Purchased from: Used
Sound — 7
I use a Vintage Ibanez PF230, which is built much like a classic Gibson, except it has 3 pickups instead of 2 for a really full sound. For my use, I think the distortion channel works OK. With FDD circuitry it plays nicely for classic heavy riffs. My main concern is the Clean channel. I find it starts to distort even at low volumes on the lower tones (especially the deep E-string). I think this is a limitation in the power amp, since it sounds much cleaner through my headphones. Turn up the volume, and it is easy to get a noticeable background buzz noise, even if it is only bothersome at high volumes on the Clean channel. For me, the distortion is OK, but not very brutal. I actually prefer the Gain on a low settings, as I think the high settings masks the tone in buzz and noise. I prefer to do distortion with effect boxes anyway. What I really like is the full-bodied sound you get with the FDD circuitry. I have this on almost all the time, regardless of chosen channel.
Overall Impression — 7
For acoustic use it is a little disappointing. I would really have liked that the Clean channel stayed clean all the way. To me, it sounds like the distortion starts at 11 o'clock, which is too early. Other than that, I actually like it a lot. The FDD is to me the highlight of the amp, and it makes all the difference to me. I have played the guitar as a hobbyist for many years, and my gear experience is limited. But as a Hifi enthusiast I think I am rather picky when it comes to sound, and for my home projects, it suits me fine. I mainly bought this because I am on a budget. Apart from a cleaner Clean-channel, it has all that I need in a no nonsense, home use amp.
Reliability & Durability — 8
It seems very solid. The power is too low for gig use, especially on acoustic use on the clean channel. The crunch comes in too early for this use. It also seems to be somewhat affected by outside noise fields, and must be placed away from noise sources. Haven't owned it long, but the previous owner states that it has never broken down.
Features — 7
I think this amp was made around 2005, but I am not sure. I am using it as indended, as a practice amp at home. I play a variety of styles, from acoustic fingerpicking, some bluesy riffs and chord variations and some classic heavy (think AC/D and Deep Purple). 2 channels (Clean and Distortion), switch at front (no pedal), no FX except the FDD tube emulation switch. Has a headphone jack (emulated) and a line in/out which I haven't used so far. I actually think 15W isn't quite enough (more on that on sound). For the price and intended use I think it is a reasonable set of features. I use it with effect boxes anyway.