Price paid: $ 100
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 6
I have used this amp with both an Ibanez rg 120, and an Epiphone Les Paul Standard. What really impresses me about this amp is the variety of sounds that you can make. You can easily play anything from clean blues and jazz to heavy metal all with one amp and no petals. And since this is a solid state amp you can get all these sounds at a reasonable volume. However, none of these sounds will be done particularily well. You can get a tone somewhere in the ballpark of Angus Young, or B.B. King, but you'll never be able to get the subtle nuances of any particular sound. It's a classic Ack of all trades situation.
Overall Impression — 7
I think that this is one of the most versitile amps on the market, however I don't know if it has a great niche. As a beginner, the amount of sounds that you can get from this amp is great for discovering what type of music you enjoy playing. The auxilary in allows you to build confidence by jamming with your favorite songs, and the headphoe, jack lets you do all of this without disturbing others. However the amount of options that you have can be overwhelming since you may not know what some of the terms mean or what they do, so you won't be able to take full advantage of the many features. You might want to simplify things a bit with the Marshall mg15(solid state), or the Bugera v5(tube).
As an experienced player, you can use the many features of the Vypyr to their fullest, but you will likely be dissatisfied with the end results.
Ultimately, I think it comes down to price. At 100$ an amp with this many features is still a steal, and you can still geat an amazing variety of decent sounds.
Reliability & Durability — 4
As I said, I only use this amp for practice, so I don't gig with it and it dosen't travel much (This really isn't designed as a performance amp anyway). Mine is in great shape and I haven't had any problems with it. But I must say that the plastic knobs and switches feel rather cheap, and I could easily see them breakinng off if not treated well.
Features — 10
Where do I start? This solid state modeling amp has more features than I can count. 12 distinct Amp models, each with a clean and distorted channel, 11 rack effects, three band equalizer, pre and post-gain controls, delay, reverb, a chromatic tuner, 12 fully programmable presets, a 1/8" auxilary imput to play along with MP3's and a 1/8" headphone out for silent practice. The only feature that I wish it had was a footswitch for switching from one preset to another while playing, but this is available on higher Vypyr models.
There are a few effects that just aren't up to par. For me, I found the Env Filter and rotary spiker rather useless, unless you spend a good deal of time manually editing them. Also, the Octaver dosen't sound good no matter how much I try to tweak it. To be honest the sheer amount of stuff that you can do with this amp is a bit overwhelming.
I am a beginning guitarist and use this amp only for practice, but it does have the ability to get quite loud, and I could see it being used at some gigs. Personally, I have never taken the volume up over 3 and it has suited my needs rather well.