Price paid: $ 1006.5
Sound — 7
I'm using an Ibanez S470 2007 model with a Seymour Duncan invader bridge pickup for my main styles of play. (Metal, Rock) The valveking is fairly good alround. The tones are very very very good in comparison to a Marshall DSL/TSL for metal. The clean channel tends to distort a little at higher volumes with the bright switch on but sounds pretty rubbish and lifeless without it. With it on at high volumes it too bright. The channel changing has never been a problem, no delays or annoying clicks. The Lead channel has more than enough gain which is great but the gain is very cheap sounding until you get it cranked up to about 4 or 5 on the volume. The lead channel has a gain boost and a volume boost but without the gain boost the distortion sounds dull and lifeless like the clean sound so it's fairly useless for solo's unless you buy an EQ pedal of some sort. The sound is fairly decent on the Lead channel but it's kind of one sound only with a little variation but if your playing metal or progressive rock it's pretty good. The low gain input is a godsend if your playing classic rock but what use if your playing gigs and want a low gain rhythm and high gain screams! I replaced the Electro harmonic pre-amp AX7's wih Mesa's own 12AX7's and this amp exploded with passion as well as agression. I'd recommend it to anyone. Overall this amp is definitely for the average Metal head Who can't afford a Mesa and dislikes the lack of low end in Marshalls.
Overall Impression — 8
This amp definitely matches my style of music and is far better than any Line 6 or Marshall of equal price and higher! I've been playing for about 5 years now and I'm not changing amp until I can afford a Dual Rectifier. I own a Line 6 SpiderII HD75 which is a fly on the wall in comparison. I did have a Mesa Boogie V-1 bottle rocket but after I re-valved the VK with mesa valves that went straight on ebay. If this were stolen honestly I'd lie and say it was a Mesa. I wouldn't buy anotherone unless I was touring and needed a Backstage practice amp. Before buying I compared this to the Marshall DSL50, TSL60 and then this all in a row and this mopped the floor with both. To improve this amp it could do with scrapping the gain boost and having the channel as it is when on, call that a rhtyhm channel then add a third channel call that the Lead channel and give them all a better distortion box.
Reliability & Durability — 10
It's a very reliable amp No Doubt. I've had one fuse blow on me of which the problem was never discovered. I can assume it was the texture settings which I had stupidly high at low volumes because I forgot it was there, because it's quite oddly on the back! This amp cuts through Live and if your not careful will out-do your rhythm player unless he has the JSX, 5150 or a Dual Rectifier.
Features — 8
Made in 2006 this is only 7 months old. 2 channel 100 watt all valve head. Effects loop. It's got the texture knob on the back which can get some pretty good tones (but why the back, not helpful). I play metal, classic rock, funk, jazz and death metal.