Purchased from: Trade through Kijiji.ca
Sound — 9
I normally use a Godin Icon 2 Fat Black guitar with a Duncan '59 in the bridge position and a custom neck-through-body electric with a DiMarzio in the bridge position. This guitar is similar to a Paul Reed Smith and has coil splitting for a wide variety of tones. I also have used an Ovation electric/acoustic through it which works okay but usually run any acoustic through a DI box, not the amp. But if you play your acoustic through the amp, it won't feedback through if you use the rubber sound hole cover (which is always recommended anyway). I have not had any issues with feedback either. In my experience, the feedback isn't because of the amp, it's usually because of either physical proximity while playing or the guitar's electronics. I do hear a little bit of hum but found that to be caused by the electrical system of the venue which can be different quality from venue to venue. To remedy this I use an ISP Technoligies Decimator noise reduction pedal. Works great. I can't stress enough that people should be using the effects loop when using effect pedals and multi-effect pedals. There is a nice effect loop mix control as well. The distortion channel on OD 2 is great and cuts through without losing the notes within the chords being played. Too bad there isn't a signal boost for solos on the pedal supplied. I use a Boss Compression pedal for that. The clean sound is fine as well. My band plays Alt/Rock but I also play metal (Ozzy, Iron Maiden etc) and mellower material as well and this amp sounds great consistently no matter what volume I set it to (which is not past 5 normally) or type of music.
Overall Impression — 9
I find this amp to be extremely versatile. It's like a jack of all trades but master of none. This amp works well for what I do. I would buy one again... Even just to have at home for practicing. It sounds best over volume level 3, so hopefully your neighbors don't mind. I have been playing for around 26 years and have used all brands and styles of amps and this works great. Don't let peer pressure and ego make you spend way more money for a sound so similar to this one just to stop music snobs from calling it down because it isn't a tube amp... That's their issue. As you evolve as a player, so will your taste in equipment... Which is okay!
Reliability & Durability — 9
This is the only amp I take to shows. It always sounds great! It doesn't weigh as much as a tube amp which is nice. It is rugged as the body is made from plastic... Not that I bang it around when transporting. Take care of it and it will take care of you.
Features — 8
My amp was made in 2007. I researched it prior to trading and learned that these amps in the earlier production years had issues with the fans not working and subsequently destroying the boards by overheating. The 2007 model has had this issue rectified by the manufacturer and the amp works perfectly and has never overheated, even during large outdoor festivals. I use the clean channel and the OD 2 channel via footswitch. Both clean and the distortion channel I use are excellent in sound. I run my pedals through the effect loop in the back and get excellent sound quality. I even used this amp in an Imax movie our band was featured in in 2011. Although it is a solid state amp, with fdd button pushed in, a warmer sounding tone is achievable. Like any equipment a person uses, it takes time to get to understand how to get the most out of it. Although it comes with digital effects (nice for practicing at home) I don't use them live as there isn't enough control over them for me while on stage. This amp is fine for gigging. It has plenty of power for any size venue (except maybe stadiums) and is a good amp for the price. I use another distortion pedal (on my effects board) to get variety as the footswitch does not allow changing between the two settings per channel.