Price paid: $ 1200
Purchased from: www.blocket.se
Sound — 9
I use this with a Gibson Les Paul with burstbuckers. And, wow, the distortion blows me away. Okay I'll have to admit, I'm a true gain whore. But I only need to have "Pre Gain" on 6 or 7 to fulfil my needs and that says a lot about the capacity this thing has. To put it short, it has twice the gain you'll ever need. Just to be sure. All this distortion suits my "metalheadism" very well, and I can sit hours playing the same riff over again, because I'm amazed at how heavy it sounds! This amp is however lacking in the clean channel. Sure, it's clean and everything, but it just feels empty, like something is missing. But I tried it once with a chorus pedal, and that surely added a lot of character to the sound! So just use some effects on the clean sound, and you'll be off just fine! So I guess you could say there's a lot of variety of the kinds of distorted tones you can make, but the cleans just the same old dry boring one. Peavey tried to fix this with the "bright" Switch, but it doesn't really do much of a difference. However, it remains quite clean, and doesn't distort that much at high volumes. However, it is noisy as hell if you use distortion, but I guess no one's surprised there. In my opinion, it doesn't matter that much, because noisyness is kind of part of it all. So in spite of the mediocre cleans, this gets a high grade, because hell breaks loose if you use the distortion.
Overall Impression — 9
I'm really impressed with what this amp can do. It's just metal as hell, and full of raw power! I've been playing for 3 years, and before I had a Peavey Bandit 112. And the only thing you could say is: "Once you go tube you never go back". You just can't compare it with a solid state, because a solid state is just a piece of crap compared to this monster! There's nothing I'd wished I'd asked for, because I already knew everything. It's simple, really, there's just a lot of power. That's all I needed to know, and all many of you need to know. However, if you play cleans as much as you play distortion, then you should probably consider another amp, since this is a weak point of the amp. If it was stolen I'd try some ENGLs and Mesas. If I still prefered the 5150, I'd buy it again! When I bought this, it was this or an Engl Screamer combo. I bought this because it was cheaper, and I prefered the distortion. But like I've said, I'd prefer if it had reverb, seperate EQs and better cleans. But it still gets top grades, because the distortion blew me away, and it will blow you away!
Reliability & Durability — 10
This is one sturdy piece of metal. Of course I haven't dropped it of a roof or anything, but you can see the sturdyness in it if you look at it closely. And once I accidentally left it on for 24 hours, and it wasn't damaged at all! So it's kind of strong in that aspect to. There's not really much else to say, except that this piece has never let me down, and it probably never will.
Features — 8
This amp was made in 2001, but I've only owned it since mid-2007. I mainly plain metal, but this baby can handle rock/hardrock as well. So it's not that extremely versatile, but at least it's enough versatile for me! It has two channels, one "rhythm channel" which is clean (but can be distorted aswell) and one "lead channel" which is what you probably guessed, totally badass distortion! 6 or 7It has pretty much everything you need, however, it has the same EQ for both channels, which kind of sucks. Also, I kind of miss reverb, but that can easily be fixed with a pedal of some sort. But apart from that, this amp has everything you need, and nothing that at least I don't need. I use this as a practice amp (in a soundproofed garage, it gets loud) and also in band situations (gigs, practices, recording). And it handles all this very well. There is more than enough power, and I doubt you'll ever need to tweak it to it's fullest power.