewing is to talk about the tone though. This is NOT an amp for everybody as I found out, and wanted to post this as a warning.
Sound — 2
Sooo. I bought this online based on the positive reviews and a YouTube video. And for many people this will be an excellent amp. Here's the thing. It's natural tone is exceptionally bright and sounds good on it's own, but in the mix it ends up sounding shrill and removed from the rest of the instrumentation. I've been doing production work for 20+ years and I threw every trick in the book at it to tame the high end. It's onboard eq functioned, but was woefully incapable of bringing the tone down. Ok, so used pro level EQ rackmount. Still had to apply so much adjustment that the signal began to suffer from the processing. Tried multiple analog and digital effects units and plugins. Nada. Finally couldn't waste any more time on it and traded it for a different brand. Oh and as a side note, the onboard effects are god-awful. Yes it is loud, too loud in fact. No low volume capability as it went from 0 to screaming right off the bat. Knob was not attenuated to give any low volume.
Reliability & Durability — 5
Build quality seemed great: a solid wooden case covered in some rubbery gummy coating. It can clearly survive travel and playing out with no backup. Didn't weight a ton which is nice. Electronic quality is dubious though and obviously uses some pretty cheap components. Chorus produced an audible click every time the sweep reached it's end - an electronic flaw so points off for that. The attenuation of the pots is pretty inexcusable. The tiny switches to select lead/rhythm and US/Brit seem a bit flimsy, and are difficult to access.
Overall Impression — 3
All in all, if you like retro treble type amps and aren't playing anything modern this is probably fine for you. Unfortunately for me I am working on '70s-'90s New Wave sound and it was completely unusable. As I said, just wanted to warn you that this isn't the amp for everybody. In my opinion VERY limited sonic versatility. Would be suitable for blues or country, or maybe if you love GnR. Not for anything that doesn't require ear blasting high end. Last time I pick up an amp online for sure, lesson learned.