Purchased from: Surridges Music Centre
Sound — 10
I use this with my P90 loaded Godin LG, and it makes that guitar sound ten times better than it does with any of my other amps! Dailing in wicked distorted or smooth blues feels natural and you never have to work very hard to get the tone you want out of it. This is a LOUD amp, even with it's small size, and the speaker never breaks up in bad ways even when it's cranked (if you use this as a bass amp, it's advised that you don't set the knob too high, any other instrument can go crazy as much as they like with it). A cool thing you can do is open up the amp to get a more 3D sound out of it, I prefer this, myself, but other guitar players might prefer it closed. The high distortion is almost too extreme, at least for my guitar, which is not really built for high gain. The Pig responds to different guitars in different ways, and each guitar's personality can really Shine through. Clean chords and notes sounded a little sour, but that's the fault of my guitar and my playing, and not the amp, otherwise, clean or lightly crunched tones are as good as you'll get in this amp range. A fun thing to do is to get a friend to rapidly open and close the amp when you play, making a sort of wah-wah effect. (The manual that comes with the amp acually suggests that! What a crazy company). I hooked up a regular CryBaby Wah to the Pig and it rocked out, I'm sure most other effects will work fine, as well. For truly customizble tones without a lot of work, the Pignose can't be beat.
Overall Impression — 10
This Pignose has probably been my best amp purchase in a long time. I can't wait to play with it again. I can't even be near the thing without wanting to plug it in or open it up or just look at it. It's that awesome. A friend called it "adorable", then I plugged it in, and he heard it, and his "adorable" line died right there. This little piggy had rawk! A fantastic practice amp, a durable travel amp, a flexible main or pre amp, a fantastic first amp for those just starting guitar journys of their own, and you can amp whatever you want in it (shouting your crazy socialist rants from street corners has never been so easy).
Reliability & Durability — 9
Pignose hasn't changed the design of these things in forty years, so it must be working out pretty well. The electronics are, of course, updated, but the basic outline of the amp has remained the same. Many notable musicians (Frank Zappa being the most notable) have used this as their main amp or as a pre amp, and I can see why. This durable little Pig could, with a little care, last you a lifetime, and probably longer if you leave it aboveground for your kids. I'd reccomend getting the 9V adapter for home use, as you want those batteries fresh for gigs and practices. It's covered in a snazzy leather (probably not real, but meh) case and has metal corners and a sturdy metal handle. I do think it is built to last. My only concern is perhaps that if you leave something sharp in the amp itself, you might damage the speaker cone. Not really the amp's fault, though, just yours or mine! The strap buttons also felt a little flimsy, so I'd get those upgraded if you plan on taking this thing on any big walks. A DIY method of doing this could probably be found pretty easy. Lost or stolen? I'd maim the guy Who stole it, and if I lost it, I'd maim myself. Then buy a new one. Maybe a few for my friends.
Features — 9
This is kind of an unfair category for this amp, as its very design is based off of simplicity. I guess I'll have to rate it based on the few features it has. What the Pig does, it does extremly well. The one knob (and the knobs on your guitar and bigger amp if you use the Pig as a pre-amp) is really all you need. As you turn the knob up, the amp gets lounder and more distorted, and you can tweak this level with your guitar's volume and tone knobs. It has an output jack for use as a pre amp, another function it fufills admirably. My Peavy Valve King never sounded so funky! The amp has strap buttons on the sides so you can sling it like you would your axe, and you can open the sucker up to put stuff inside of it. The only lacking thing is a headphone jack, but this amp sounds so cool, you just need to let people hear it. The small size lets you take it anywhere, it fit into my backpack and locker just as snug as anything. The Pignose will not acually turn on unless you have a cable plugged into the input jack. This means no battery drainage if you accidently forget to turn it off! Just unplug the guitar from the amp.