Price paid: $ 999
Purchased from: American Musical Supply
Sound — 10
I've heard a lot about this amp being very noisy, which I have sort of mixed emotions on. The rig IS loud and produces quite a bit of hiss, but I don't have any trouble with feedback even at gigging levels, so you can definitely deal or buy an ISP decimator and things are crystal clear. This head puts out insane amounts of distortion without getting all fizzy or losing bottom end. The 6505 is built perfect for any type of metal, but it's also good for a lot of other genres. I've also heard a lot of harsh comments about the clean channel on this amp that I don't think are too fair and I've heard a lot of people try to justify it by simply saying that they bought it for the lead channel metal brutality or whatever, which I think is kind of a cop-out. Here's what I think...If you're enough of a tone snob like I am, you're probably gonna want a couple pedals like EQ and a TS9 in the loop to give you the extra headroom. I don't think there's an amp out there with every feature for every application out there straight out of the box, but there are some that will get you very close. Also to the ones complaining about the cleans lacking...if you're playing with EMG's, that's probably why. Make sure that you're also playing with a quality cabinet, a low end cab can really suck the life out of a nice guitar head. This amp pairs extremely well with Mesa's and most cabs with legitimate V30's. Not the new ones. And avoid buying the matching cab. Not the best. Probably the Sheffield speakers.
Overall Impression — 9
I've been playing guitar for nearly 10 years and have owned a few different tube amps and played several. This amp is perfect for any style of metal or any really heavy genre. It's also great for blues, or just about anything with very little compensation. Very easy to dial in good tones with this amp. I would definitely kill the person who tried to steal this and I'd absolutely buy another. I think the 6505 definitely stands with some of the other high end boutiques, most of which are at least close to double the price. BUY it and get a couple of pedals like a TS-9 and a GE7 if you want to be able to dial in a perfect sound for whatever your doing.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I think the 6505 is pretty good looking. It isn't very flashy or anything, but it is very clean looking and the tolex covering came perfect on mine. Not a bubble in sight. I trust that I can absolutely depend on this amp. I have only owned the 6505 for a few months now with no trouble and I understand this should no difficult feat. BUT I have owned a 5150 for 8 years now and it has held up perfectly through the years with minimal maintenance like tubes and cleaning. No major anything yet. Fingers crossed that the 6505 IS the same beast. I personally have it in a road case also, but I wouldn't worry about it too much outside of one. I won't worry about it failing at a gig, but as a touring musician, I never go without a back-up head, fuses, and back up tubes. Want to never have to worry about stressing over failed equipment? Take care of those surprises by having everything taken care of.
Features — 9
To anyone who hasn't played around with one, the features are relatively simple, which is kind of nice in a way. It makes it very easy to dial in a decent metal tone very quickly. There's a rhythm channel with a Pre-Gain knob and it's own Post-Gain knob a bright Switch and also a crunch Switch and then a Lead channel with 3-band EQ and master dampening controls, Resonance and Presence. The dampening controls add so much dimension to the sound aside from just the 3 band EQ and the Post and Pre Gain knobs also give a lot of play in the amount of distortion which is nice, because it gives a lot of diversity control. I can dial anything from a smooth wailing blues tone to a completely crushing metal tone even before using any pedals. The obvious complaint here is the 6505 doesn't have separate EQ's for each channel, but then again I didn't think it was too important which is why I didn't go for the 6505+.