Price paid: € 199
Purchased from: Thomann
Sound — 9
I play an Epiphone Goth Explorer with alnico classic humbuckers which I was planning to change but when I tried it with the amp it was clear I didn't need to. Metal is my thing, specifically the harsh aggressive types. There's 3 amp styles you can use including the Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier but I prefer the Extreme setting. Add some effects, fiddle with the tone knobs and it really hits the spot, no disappointment. The distortion is probably this amp's strong point. I've tried some of the more jazzy/classic sounds but I've not enough experience with it to know if what it's making is a good jazzy sound so I won't comment but nontheless it is certainly great that this amp has so much variety and range. It can get a bit buzzy if you go to the most extreme metal setting with 10 gain - nothing that will be noticed when playing. Another thing I like is that when you add all the effects and fiddle with the tone it can make a futuristic, electro sampler sound... Great for Industrial Metal or Aggrotech if you like that. The clean is basic stuff. Boring I think unless you add some effects but good enough. The acoustic simulator isn't that great but passable.
Overall Impression — 9
I play Metal so that was the first thing I tested and even if you just look at the Metal aspects you will be able to get a diverse and interesting sound out of this amp. I can't really comment on the other styles but what I've tested there's definitely some rock, bluesy, jazzy sounds in here. If I lost it I would definitely buy it again. I compared it to other modelling amps in the 30w-40w range (Peavey, Spider, Line 6, Behringer, etc) and this one had the best features and unique ones too like that power squeezer and solo function. It also lacked the negativity people seem to have towards Line 6 Spiders. My favourite thing is the range and diversity of the sound. I like techno/industrial sound and it really made these cool sounds. The power squeezer is really nice too. I didn't like the fact that you can only use one effect at a time though. In short it is the perfect amp if you enjoy experimenting and haven't yet settled on a specific sound AND/OR if you like the casual playing in a pub or small club or such. Don't buy it if you're set one one specific sound though - you'd be better off going for amps/effects that cater specifically to that style. No regrets!
Reliability & Durability — 10
I would use this without fear of it breaking. The body of the amp is very strong - hard plastic frame with hard rubber along the edges and a metal frame over the speakers... Has this whole industrial look going. The knobs are all on tight and the few buttons there are are firm rubber. It hasn't broken down (I just got it) but it came with a guarantee so I'm not worried.
Features — 9
This is a new amp I bought at the end of 2011 but I don't know its creation date. I assume recently. It is a solid state modelling amplifier. It has 2 channels (clean and lead). The clean is the basic clean type of sound you'd expect. The fun stuff is found in the lead channel which features the various different amps it models. There are effects built in of course: flanger, phaser, chorus, tremolo, and heavy octave (you can only use one at a time though so that bit sucks). There is also delay and reverb which can be used simultaneously with any effect you choose. There are 9 different guitar amp styles you can choose from ranging from an acoustic simulator to blues/jazz stuff, to 60s surf rock, to old Fender types to Mesa Boogie and extreme Metal style amps. They all are quite accurate and combined with the effects its amazing the number of sound styles you can create. Other features include a looper which allows you to record for 80 seconds your guitar playing and you can then overdub your recordings with more guitar playing 3 times I think. There is also a "solo" function which allows to save a specific sound set-up you like and can be turned on even if you're using different settings at the time. Besides this you can play music through the amp if you have the right cable so you can play along with it, a headphone jack for quiet practicing. Finally it has a great feature called the power squeezer which limits the power to something like 2 watts BUT without making the amp lose tone or quality of its sound or effects - perfect for quiet practicing. I play at home strictly but I've turned up the volume to about 25% and it is certainly loud enough to play in pubs, clubs, smallish venues. Probably not in a large crowded gig but it wasn't made for that anyway. If you buy a controller pedal then you can activate the looper recording function and all the other functions on this guitar which I'd recommend if you plan on recording or playing live so you don't have to stop playing to edit the settings.