Price paid: C$ 650
Purchased from: Kijiji guy
Features — 4
About a year old hardly any use. It's no secret what the technical specs are for this little amp. 5 minutes of google-fu and ye shall know. On paper, great features, but... Ok, it's got gain knobs, treble mid bass knobs, master volume, Vintage Lead, Modern Lead, footswitchable, you get to decide between OK clean, and real dodgy lead. FX loop that you can't adjust the send or return level, a stupid LED light in the head that makes it impossible to tell if your power tubes are glowing... argh... 4 ohm speaker out 8 ohm speaker out, standby power switch.
Sound — 2
Heavy lead work and metal is what I bought it for after reading many, many insanely positive reviews about this little amp. I have to ask; are these people idiots, fanboys, or are they just not wanting to be the guy who stands out saying this amp sucks? Unless you own a Mesa speaker set, or maybe a Vintage 30, FORGET about getting a usable tone out of this amp. Except maybe a clean tone. Maybe. You know that classic overdriven Dual Rec tone? Not here. Not even close. Lacking in low end and low mids, suffers from over bright, brittle ice picky horrid mids and highs, it's a disaster. It's a joke. It's a toy. A really expensive toy. You can squeeze out the odd lead tone, but not consistent from low to high, on my Ibanez Prestige.
Reliability & Durability — 5
Who knows? Who cares? Spent 2 days trying to get a livable tone out of it for power chords, first of all. If you can't get bowel loosening power chords out of it, what's the point? Tried high gain pickups, tried way-high gain Bare Knuckles, tried a Les Paul with rowdy humbuckers, and they all sounded like a-s. Seriously, I can dial in better tones on my cheap-a-s Super Champ XD, in a heartbeat, which is 1/3 the cost. I am not joking. So what if it lasts forever? Sometimes hemorrhoid problems last a long time too.
Overall Impression — 2
If you are sitting there deciding on a "lunchbox" amp, for metallic leads (Gilbert, Petrucci, Satch) don't do it. Look elsewhere. I tried it through a speaker I pulled from an Ibanez cabinet which has served me very well for metal, and high gain leads, and it sucked. Don't laugh, that speaker sounds great with a Fullbore Metal pedal fed into it from any other tube amp. Sounds like a neutered goat with the "Mini" feeding it straight up. Tried all the modes, all the nob twiddles, all of it. I have no idea how the many, many online reviews out there praising this little turkey are written. Were all the writers high? Are they scared to admit that they dropped a grand on a turkey? Do they want to look cool with this metal-plated toy? Are they PR hacks? Fake online personalities? I don't know. I couldn't get it back on Kijiji fast enough. What a disaster. Perhaps the Engl Ironball 20 is what I need.