Price paid: $ 1400
Sound — 9
I use a Gibson Les Paul with burstbucker pickups and play at the moment different types of modern metal. The amp works really well and I have by far the heaviest and cleanest guitar sound compared to all other local players. It really gives me the sound I want. I understand why many claim that Mesa isnt the brand for people playing metal since the low bass-sound is not quit as tight as you might want it. My solution to that problem is to play through a Ibanez tubescreamer which helps! Other reasons why many might not find Mesa as a metal amp is because they go to their music store and try it on a low volume which does not show its capability, Its made to be played at high volumes so to get that brain-destroying sound one needs to turn it up. As many claim, they also need a lot of tweeking before you're happy since the EQs are very sensitive. I don't find it noisy at all. The clean channel does get a little bit distorted at higher volumes (like rehearsing with the band). If you turn down the volume on the guitar that wont be a problem at all. I find this amp so versatile that playing other kinds of music like rock, pop, blues works really well. I can plug in my Clapton stratocaster and get a really smooth and bluesy sound. I mainly use "clean" on the first channel and find "pushed" unnecessary. On channel 2 i use "modern" and "Vintage" which really covers all the sounds one might want for different kinds of rock to metal.
Overall Impression — 9
This amp works great for all kinds of music such as rock, pop, blues and metal. I have been playing for about 8 years and this is my first "stack"-amp. Before I bought it I went to stores and tried tons of different amps mainly marshalls in the same price range and I found that this one killed them all when it came to sound and quality. If it was lost or stolen I would cry and probably get a new one or save up enough money to get the Mark IV or something like that. Its perfect for anybody Who plays some sort of rock in a band in the rehearsal room or on small to medium stages. The only bad thing I can find with it is that is is not a "practice in the room" amp mainly because of the fact that the volumes one would be playing at to get the best sound will make you unpopular with your parents or neighbors.
Reliability & Durability — 10
Has never failed me. Since I bought it second hand I made sure to change the tubes just to be sure to get the best sound. Did not make much of a difference which means that the tubes hold up pretty well since the guy had used the amp a lot under the 2 years he owned it. I use a cover for the head to avoid bumps and scratches when I take it for gigs and band rehearsal so it still looks and sounds like new. When you see this amp you will know that it is built to last and in very high quality.
Features — 9
It's a 50 watt tube amplifier made in 2007 (don't remember). Two channels with seperate EQs, parallel fx-loop, solo boost. Ch1 has two modes (clean and pushed), while ch2 has three (raw, Vintage and modern). These modes are not "footswitchable" while the two different channels and volume (solo boost) are. The only thing some players might be missing is reverb but if you are desperate for it, buy a pedal! It also has a great "stand by" Switch.