Price paid: £ 115
Purchased from: Guitar Amp and Keyboard Centre
Sound — 9
I have an Ibanez RG with HSH pickups. have used both single coils and humbuckers through each of the amp models. single coil sound great through acoustic and pretty good through clean and black panel too, I only really use single coils with tweed as this suits the sound. For the heavier amps such as metal and r-fier I only use hum buckers as single coils don't sound that great distorted in my opinion. I play a majority of styles which is why this amp suits me well. I play indie/rock music with my band for which I use the brit combo mostly, the black panel for chords and the classic stack for heavier songs. at home I like to play metal music for which I use the metal stack and r-fier for. I feel I could make this amp sound right for any style of music. It is silent when not in use. This amp can make a huge variety of sound that's it's big plus for me. I can make sounds to suit any occasion any style with effects too, lots of scope to shape your sound with this. also good as a first amp to see what sounds you like for when you buy your next amp you have a better idea of what they sound like. Great sounding amp models let down by mediocre effects.
Overall Impression — 10
I play practically every style of music blues, post rock, christian worship, post hardcore, Indie etc. And don't think any single amp could make a sound suitable for every genre like this one, so is the perfect amp for me right now. I have been playing for over and a year and have had this amp for around 10 months and have been very pleased with it. I play it with my Ibanez RG and a Boss Tu2 tuner, I hear it does not take distortion or overdrive pedals very well although I have no first hand experience of this. Would definitely buy again as there is nothing quite as versatile as this. I did a fair bit of research before hand I have tried the Marshall MG series and Line 6 spider series but both these sound pretty poor in comparison, I looked at the Vox valvetronix line too and I hear these are good too but the setup didn't suit me as well. Overall a very versatile amp if you want to play a lot of styles good value. Obviously hasn't got the amazing tone of a tube amp but as far as solid state amps go it's one of the better ones.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This thing like most Boss/roland products is built like a tank can take it's fair share of abuse, don't have to worry about taking it anywhere, stood up great. Played it at several gigs never any problems. Would depend on it 100% without a backup. Great amp very reliable.
Features — 9
This is a very versatile amp, with 7 lead amp models in addition to the clean channel. This is a modelling amp so all are cosm models of classic amps. The acoustic is based on the Boss AC3 acoustic simulator pedal I believe, it works well with single coil pickups and I have used it Live as it is easier than fiddling around with PA and the like wiring up my acoustic. Very useful for small gigs. I have also played an acoustic with a shadow pickup fitted in the sound hole through it and this sounds good too. I would use it as an acoustic amp. Would be nice if the acoustic was under the clean channel so you could Switch between acoustic and distortion but this only a minor niggle. The black panel is based on a Fender Twin and has a nice warm clean sound that gives a great sound with single coils, cranking the gain gives a nice overdrive, use this for softer rock and getting that Fender sound, needs to be Eq'ed carefully to get the best from it. Nice delicate clean sound when done right, The Brit combo is based on a Vox AC30 and is one of my most used models, really dirty, gritty bassy overdrive great for chord work and a dirty lead tone. The tweed is based on a Fender bassman and gives quite a big but gentle tone, which s good for blues, this is the only thing I use it for really does do a very good blues tone though in my opinion. Classic stack, not surprisingly based on the the classic Marshall distortion, needs to be EQ'ed well with the volume up a fair way for it to sound good, not as good as the other models n my opinion The metal stack is based on a Peavey metal amp and gives a very bassy heavy sound, good for Metallica and similar bands not as high gain as he recto but still very heavy. The Rectifier is based on the Mesa Boogie rectifier, this is a great sounding amp. Modern voiced and fairly trebly I find this one of the easiest to EQ as it sounds good in most places, heaviest amp model on the amp, use it a lot. Dyna amp is a bit mediocre barely use it tbh, you get different amounts of distortion depending on picking strength but no real practical use for this and I struggle to get a particularly clean sound even with the gain on zero. Could be good if used well. Clean channel is based on rolands own JC 120 and is nice and warm, doesn't seem to distort although you still get quite an aggressive tone out of the humbuckers in my Ibanez sounds great with chorus, Eq'ed right again it is very nice, but as I use the lead channel more the clean just has to cope with that really. Separate EQ section would be a useful addition and saveable presets for each lead model would make it even better. There is foot switch available to Switch channels, but the Boss one is so overpriced, made my own to switch channels and effects for just over 10 and works fine and has been used Live without problem. Comes with 6 built in Boss effects on 2 different nobs one with modulations and one with delay/reverb. This means you can have two simultaneously however only the modulations are footswitchable. Chorus is reasonable gives a nice twinkle and is tweakable enough and very useable Flanger isn't half bad at slower settings where it can add a nice subtle twist, higher intensity can be a little overwhelming however. Phaser is very strong, too strong for my liking even on the lowest setting it is very unsubtle and at higher settings it is just overwhelming Tremolo is decent enough I just don't have any real use for it. Delay is mediocre really you cant dial in a decent delay with half a nob. Also it is either always on or always off which isn't very practical. I have to be honest even the Marshall MG delay owns this. It is very quiet and hard to hard especially on the lead channel. On the clean it adds a little extra depth but overall find it to be impossible to use Live and not ideal in practice either. However I am getting a separate delay pedal for xmas anyway. Reverb is reasonable does what you would expect nice feature. Got aux in for ipod useful feature, use a lot to play along to tracks, can plug any 1/8 inch jack into it. The tuner is great especially in Live situations can easily tune between songs as don't need to unplug guitar every time you need to tune. Just press tuner button mutes signal and just match up the lights. However it is very limiting as it is not particularly accurate and is hard to use with only 3 lights and can only tune to standard tuning. It's a nice feature especially for a beginner but I have since bought a Tu2 which is much better. Power Squeezer: this basically shrinks the output to 2 watts but without loosing the sustain and gain of having it at higher volumes, I used to use this a lot to keep the noise down but i prefer the sound of the amp without it, and so have barely used it since until I realized how it was meant to be used. What you are meant to do is crank the volume to full and the gain up a fair bit too with the squeezer on to get the full benefit. When you do this it sounds great giving added sustain and gain but at a safe volume. 3 band EQ works fine although to get the best sound needs to be tweaked slightly differently for each amp model which is slightly frustrating, just write down your preffererred setting for each and you'll be fine. Headphone out, sounds very good through headphones, better than through the speaker in my opinion. Can be used for recording too. Have used this amp Live in a church at about quarter volume with drums and bass and another guitarist and was fine is plenty loud enough for me to play Live and practice. However clean is louder than lead so volume needs to be set lower. Very versatile, nice range of features.