Price paid: $ 200
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 10
I have a pretty crappy guitar. It was a cheap-o strat knock off I got from my parents as a Christmas present, and this amp totally rescues the guitar. I play anything from country to blues to classic rock to Thrash to Metalcore, and this amp can do it all. The cleans do NOT distort at high volumes, unless you want them to. In which case, use the tube screamer to get a bit of subtle bluesy breakup with agressive playing, but cleans with gentle playing. A little delay on a crunch Rectifier model or a crunch XXX and I can get beautiful singing lead tones, anything from Slash-esque tones to a spot-on "Fade to Black" kind of sound. The review questions ask "How Brutal is the distortion?" which made my day. To answer that, IT'S F***ING MURDEROUS. totally brutal if you scoop the mids and crank up the post-gain. You have to get it past 1 on the volume (it goes to 13 for some reason...) for it to properly break up though. Beware. That being said, I give it a ten because this amp has tons of tonal variety. Very organic and real sounding. Surprising for a modeling amp. NOTE: One of the previous reviewers said that this amp doesn't have enough bass and can't do chugging palm muted riffs, but he must not have touched the EQ settings. Trust me. I've rattled windows with this baby.
Overall Impression — 10
If you're looking for versatility, this is the amp to have. I played several amps at the guitar stores and the Peavey was easily better than the rest. Line 6's Spiders don't have the same natural and authentic tone, and Marshall MGs don't come close. The Voxes and other amps at the store didn't have nearly as many features, so if you want to be able to rock without breaking the bank, Vypyr is the way to go. I love the tubescreamer. Try it in front of a clean XXX model on your bridge pickup great bluesy rumble. I would definitely buy new one if stolen, and the only thing I wish they included was a footswitch. I don't gig, so it's not an issue for me, But giggers beware, the Sanpera II footswitch for this (the only one that is very functional, anyway) is the same price as the amp. 200 bucks. Yikes. So you can't use the looper without another $200 being slapped on you. I like to play anything. Metal, classic rock, punk, blues, and even some country. This amp can do it all if you figure out how to properly use the settings. If you have any questions about settings or anything about this amp, don't hesitate to ask, because this amp is well worth it.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I haven't had it for very long, so I would encourage readers to read other reviews of reviewers that have had it for some time. That being said, I have used the tuner, and it has frozen on me once. I normally don't use the tuner, so it's not an issue for me. I have a Korg tuner I normally use, so I don't particularly care. My advice is this: don't buy an amp because of the functionality of the tuner. Get a real tuner.
Features — 8
I bought this amp in early May of 2010. It was either made in 2010 or late 2009, but I got it brand new, so no worries there. This review may be a tad long, but since I read all the reviews on here before buying it, I'll be sure to address some things other reviews didn't. The amp, like everybody has probably already told you, has 12 amp models with a red and a green channel for each. Some of them, like the DLX, based off a Fender Deluxe Reverb, have a clean and a slightly hot-rodded crunch, while others, like the XXX, based on a Peavey Triple X (my personal favorite), have a clean and a full out distortion; still others, like the REC, which is based off a Mesa Dual Rectifier, have a crunch and then a super high gain channel. Then, on top of the amp models are a ridiculous amount of effects, all of which work surprisingly well. There are two kinds: stompbox and rack. The stompboxes feature such effects as a tube screamer, (which is by far the best stompbox), BC Chorus, auto wah, analog flange, analog phase, squeeze (compressor), and a few other odd effects that I don't much care for, but I'm not much of an effects guy. The Rack effects are basically a higher sensitivity and more in-depth kind of effect, featuring an octaver, real flange, chorus, and phase, tremolo, and a really cool slapback effect which is basically a different kind of reverb than what comes standard. And yes, reverb comes standard, separate from the other effects, as well as a seperate delay, all of which are very rich and effective. However, the Delay can be a bit too much when turned up. Every effect is customizable, FYI. There's more than just an off and on or a measure of "how much". Each effect has two parameters that can be individually adjusted. Nice touch. One complaint however is that the presets for the amp models are pretty crappy in most cases. you have to tweak the settings to find what sounds good to your ears, but trust me, tweak those settings a bit (it's very customizable) and BAM. This thing can really sing. DO NOT base your judgment on the amp model presets. The headphone jack is OK, but you have to turn the amp up a pretty good amount to be able to hear it properly, so make sure your headphones don't come unplugged or look out, because the speaker is LOUD on this thing. (it may just be my headphones, not sure yet)