Price paid: £ 300
Purchased from: Ebay
Sound — 8
Unlike most UG reviews I read, I like to be honest about my gear. I use a few different guitars, but mostly ones with high-output pickups. I use my Gibson Flying V '68 Reissue and an Epiphone Futura Prophecy EX. This amplifier suits my style of music brilliantly. I demand an amp that has a lot of gain with a fat, full, thick American tone. Think 5150, Soldano SLO, Mesa MK V and Dual Rectifier tones. For that particular kind of sound, the amp does it very well for the price, especially with the V30 speaker installed. It has plenty of gain and bottom end, but depending on how you set your EQ, you can achieve a lot of crunchy, bright, almost British-sounding tones as well, the Crunch mode on the clean channel is especially good at doing this as I can easily achieve some meaty, rude Texas brownsound tones, which really lends itself well for funk and blues. But there are a few things wrong with this amplifier. First of all, the Sheffield speaker needed to be replaced. On low volumes it sounds fine but on higher volumes, it starts sounding brittle and too bright. This is a noisy amplifier. Its forgivable because the amount of gain this amp can chuck out is ridiculous, so naturally it will be quite noisy. In a gig though, not using a noise suppressor would be manageable but not ideal. The clean channel on this amplifier isn't clean enough. I am a huge fan of the Roland JC120 and getting that amount of headroom with the amp on its own is impossible. The fact that the pickups I use are super HOT isn't to be sniffed at, but a cleaner clean channel would be nice. However, it is indeed a double-edged sword as in the case that you are the sort of player that likes a bit of breakup on the clean channel (I am that sort of player on a few occasions) then this amp gets the job done of having a clean channel with a relatively subtle amount of distortion. Having spring reverb is nice, but I wish there was more of it. Even with the reverb control cranked, it is relatively subtle. This can cause the clean channel to sound a bit too dry. Going back to the main attraction here, the lead channel, I can say that this amp sounds fantastic for high gain. Leads sound articulate and sustain-y. For how I've set my amp, a lot of the tone comes from the style of player you are, so if you dig in, it can get snappy and bright, or if picked softly, can sound warm and fuzzy. In my books, that's a great quality to have in which the dynamics of the player Shine through in the final sound. For rhythm, again this amp sounds superb with the V30 in it. I have the midrange set quite low (a bit of a dirty move to do for most metal players, I know), but this amp has quite a lot of midrange. Turning the mids down a fraction moves the frequency spike over to the lower mids, which allows you to get the huge, thick tones that this amp made its name in doing. The EQ controls are very sensitive, so tweaking the amp can take a long time, but the wide response of the controls allows for quite a few different styles of play, which in my opinion is a good thing. Mutes are very crunchy and the attack very present, but the low end is very strong with this one.
Overall Impression — 8
I'd say that for the money, I could not have got a whole lot of a better amp. I've been playing guitar for over 5 years and previously owned a Bugera 6262 which I sold. It would have been nice if the amp have a V30 speaker in it stock and I wish it had a built-in noise gate to cut out all the hiss, but that can be resolved quite easily. Not being able to control the effects loop through the footswitch is a slight annoyance too. What I really love about this amp is the high gain tones. They're great after I modded the amp and the MSDI couldn't make recording with the amp any simpler. If you want warm, sparkly cleans with a ton of headroom, look elsewhere, but if you really want a thick, American-sounding uber high gain amp for sensible money, have a look at this.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I probably would use this amp in a gig, its size makes it a lot more practical for transporting to gigs and the construction seems pretty solid. In fact the guy i bought this from has previously played 7 gigs with this amp is proof of this judgement, but the poor guy decided to sell the amp as he didn't want to play guitar for a while (his drummer had recently passed away). I haven't really abused this amp per se as I've only really used this amp for home recording, but I've had no problems as of yet and neither did the previous owner so its safe to say its a pretty rock solid amp.
Features — 8
So today I'm going to review my modded 6505+. No idea when this amp was made, but I don't know why that would be important for this particular amplifier. - 2 channels w/ a crunch on the clean channel. - Both channels each have a 3-band EQ with their own presence and resonance controls to adjust the extreme highs and extreme lows. Both channels have their own pre (gain) and post (master volume) controls. - Spring Reverb which both channels share. - 60 Watts with 5 12AX7 pre-amp valves and 2 6L6 valves in the power section. More power and gain than I'll ever need. The speaker is a 1x12 Sheffield speaker that I've changed for a Celestion V30. - Has an MSDI (Microphone-Simulated Direct-Out) on the back of the amplifier. It means that you can record your amplifier into your interface or a PA without needing to mic up. Very useful if you don't have a decent mic. - Effects loop on the back of the amp, channel switching via a footswitch that switches between the clean, crunch and lead channels. - I use this amp in my bedroom, but I also intend to use this amp in gigs due to its smaller size making it easier to transport, which was one of the main reasons I bought this amp in the first place. For reference, I primarily play most styles that involve the use of a lot of gain, such as Metal, Hard Rock, Shred and Progressive but aside from the high gain stuff, occasionally Funk, Blues and a little Jazz. Overall its a very nicely-specced amp for the price and the features it comes with are very useful. A noise gate would be a nice addition as I will explain later.