Sound — 7
I mainly use this guitar with an ESP LTD M-100FM that features a DiMarzio Tone Zone and a DiMarzio Breed Neck along with coil taps for both pickups along with a nitro finish. The amp is versatile for my style of playing as I play stuff from funk, hard rock, and heavy metal but I must add the distortion channel is pretty crappy, fuzzy and it makes the amp creak if you encounter certain pitches, although the distortion can get brutal, it's crappy. I use a Keeley Modded Boss DS-1 pedal to replace that and it's worked out fine so far. The amp is versatile for my style of playing as I play stuff from funk, hard rock, and heavy metal. The cleans are ok, they aren't anything spectacular but they do the job, but if the cleans are loud it starts to get a bit crappy and fuzzy. On humbucker mode there's a lot of crackling on clean mode (as if the amp speaker is struggling on clean mode) but when I coil tap to single coils it gives off a much cleaner sound. This amp can achieve well in my opinion if you play with a stand alone distortion pedal because with my DS-1 I can achieve some pretty smooth lead tones with this amp and crunchy distortion. It's not really noisy either, barely makes any noise, it just sits there (turned on)sometimes when I'm using the computer with the guitar sitting in my lap. The 7/10 rating because you would want a separate distortion pedal to use to replace the distortion channel. Pedals are pretty cheap, especially since this amp costs only $79.00 USD as of today. A beginning guitarist should have a lot left over to buy a decent pedal.
Overall Impression — 7
I've been playing for 2 years, and this is my first amp I bought back in December 2006. It's a good match for me I just wish the speaker could handle cleans better as it seems to struggle on that part. The speaker can handle the distortion that my Keeley Modded Boss DS-1 can put out very well. I have a good knowledge on tone and I'd say this meets my needs with the setup I have. Though if it were stolen or lost I would get maybe a Roland Cube or a Vox Valvetronix. But the good thing about this amp is that's it's cheap ($79) and sturdy.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I could depend on this thing for a while it seems, it hasn't gone out on me yet. Although the speaker makes occasional creaking noises that's every once in a while, like a week or something. I think it's when I reach certain pitches. I would use it at a gig if it was mic'd up without a backup because it's pretty sturdy and easy to carry. The amp has never broken down on me.
Features — 5
I'm not sure when the amp was made but I bought it in December 2006 so I've had it for quite some time. The serial# is KNB1455 if it helps anyone figure out the year. This is a 10 Watt solid state amp with only 2 channels, Distortion and Clean. It also features a Headphone Jack and a CD input so I can jam with music on my iPod. That's pretty much all there is to it with this amp, pretty lackluster. I would appreciate some built-in reverb but I just use a Holy Grail Reverb to get it. I use this in the bedroom mostly because it can barely be heard over a drum set unless it's mic'd up. 5/10 because it's as basic as an amp can get without losing the essentials.