Purchased from: Mojotone.com
Features — 9
- Made in the USA (my basement)
- 1-watt of tube power 1x-12BH7 2x-12AX7 1x-12AT7
- Simple no-frills design
- 2 channels w/footswitch (included)
- Switchable 4,8, or 16 outputs
- Full tone controls on gain channel (Low, Mid, High)
- Master volume and gain controls
The only diodes in the amp's circuitry are in the rectifier circuit and the switching unit.
The only thing I could see most people complaining about is the lack of FX-loop. (I see it as a plus, but I know a lot of people like FX)
The most important feature is the "You built this!?" that you will receive from all of your friends when you show it off to them.
Sound — 10
I am a very JCM kinda guy, so this amp really fits my playing style. Tons of grit, midrange for days, and a low end so massive, I leave the knob at zero when I downtune. The amp responds well to pedals. I use a MXR 10-Band in front and occasionally give my TS a stomp when I'm really looking to cook. Typically the EQ is enough for me though. To compare the sound to something we're all familiar with: I played it next to my buddies 800 and the only glaring difference was the volume. It sounds like a cleaner (less fizzy) version of my Laney GH50.
Reliability & Durability — 10
Durability is hard to say. It comes with quality tubes, from JJ, EH and TAD. The inductor is JJ and the transformers are made in USA to their specs. The chassis is stainless, which is pretty standard issue. All of the components included in the kit are top notch. None of the pots crackle or pop, and all of the internal small components seem to be higher quality than what I've seen in my Laney GH50 or Peavey 5150. (not saying much, I know)
Really, because you build this thing on your own, so it is only as durable as your soldering ability allows. Awesome part is that if you know enough to build one of these, you'll easily be able to diagnose and repair it.
Overall Impression — 10
This is the perfect amp for me right now. I don't have the opportunity to crank up my bigger amps and I hate all those crappy little digital modelers. I'm not a person who needs 8 million built-in effects or a bajillion useless features (see: Peavey Invective). I love this amp's no-frills pure-tube tone. Through a 4x12 it still gets pretty dang loud, but don't expect to play it over your 5 piece thrash band.
The thing looks pretty cool, and the cabinets they'll make for you are absolutely beautiful. I ordered mine without the cabinet, to save some money and ultimately screwed it to a plank of wood, giving it a cool hi-fi look. Most importantly, the sense of accomplishment from putting this thing together was immense. I went into this build having very little electronics training. (Army Basic Electronics Training)
The kit went together very easily aside from a few tiny adjustments I had to make with the holes in the chassis. Any gaps in my knowledge base were quickly filled via a quick Google search or a quick email to their customer support.