Price paid: $ 500
Purchased from: Sam Ash
Sound — 3
I play with two Epiphones, one custom and one Ultra II, as well as a Michael Kelly with coil taps. I played these guitars through every amp in the store before buying them, so I know the sound I get from the 250 isn't the guitar's fault. Here comes the obligatory metaphor; this amplifier is like taking a domesticated cat and trying to sell it as a lion. While it nearly passes for 'classic' rock on the crunch channel, there is no way to push this amplifier to anything else. Its bland, which is bad. I ended up running a multi-FX through the clean channel, and later using the speakers as an output for POD Farm on my computer.
Overall Impression — 4
I've been playing for some time, and in the beginning this amplifier was awesome. I 'almost' got my dad to shell out the bucks for a Marshall tube head and half-stack, but my dad... Oh boy, he's tricky! If this amplifier was stolen or lost, I'd have to buy it again because I use it for the piezo output on my Ultra II, but I would be wary of the price and downsize dramatically. On second thought, I run the electric section of the guitar through a Vox VT30, so I might just buy another one of those, and perhaps work them with a delay to get orchestrations a la Brian May. Oh well, 500 bucks out the window and I'm one bad experience richer.
Reliability & Durability — 7
If your tastes are bland, or you aren't looking to use the actual amplifier part, then this is the amp for you. I've dropped it, kicked it, spilled it, had my dogs urinate on it both intentionally and accidentally... It still works! Some people have trouble with the fan breaking, I however, have yet to have this problem. One knob managed to break off, but that was a quick fix. My Ultra II, however, took months. It reminds me of a Jeff Foxworthy joke about cheap sunglasses... I think its that you could never lose a pair of cheap-o's because no one wants them... Same thing applies here.
Features — 7
This amplifier has two channels, one clean and one distorted... For the most part. There is a gain knob for the clean channel, and putting it halfway up is gonna give you a little bit of drive. Unfortunately, the clean and crunchier channels will almost NEVER be anything near unity, the clean will always be significantly (And I mean significantly, as in you won't know it exists) softer than the crunch. Its solid state, but with a Switch that makes it sound a little (not much) like its coming from a tube amplifier. It isn't a bad beginners amplifier, but it begs the question, what beginner needs 250 watts of output?