Price paid: C$ 183.97
Purchased from: Music Store Close Out
Sound — 7
I have a lot of equiptment that I play around with (those of us that have no skill have to have the equiptment so we at least look like we know what we are doing) so I don't have a "usual" setup. I would say that running through an RP250 or directly into this amp would be the most common. I usually use a guitar I built myself but it is a standard strat shape with Seymore Duncan pickups (Distortion, Little '59 and Vintage rails from bridge to neck) so that would give you a general idea. I view the sound from this amp as being good but not excellent. It takes a while to get the settings right but with a little time you will get there. I've never really "cranked" the amp so I can't say how it performs at levels above 5 or 6. I will say that it is loud and clear at these levels. My wife told me that she could hear me about a half block away when I was on 5 - that was an annoying the neighbours day. I play all types of music from metal to classical. This amp, to me, performs well both clean and dirty. I will say that it does not have the "warm" feeling of the Garnet Session Man tube amp that I have. It is supposedly trying to simulate the tube amp sound and I suppose it comes close but I can hear a distinct difference between the Garnet and this amp.
Overall Impression — 7
Overall I think this is a pretty good amp in the price range. I'm not sure I would buy this particular one if I was actively looking in this price range. It's your money - look around. The price was right for me so I bought it. It was more of an impulse thing ($539 to $183). I know I would not pay the full asking price for it as there would likely be other amps out there that would be more appealing to me. For myself I find that different brands of amps have distinctive sounds. This sounds like a Peavey (anyone surprised?) and it will go loud and clear for you if you want the Peavey sound. It is very versitile in my opinion so you can play different types of music through it if you wish. It is strictly my own preference but I prefer the sounds of other amps. I must say that I am somewhat spoiled by the '73 Garnet that I own so I may be too critical. However, with effects pedals, etc it is possible to "simulate". If it were stolen then there would be a problem. Not because I love the amp but because I hate thieves. Please see my review of the Colt .45 on another site for the probable outcome. Would I buy another one? At the price I got this for - yes. At "full price" - no.
Reliability & Durability — 5
I have only had this amp for a couple of months so I really can't comment on the reliability. Look for reviews by people that have had it for a longer time. I will say that I don't notice any problems and have had no problems up to now - which is good because The Music store I got it at is now gone so I'm probably on my own with it. I'll give it a 5 in this area. Not because it is unreliable but because I view 5 as being in the middle and I just don't know.
Features — 8
I bought this amp because of the price at a music store close out sale. I did not do any research or go looking specifically for it. I don't know when it was made. It is Brand New but I have no idea if it's been in the box for a few years or not. The features on this amp have been been mentioned before so I won't bore you. However, there are some points that I would like to touch on. On the back of the amp there is a "simulated speaker out" which has a volume control on it. I've used this and enjoy it being there. There is a power level (25, 50 and 100%) selection toggle that really works. I play this in my basement for the most part and I really notice a difference when I put it at 25%. Seems to clip the power down nicely so I don't annoy everyone too much. There is a "Damping" toggle with "Loose", "Medium" and "Tight" that also creates a noticable effect. The loose setting is good for a dirty blues sound and the tight seems pretty good for metal (sounds a little backwards but that is the way it works for me). There is also an effects loop and a footswitch selector on the back. The amp did not come with a footswitch ($5.00 at the same close-out sale) which to me is an annoyance. On the front of the amp there are two inputs "High Gain" and "Low Gain". Again you can really notice a difference depending on what you choose to plug in to. Also, you can run 2 guitars or whatever by using both at the same time. The other features on the front have been mentioned so I won't get into them. Suffice it to say that your sound is in there and if you play with it enough this amp would be versitile enough to perform for you. The lack of a headphone jack is a bit annoying but I don't really view this as a "practice amp". I have other devices to plug headphones into if I need to be silent. This amp is when I'm mad at the neighbours. Overall I would say that it has some very good features for the size.