Price paid: $ 366
Purchased from: Wembley Guitar Center
Sound — 10
I'm using an Ibanez S470 with EMG pickups through an Ibanez WD7. With my EMG 60 in the neck, on the clean channel this amp is outstanding. I don't play that much clean stuff, but occasionally I'll play some classical stuff on there and this does it nicely. The lead channel is where it really shines through, particularly with my EMG 81 in the bridge. This features 'classic', 'modern' and 'hi-gain' settings. As far as I can establish, the 'classic' setting is just a normally distorted tube amp with nothing infront of it and is great for older rock like Sabbath and Zep. The 'Modern' setting sounds like the same amp with a distortion pedal of some kind in front. This is a really crunchy setting, I use it for all sorts of stuff, mainly thrash metal though, Metallica, Megadeth etc. and it pulls that off perfectly. I also use it for Hendrix and AC/DC smetimes too. The Hi-Gain setting sounds similar but with an overdrive in addition to the Modern's distortion pedal. it's a slightly less crunchy setting and isnt great for metal rhythyms but really packs a great tone on solos and more virtuosic stuff, you can use this for stuff like Pantera solos, Vai, Santana, even Malmsteen.
Overall Impression — 9
I play mostly heavy metal but I'm trying to branch out into other styles. What I love about this amp is that I don't need any additional pedals to achieve a certain tone. Whatever the tone is, the badboy can do it. I've been playing for about a year and a half, I use an Ibnez S-series with EMG pickups as my main guitar and the amp compliments this guitar very well. If it was stolen, I'd probably start saving for a triple rec, even though that'd take forever, but yeah I would definitely buy it again. More footswitchable control would be good, particularly for reverb. Also a headphone jack would be handy. One thing I don't like about this amp is that you can't play music through it and play guitar at the same time. The only way of doing this results in the music or the guitar playing VERY quietly, to the point where you can't even hear it. But overall, great amp, strongly recommended to those on a low budget.
Reliability & Durability — 9
The lead/clean switch is dry on mine and takes a little fiddling to get it to Switch into the lead channel, though tis can be solved by just using the footswitch. But otherwise it seems pretty solid. I've never gigged with it but I'd definitely depend on it if I did. I would feel confident about not using a backup.
Features — 9
The thing that sets this ap apart from any other in its price range is the 3-band EQ on both lead and clean channels. On the clean channel, you have 'Vintage', 'classic' and 'warm' settings, in addition to the usual high/mid/low knobs. It sounds brilliant on the clean channel, you can use an overdrive for that really nice crunchy, bluesy sound too. It's hard to find a tone you can't replicate on this amp. Unfortunately it doesn't have a headphone jack. It also features reverb which isn't footswitchable, though it does have a volume boost of I think up to 10Db which IS footswitchable.