Sound — 8
This amp sounds very good. The clean channel is clear and bright (though without the sparkling cleans on my Fender Super), and the distortion is powerful and thick. Without the 'contour' switch pressed down, it gives a decent Vintage-sounding overdrive that switches to a warm, bassy, tubey distortion as the gain knob goes past about 12'o clock. The contour switch gives it a great feel for modern rock and classic heavy metal. I wouldn't call the distortion 'brutal', but I'm sure that's nothing an EQ pedal wouldn't fix. The reverb is just alright, but it gets the job done. The guitars that see the most play through this puppy are my Fender mexi strat (which helps bring out the best in the clean tones) and my Les Paul (gives great body to the distortion). I play all styles of music, and as long as you're not looking for a brutal death metal distortion, this amp can get a good sound.
Overall Impression — 9
I play everything from folk to metal, and this amp is good for all of it. It's small and stripped down, but it can handle everything well. If I had any complaints, they would be that the clean channel isn't sparkling and brilliant (Fender has spoiled me), but they're still good sounding. If this were stolen, I'd definitely get another one if I could find it (they're discontinued, unfortunately). All in all, a great amp, especially in comparison with other smaller tube combos around the $500 range.
Reliability & Durability — 9
It's a tube amp, so its always good to have a backup. Mesa's are built like rocks, and I havent had this one too long, but its been around for a while already and doesn't feel like it's going anywhere. the only complaint I have is that on mine, the plastic on the handle is wearing off, but that's nothing a little scotch tape wont fix.
Features — 8
This amp was made in the early 2000s, I don't know the exact year. It's a pretty simple affair: 2 channels with 3-band eq (with a 'contour' switch on the Drive channel that scoops the mids nicely), FX out/return, recording out, headphone jack, power and standby switch. 30 loud tube watts fill rooms easily when playing out, but also works well at bedroom volume. It's nothing fancy, but everything you need to plug in and play.