Price paid: £ 399
Purchased from: www.gear4music.com
Sound — 8
I play a Fender Tele through it and it recreates what I want - ala Steve Cropper/Jimmy King. It was really good with pedals at first but seems to hate them now and creates too much noise so I play straight in. Clean channel is possibly the best I have experienced. I never used to worry about guitar volume - it was always set at 100% but this amp gives a genuine different voicing from different guitar settings and has provided me with a little re-education. When this amp is run at 5-6 the natural break up is beautiful. Distortion is classic 70's and not high gain. Think Thin Lizzy
Overall Impression — 8
I play in a 60's Stax and Motown band. This amp is refined enough and raw enough to do the music justice without wimping out or being overkill. I have been playing 24 years and own a Traynor 100 watt amp and far too many guitars and effects. I love the amp - but this is something that happened in the last 3 months. Previously I was looking to buy another Traynor YGL. I bought it and it was not as refined or as good. I now have an amp that is too heavy to lift and too rubbish to use. Stick to the VC30 210! What do I love about it? Well it has a real thick sound and it captures the sounds of a bygone era. Push it, it will sing. The VC30 MK2 is a real contender to the AC30. If it were stolen? This is a nonsense because I am currently buying a second VC30 anyway.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I do depend on it, as I have no back up. I am in the process of buying another 210 because I genuinely like the sound. I have not needed a repair as such but the issue with hum & pedals has gotten noticeably worse over the last 4 months. However the end result is that I have become less reliant on pedals and more able to play in the raw as it were:)
Features — 9
The VC30 210 was a 2008 model which I bought in April 2009. Its a true class A amp according to the blurb and it is a 2 channel affair although it shares the tone controls for both. Reverb is a little weak but sweet, and at around 90% it is pretty good. Its a very good tone horse and probably better than the Traynor YGL3 MkIII, both the AC30's and the various Marshalls I have owned previously. I chose this as I needed an amp after being re-recruited to join my old Stax/Motown soul band after a near 10 year lay off from live work. I wanted a portable combo that would cut through in my 10+ piece band and it is capable of holding it's own unmic'ed in a 300-400 capacity venue.