Price paid: $ 684.18
Purchased from: Dublin
Sound — 7
I used an ESP 1000 with EMG's fitted on this big boy. I thought that would be the most effective Tool in which to test it out. It's not that I was wrong but I wasn't majorly impressed with the way this amp cut itself. I've heard all these excellent comments about it, but I found it to be pretty boring. There is no other way of putting it, I became bored of it after half an hour. The best tone I found was the dirty channel with gain cracked full(not normally my taste)with everything about up to 9 on the dials. Which was brittle, tight and very grungy I personaly thought. Great, solid, but I grew weary of it. This is the first problem I'm going to mention, the amount of gain on this thing was pathetic. As I mentioned, I'm not into increased amounts of distortiong but this was maxed and still couldn't keep up with my old Vox AD 30VT! Even on a high volume it only just stepped up the mark by a small margine. The second problem is its lack of variety in it's tone. There are particular settings on it that you would never use because they are so basic. Possibly if effects were added to the mix it could of spiced it up a bit or maybe an extra channel, crunch could of boosted it's appeal. I just couldn't get past certain tones, but that could well of been my own fault. The clean channel then was unspectacular, for want of a more, praise worthy phrase. Although it completed it's job of dishing out a nice, smooth dash of reverb soaked clean tones, I wasn't astonished in any way. It just was adequate. For a valve powered amp, it didn't quite Drive itself to newer heights the louder it was turned. It didn't break up or something similar, it just did nothing.
Overall Impression — 8
I play in a band that is constantly struggling to find its sound. We like it that way. We go from one thing to another and this amp does not belong in my rehearsal room I'm afraid. it's a shame because it is a decent amp. I have now sold this amp onto my friend Who is a grunge fiend and he loves it. I don't think it suited me, we just couldn't get along as well as I had hoped. What I do love and I mean love, is it's simplicity and it's pride in that simplicity. It demands to be heard when you turn it on. It strikes your ear with that bitting and brutish tone. After that though, it falls down into lower eyeline and stays there, bashing out solid grunge, rock and punk tunes!
Reliability & Durability — 10
Now this is where this beast shines! It is very rugged in its construction and the lack of fiddly dials make the chucky knobs perfectly suited for a punk stage set up! This amp belongs in a punk circuit if you ask me, it just reigns in crunchy goodness! The tubes will last longer than your normal tube amps as it doesn't rely on them soley so the tubes cased within are not pressured so vigorously all the time. This is worthy of playing Live anywhere without a backup, loud enough and strong enough!
Features — 8
This amp has 75 Watts of the new "Valve-Dynamic" combo power with 1x12 Celestion Seventy 80 speakers. It has 2 channels with corresponding modes: Gain 1: Classic hi-gain Gain 2: Modern hi-gain. It then has voicing and contour controls and all the rest like treble, middle, reverb and the such. The Clean channel has a boost option installed which is the best I found. This contains 3-band EQ's from a 12AT7 tube driven MOSFET power circuit. There is an effects loop and you can control those levels with easy to use, but basic control knobs. There is a line out as well which is very useful but is of course common place now among all amps of this price range. Mine had RF4G3 footswtich as well, always a practical addition as I don't like using pedal distortions or stomp boxes. You can't beat a true vavle tone straight into the guitar!