Price paid: € 490
Features — 10
This amplifier has 2 channels: one Classic Clean and one Modern Overdrive both of them with equalization controls: Bass, Middle, Treble and Level. It has also a switch to switch between clean and overdrive channels. Both channels are controlled via the Master control knob. As a plus it provide a knob to control a reverb effect. The amp is All-tube power amp, with 2 x 6L6 (user-swappable for EL34s). On the back panel you can "easily" control the bias and swap the tubes reading the manual. It's also provided with a midi pedal with three switch to control the channels and reverb.
Sound — 10
Well, that's what let me fall on purchase it! This morning I went out to try an all tube amp to change my Marshall VS100 and I come back home with this awesome toy! I searched a lot the web to find a all-tube amp with sparkling clean, because I have many distortion pedals to play with. I played four amps, I always loved Marshall so I tried a couple of 'em (JCM 2000 DSL and JCM 900), then I played a Laney and a Blackstar HT20, but when I put the jack inside this, well, it has been awesome! A wonderful warm, defined and crystal clean! You can easily hear the differences of tone, selecting the pickup on your guitar and playing with the knobs as you wish. I moved than to the overdrive channel, nothing very signidicative with an Ibanez in the store, but when I played it at home with my Jackson SL3 with Seymour Duncan the story changed. Playing with EQ you can easily move from a light overdrive to a full bass distortion, and the real surprise has been the sustain, a lot of sustain! The notes looked like infinite and always clear. What I can say, this amp really made me happy, I use to play Metal, hard rock and not rarely clean songs, I always preferred Marshall tone but after played this the story changed, I think I will keep this amp for a long time, if you need to get more different sound you can easily add pedals vie the loops. My suggestion is give it a try you could be very surprised.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This amp can easily used in "small" pubs with its 50 watt of power. It's very though I think, and so it will last a lot. My surprise has been the weight, it's heavier than my old VS100 but with tubes and a Celestion 12" cone is normal right? It has also plastic covers on the corners so it will be less risky to damage it while transport. The front grid will also protect the cone so you will not have to worry about damaging the cone, and not all understand that while bringing an amp around anybody can easily damage the cone.
Overall Impression — 10
I use to play rock, hard rock and heavy metal and this amp is very nice with a front grid that looks like a "very bad guy," it's a good style, the controls are very responsive and there are a lot of options with controls and EQ, I liked the tube easy change and the programmable pedal switch. You have also a very comfortable stand-by switch. I use this also at home, and maybe what I missed is an had phone jack, but how can we say perfection is not human right? And at the end giving my Marshall back to the store I got back 200 euro so the final price has been 290.