Price paid: € 100
Purchased from: Den Dekker (Dutch local store)
Sound — 8
Directly with this amp, I bought a Squier Hot Rails. That guitar had 3x single coil pickups, which were 'Duncan Designed'. After a lot of setting up, it ended up sounding quite brutal. I always hated the lot of noise though, especially when playing through distorted channels. One of the reasons for me to get a better guitar. Some time ago, I sold my previous guitar and now I use my ultra epic ESP MH350NT through this metal beasty, and it sounds nice. This axe has EMG 81/85 setup, and now I don't hear any noise through this amp anymore. The amp sounds really dead though. With a metal setup (low bass, no middle, full treble) it still does. What I do is this: I turn down the volume to 1 (or even less!) and the gain to the max. You get a really punchy, tight sound that is suitable for both fast metal riffs and shredding.
Overall Impression — 8
I consider this amp a good deal for its price. Its really basic and simple: you can't really go wrong, but its nothing special too. When you are going to record things, you might want a better-sounding amp though. If it were lost, I guess I'd take a good look to other amps (second-hand Blackstar HT-1?) though I might buy it again. My axe is 7 times more expensive than my amp, so foor a good tone, I'm just going to need a tube amp. I like the smallness of the sound: its small and tight. I like the power squeezer, I hate the fact this thing needs it! If I wished more, I guess I should just have taken a less cheap amp. Enfin, good amp for its price, but nothing special.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I've had the amp for 1, 5 years now, and haven't had any trouble. Looks like a tank and so it is built. There is a metal plating in front of the speaker, so you wont even kill it when kicking against.
Features — 8
It's a small solid-state amp, good for bedroom playing, but definitely not for gigs. I play mostly progressive and trash metal (Metallica, Bodom, Dream Theater) and for trash it's ok, sounds... trashy. Has 2 channels, clean and lead. Lead has 4 settings: Overdrive, Distortion, Metal and Metal Stack. Furthermore, there are 3 EQ buttons: Bass, Middle, Treble (obviously). There are no further effects, though there is an interesting button: the infamous power squeezer. With this thing you can play ultra trash to power solo's with less volume (good for the neighbours) and decreased noise (good for you). Nothing special here, but it does what is has to do and the power squeezer is really useful, I actually always use it.