Purchased from: Hawker and Howarth
Sound — 7
I use an Ibanez GIO R170 (cheep starter guitar) indie black standard with high output pickups and a Gibson SG Classic (P-90 equiped). Pedal wise I use: Boss Chromatic Tunner, Super Overdrive, Metal Zone 3, acousitc simulator and DS-1 Marshall Guvner Overdrive, Ibanez Fuzz and a Jim Dunlop Cry Baby Original. I will start with the clean channel. Features - clean/cruch switch, gain control, treble, middle, bass EQ's. Clean setting is pretty impressive, I'm not a fan of clean amp tone, but this amp does it well, and what I love the most about the clean setting is it gives me no problems when I use pedals unlike some rival solidstate amps. And being a pedal freek the amp's t/m/b EQ's give a good extra dimenstion to the pedals tone (so please experiment dont just keep them on 5 5 5 and use the pedals EQ's alone). Very good 9. The clean channels crunch setting however is a pile of sh1t, sorry to be potty mouthed but it honestly is horendus. since owning this amp I have used it around 3 times (gods honest truth I have only pressed crunch three times) it is a totally un-nessasory, un-needed control option, why would you want an extra dirty option on your clean channel when you have 2 overdive types on your dirty channel? It's too high gain at any volume (not heavy metal high gain, just screaming feedback high gain). A pointless adition. And thats for simply not breaking. The overdrive channel isnt too bad, has its own gain, overdrive type (the afore mentioned overdrive 1 and 2), bass midd treb conture and volume EQ's. All these work very well in truly ajusting tone, my only critisism is there is a conflict between the amps master volume and the dirty channels volume with takes a few hours of prcacitce to master totaly. The over drive 1 is a more vintage sound, it does it well, but dammit I like to progress with my music, not play week gain songs so its rarely used by me but still good at what it does. The overdrive 2 option was my main dirty tone for a good long while before I got into pedal tone and is good, due to the conture control its pretty versitile and powerful, yet I always got the feeling there was too much bass in it. so great for vintage and bass-heavy tones. The effects are pretty average, non really stand up to there pedal counterparts (but lets face it, you bought a 235 amp, not a multi effects unit) and work alright at what they do, good for the player who wants to experiment a bit for some songs, and the chorus-delay is pretty sweet I use it when playing the clean parts in muse's time is running out and it does sound piano-like. Reverb, is a good but I really dont like reverb so I dont overuse it. I now tend to use this amplifier as simply that, an amplifer of my guitar and effects avoiding the Dirty channel simply as my effects surpass it. As a effects amplifer-9 on its own 7. Is good loud so if you need a giging amp cheep its well suited to you.
Overall Impression — 8
I started off playing just punk and as any true punk guitarist knows, punk guitar is just you, a guitar, amp and crowd. About a 1/2 year in I started attending lessons and started playing more virtuoso guitar e.g. Satriani, Yngwie etc, and so started buying more pedals to use as well as the amps tone, this amp has served me well through out our time together. If lost, broken or stolen, I would think long and hard about what to buy next, this would be a possibility, I would still stick with a solid state amp, with the maintanace, cost and un-predictibility of tube amps. I would look at the Marshall solid state range, and that of randel, and probably look at the Marshall MG 1/2stack simply due to its volume potential. Good amp, very good for the price.
Reliability & Durability — 9
Very dependable, use it without a back up anyday. I spilt a drink on it when playing a gig (I wasn't playing a friend borrowed it and a punter spilt some beer on it). I feared the worse but it was fine, I was very impressed. It's tough as nails, and as a result weighs quite alot, so I recomend moving it with a 2nd person. Never given me any problems at any volume.
Features — 8
100 watt solid state combo. Has headphone and line out jack's. Made in 2003 or 2004 in korea or somewhere like that, not being a snob this dosnt bother me at all. 2 independant foot-switchable channels, clean and over drive. Both clean and overdrive have 2 varriable sounds e.g. clean=clean and crunch and overdrive - overdrive-1 (vintage) & overdrive 2 (modern more powerful). Effects wise it has (again foot=switchable) 4 potential effects including chorus, chorus-dealy, delay and flanger, however only one may be used at a time. Reverb is also on the amp, which annoyingly this isnt incoperated into the footpedal, and is switched on constantly (can be switched to 0 so it isnt heard but if you use reverb for solo's only then an embarassing run to the amp is needed pre solo). When you compare this to most valve amps this is a very good amount of features, lets face it these features are never going to give you vavle like tone (all though the FDD sound contol switch does help you get closer). Not bad at all feature wise.