Price paid: $ 1135
Purchased from: Ebay
Sound — 10
I play a Gibson Les Paul Standard and a Fender Telecaster through it. I can make the cleans sound decent but they aren't awesome. The cleans are not what you buy this amp for. After about 15 years of trying to get the Boogie sound without buying a Boogie, I finally broke down and bought it. I was not disappointed as the sound was exactly what I was looking for. At first I wanted the Metallica tone from the '80s then I was looking for a Jerry Cantrell-type tone, after that I wanted a Creed tone. I can get all of these from this amp. When you have the gain turned up (2:00 because maxing it out saturates it way too much) there is a slight hum but nothing that is overwhelming. It is relatively quiet compared to most amps.
Overall Impression — 10
I play many styles of music within rock. This amp gives me everything I need. I had a Marshall JCM900 before this. I went ahead and got the Mesa because I can get the Marshall sound out of the Mesa but I can't get the Mesa sound out of the Marshall. I have been playing for 18 years. If this were stolen, I would definitely get another one. This is the end-game amp for me unless I get a Road King which would be more of an indulgence.
Reliability & Durability — 10
No problems so far. There is a key post from one of the tubes broken off inside the socket but I don't think it will be a big deal to get it out when I am ready to change the tubes. It still runs fine though. I just have to make sure that that tube is in tight which is easy since the back is open with only a metal band across the middle.
Features — 9
This amp is versatile enough where I can get decent cleans, crunchy distortions, and hard chuggy distortion. I use this amp for everything from Led Zepplin to Slayer. It gives ou the option to use tubes or silicon diodes. It also has a variac Switch which allows you to choose between spongy and bold. Another added feature is that you can install EL-34 power tubes and rebiasing the amp is as simple as flipping a slider. It has 3 channels (clean, distortion, more distortion) with a 5-button footswitch (3 channels plus a solo Switch which increases your volume according to what you set the solovolume level to, and a fx loop Switch). The effects loop has input and output volume controls. Unfortunately there is no headphone jack. The only thing that I would consider it lacking besides a headphone jack is reverb. I use this amp in my home and it has more than enough power. I really need to get a hot plate but I don't have to get one to get a good tone out of this amp. Another feature that I like is that instead of having a Switch for impedence, there are 5 separate jacks: 16 ohms, 2x8 ohms, and 2.4 ohms.