Price paid: $ 1260
Sound — 10
I'm using my three Ibanezes on this amp. Ibanez RG-321Mh, Ibanez RG-370DX and an Ibanez SA-220FM. What I kind of noticed when upgrading to this amp from my lousy Roland Cube, was that the pickups really matter. Each guitar really stands out on this one. I'm using a Marshall 1922 2x12 Cabinet with Celestions, which sounds absolutely orgasmic. It suits my style of music perfectly. I play lots of metal in the veins of Carcass, Arch Enemy, Slayer, In Flames and so on. Considering the fact that all of those mentioned bands still use or have used this head, it'd needless to say that my tone is almost as good as theirs. But kids, don't forget that part of the tone is in your fingers too. The noise is kind of a bugger. Even at low practise volumes, it has a bit of noise. It's easily killed with a noise reducer though, but at the cost of some tone and lots of money. The noise is not heard when you are playing, so it isn't really messing anything up. The noise increases as the gain increases. The clean channel, if using the high gain input, as you would if you want to switch between cleans and brutal distortion, distorts quite easily. But beware, this is still at very loud volumes which you will mostly never use. Anyways, do not buy this amp for the cleans. The distortion is the reason I bought this baby. The lead channel's gain never needs to go past 5 with hight-output pickups. So it has more gain than you'll ever need. It cuts through the mix like a mad dude with a chainsaw. When playing along to songs, I find myself cranking my speakers in order to keep up with my Peavey. Even at low volumes, it is always heard. It has a lot of mids, which is guess is most of the reason why it cuts through so well. Personally I crank the mids on it too. Even though the amp is really cheap when compared to Diezel, Framus and so on, there is a reason why so many metal bands use this. The sound.
Overall Impression — 9
I play metal, this amp does metal for a living. I could not be happier. The only downside is that I now have to get new pickups for two of my guitars, because they don't really have enough output, which really stands out on this amp. My RG-321Mh with and EMG81 in the bridge sounds totally awesome. I have been playing for two years, and I own my three Ibanezes, The 6505, and a Roland Micro-cube. If this amp was stolen, I would not sleep at night before I had found the guy Who stole it. I would glue his head to the cabinet and crank it. If it was lost, I would get a new one, there is no doubt. What I absolutely love about this amp is the extreme distortion, and how it performes at moderate distortion too. If you know how to use the lead gain, it never gets muddy with the right guitar and pickups. What I hate about this amp is that it has way too much power, so I'll probably never get to crank it at a gig, unless it's a stadium or something. I don't hate it, but it bothers me at times, as the niceness of the sound increases with the volume. I chose this amp over any other tube amp I've tried because it has a very dark voicing and very clear distortion. I did not want to use a boost pedal. The Engl Fireball and Powerball are good competitors to this amp, but I just simply liked the 6505 better. It's all about personal preference. This is my dream amp.
Reliability & Durability — 10
It is built like tank, and I'm sure I could throw it down the stairs and it would still work. It weighs quite a lot. I have gigged with this amp without a backup, simply because I could never afford a backup. I trust this amp with my life, I have never heard of anyone having sudden troubles with this one.
Features — 8
120 Watts of raw tube power. This amp has two channels, Rhythm and Lead. Two inputs too, low gain and high gain. It is not the most versatile amp out there on the market, but for metal and classic rock it's a beast. There are no effects like delay, reverb or chorus on this head. It has an effect loop, switchable with the two-knob footswitch which is usually included. As mentioned, this head features 120 watts, which is more than you will ever need. I'm seriously afraid I will break the windows in my room and demolish my neighbourhood if I crank it to the edge at home. What I miss here is a built-in reverb, which would be nice. Also, as the 6505+ has, a seperate EQ for the rhythm channel.