Purchased from: Gosford Music
Sound — 9
Using an Ibanez ex140. Not a classically beautiful sounding guitar but it sounds ok for what I'm doing whcih is mainly rock/metal. Ok so there are three main sounds. Clean, medium distortion and heavy distortion. I think this is why it's called the "fusion": the clean channel sounds great. I have no problems with the sound at all for an amp of this size and price. In fact I think it has a very "true" and honest sound. The reverb sucks but that's ok, I have a rack unit for that anyway. "Drive 1" sounds almost like its meant to emulate a Marshall sound. And I think it does a pretty good job for its size. There is a kind of strange mid-range tone that might be my guitar though but it sounds great when eq-ed a little bit. The distortion is very nice and not overly cutting or brutal. Loads of sustain when the Drive knob is up. "Drive 2" is basically "Drive 1" with a Drive knob that goes up to 15. Messa emulation maybe? Pretty much the same sound as Drive 1 but more distorted. Really nice sustain! I think that's the pre-amp but either way it just keeps going and going. Love it. Once again, nice distortion. it's fairly controllable too and again, it doesn't have that really grainy top-end distortion that a lot of modern solid-state amps have. With my guitar it likes a bit of eq though.
Overall Impression — 8
For the price and for the size of the amp I think it's great. Love the tone (apart from the strange mid-range frequency) and the sustain but the overall sound is great. The rattle is a bit of a worry but I'm pretty sure that can be fixed and I'm seriously considering getting an extra speaker to get the most out of the amp volume wise. That is not to say that it's not loud enough but I think it could use an extra speaker to make it sound a little bigger. Pretty damn happy after a lot of searching around stores for something with a warm tone and in my price range.
Reliability & Durability — 6
I've only had it for a couple of months but I can't see anything going wrong with it. The less bells and whistles the less problems as far as I'm concerned. The one thing I will say is that there seems to be some rattle going on when low end frequencies are more prevalent. Especially when it's up over the 4 or 5 mark on the volume knob. I'm a bit worried about this because I'm using it for home recording mainly and it tends to come through through the mic. Not happy about that but I can take out the offending lows and it's ok but still.
Features — 8
Not a whole lot of features. Three channels: 1 clean, 1 mid-distortion, 1 heavy distortion. Bass, mid, treble eq on the clean channel plus "bright" switch which basically gives it lots (too much for me) of top end. Reverb as well but it's a pretty average reverb. The two distortion channels share bass, mid and treble eq however the heavier channel also has "enhance". This seems to just take mids out as you turn it up. Both distortion channels have a "drive" and volume knob. 1 reverb for both distortion channels. Headphones, line out, which I think may be very useful for this amp, effects loop and foot Switch. There is also a "reverb" jack at the back but I'm not really sure what that does. 12 inch celestion. It's stamped with "invader" but the manual says it's a custom. The main feature of this amp I think is the tube pre-amp. It looks tiny but seems to give a nice tone and sustain to the sound. As far as features go there really ain't too many but that's fine for me. I looked at some Line 6 amps in the same price range and they had waaaay too many buttons and dials with lights everywhere. I just wanted something nice and simple with a good sound. Could maybe have used a separate EQ for each distortion channel.