Sound — 10
I use an Ibanez S520EX electric guitar with the stock pickups and I'm currently working on new pickups, perhaps EMG's or maybe some nice Dimarzio's. I happen to play lots of metal and hardcore styles like most mesa users. This amp gets pretty noisy though, it's either very quiet and it doesn't sound that great, or get it to sound great and the apartment shakes. So basically I just got my beast up and working in the last two days and it has yet to leave my room, so I don't really know the full sound potential, but I'm gonna work on that. But so far I've really been trying to get the best sounds out of it as possible by playing a lot with the settings. The 3rd channel sounds insane for distortion and for it's extremely low end crunchy distortion, it has amazing clarity. The 2nd channel took a bit more working on. I wanted to get a noticeable sound change between the 3rd and 2nd channels so I happened to tweak the sound more to a more high-mid, bassy sound for fill pieces and song breaks. And the first channel. The clean channel sounds so amazing to me. Since I am a lover of blues and such, I happen to use the clean channel a lot. I do a lot of messing around and I get into my little SRV world I fall into ever so often, and I seem to get out of it less with this amp due to the great sounding 1st channel, even at high volume levels.
Overall Impression — 10
So really, I play hardcore/screamo and I also play blues/classic rock and this amp can really reach all of those styles with ease. This amp is already proving to be a match made in heaven for me. I have been playing for about 2 1/2 years, and I own this head, I matched it with a Peavey 5150 412 slnt cabinet. I also own a '70s Traynor ygl mark III combo amp, a little Roland Micro Cube for fun and then I have a Fender sidekick 2 with reverb. And in the way of guitars I only have a couple. An old Aria acoustic that was given to me, and a cool little Epiphone SG Special. If my mesa was stolen I would most likely cry, because of it's extremely high price and it's not really easy to come up with another thousand dollars, but I would try my hardest to get another one though, because I really love it that much already.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I haven't had this amp long enough really to tell whether or not it will prove to be reliable and such, but I would spend the money time or energy into getting an amp of this magnitude if it wasn't going to be reliable or durable. My amp hasn't broken down so far and I plan on keeping it that way. The person Who owned it before me took really good care of it, and I can tell it wasn't used at very high volumes because the tubes don't seem to be worn out really at all. They look almost new. This amp hasn't and will not get neglected. Why would anyone want to neglect an amp like this anyways. If you neglect an amp such as this, you shouldn't own one.
Features — 10
This is an I guess newer version of the old Dual Rectifier. The amp I own is the 3 channel solo head. This amp is absolutely versatile to the max. I personally am in a hardcore/screamo band, but I also like to play classic rock and blues. This amp can cover all the grounds. From thrash, to hardcore, to punk, blues to classic, there really is no boundaries for this head. It really sounds amazing for each style of music. On one note though, the only thing it needs to put it over the top as with any other great amp, you need a great pedal setup. Since there are no built in effects. Really just give me a nice chorus pedal, reverb and a delay pedal and I'll be set for sure. I have yet to gig with this head, but I know one thing, my neighbors hate it already, so basically it has enough power to keep me satisfied.