Price paid: $ 1200
Purchased from: Friend of a friend
Sound — 10
I use a Gibson Les Paul Standard, Gibson SG Special, Fender Telecaster '72. The Gibsons have DiMarzio Super Distortin pickups in them, and the Telecaster has a Minihumbucker from the same pickup series. The sound suits me perfectly. It's not too modern, hi-fi and not too vintage. You could describe it as the perfect match between a JMP and a modern Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier. With high gain setting it can get a little noisy but never so much that it bothers you. I use a Boss NS-2 for every amp I use, to noise is never a problem for me. In the rock genre, this amp has a wide tonal selection. '80s metal works superb, classic hard rock, punk etc., it does it all! If you crank the volume on the Normal (not a clean channel, always a bit gritty) channel you'll achieve some serious AC/DC tones. The boosted distortion is amazing. Creamy, punchy, cuts trough the mix and delivers time after time.
Overall Impression — 10
The best sounding in my arsenal. When my band recorded our album we went trough many amps until we finally decided to go with the 800. We tried a Dual Rectifier, Marshall JCM2000, TSL60, MF350, Laney GL50, Orange Tiny Terror and a few more. This amp literally kicked the other amps a-ses. It was CLEARLY the obvious choice. If you plan on buying this amp: It does rock-heavy metal really well, if you're playing some serious doom/core metal or pretty pop, this is not for you. It has 2 channels with kind of the same "voice". You will always stay in that place with this amp, is does it extremely well, but you can't really change much. Overall, a REALLY good amp!
Reliability & Durability — 4
Here comes the bad news. The amp is from '87 and has been toured, rehearsed and dropped quite a few times. While it's been mine (3 years) it has broken down 3 times on me. No technician have ever found anything really wrong with it. But it keeps failing. I wouldn't use this for a gig, not reliable enough. Rehearsing and recording is the only things I use it for. It has never broken down on me on a gig, but why take the chanse? It's kinda heavy as well so I much rather use my Mesa Boogie Mini Rectifier.
Features — 9
This amp, if not mistaking, was made back in '87. Is the amp versatile? To be honest, not really. You will always stay in the area of rock with this amp (what the amp was intended to do). I mainly play pop-punk with this amp with my band (our debut album was 90% recorded with this amp)and it suits me really well. It's a 2 channel amp, Normal and Boosted. The Normal channel is just what it sounds like, Normal, not clean. It always has a nice gritty overdriven feel to it. The boosted channel, where the magic happens, you can pick up from where the normal channel ended and get some serious Vintage gain! It has a serial FX-loop, spring reverb and a D.I. out. I'd love for the amp to have a solo boost, that would really complete the amp. Aside from that, I use all the features the amp's got and don't miss anything. And don't worry about the volume. With master at 10 o'clock windows start shaking.