Price paid: $ 893.04
Purchased from: Gak.co.uk
Sound — 10
I use an Ibanez RG350DX with it which has an H/S/H pickup set-up. These sound pretty fruity through the amp, though the acoustic sim. needs the single coil to sound true. The switches I was talking about earlier include a body switch for the ac. sim. which changes from regular ac. to dreadnought sounds. On the clean channel it has a brightness switch, so you can add more clarity to your sound. The two OD (overdrive) channels have a mid scoop switch, which unbelievably scoops the mids even further. There is an EQ for the two clean channels, and the two OD channels, but with the switches, it means the two OD channels have independent mids. The two OD channels are very different from each other, with OD1 going from blues to that of Extreme on their earlier albums. OD2 with a DigiTech Bad Monkey in front of it sounds like Trivium/metallica etc, but on its own, using a neck humbucker sounds like Steve Vai's 'For The Love Of God'. The clean will stay clean unless you apply gain with the gain knob, but it is obviously distinctly quieter. You can level it all out by adjusting the master volume, but sometimes you have to give in and have a dire straits style clean. The only extraneous noise comes from the fan, which is only noticeable if you stop playing entirely and listen for it, and the hum if you use lots of pedals from the same mains, with excess lights on etc. nothing a noise suppressor can't sort out.
Overall Impression — 10
I play anything from Extreme to Vai and Satch, from Metallica to Eric Clapton. This amp has it all. I have only been playing two years, but I never put my guitar down, and this amp sounds excellent for slow melodic solos, legato, shred, pinched harmonic squeals and the occasional sweep. Putting the gain up in the clean gives an excellent funk, and with all the effects, you can accentuate your sound for any style. I know I have put 10 for every section, but if you were to buy it, you would not be disappointed. If it was stolen I would not only find it and drop on the bugger that stole it, but buy another, cheat the insurance company and buy another cabinet and loads of boutique fx. only kidding. I would buy it again though.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This amp is built like a house, and weighs about just as much. It's not easy to lug around, hence why I wouldn't bother using a backup anyway, but it is not going to die on you. It is valve state, but it uses emulating technology so there is only one or two in their, and the fan is so cool they are not going to blow for years.
Features — 10
The price stated includes an accompanying 4x12AX cabinet. It is a large ol' bugger with four channels. These are acoustic simulator, clean, OD1 and OD2. It has an effects loop, headphone socket, Twin connections for different ohm outputs (using 1 or 2 cabs) and 16 different effects. It also has a master volume and presence as well as different switches for each channel, but I'll talk about them in the sounds section.