Price paid: $ 45.6585
Purchased from: Nitrogadgets
Sound — 9
This amp is incredible! As I said before it is very minimalist in the way of features, however, by using your guitars controls to alter the sound you can get a vast array of sounds from crystal cleans to roaring overdrive. The amp is great on its own and you couldn't ask more of a practice amp, however, plug it into a speaker cab and the sound is ten times better. It can also be used as an overdrive effects box by plugging it into the preamp of another amplifier and its overdrive is better than a lot of other overdrive pedals. I used a strat with a bridge humbucker and two single coils for this review. With the bridge humbucker you get a really roar, full on sound which is oozing with character. Back off on the volume on your guitar a little and the sound cleans up for some great rhythm playing, but crank it up and you have a great lead tone. The sound is quite middly and would not suit metal styles. The overdrive at full volume is probably reminiscent of about an 8 setting on a larger amp. So the sound is fairly saturated without losing the voice of the pickup itself, brilliant for some classic 70s rock. Moving onto the middle and neck pickups, again by using the tone controls on your guitar you can acheive a wide range of sounds from funky rhythms to searing blues leads. Think David Gilmour and Stevie Ray Vaughan. It is also possible to get some country sounds by backing off on the volume and turning up the tone control. I am rating this as a 9 due to the huge amount of acheiveable sounds yet unfeasable simplicity of this amp.
Overall Impression — 8
This is a really good versatile amplifier. I bought it initially as a practice amp but then later discovered its incredible range of sounds when used as an effects box. I play many styles including classic rock, blues, Indie, and country and this amp can cater for all of them. If it were lost or stolen I would definately buy another one as it is a really good addition to my rig. My favourite feature of this amp is it's simplicity. By using your guitars controls you have all the sounds you need. Overall a purchase worthy of any guitarist. You'll love it and have loads of fun!
Reliability & Durability — 6
The amp claims to provide at least 16 hours of hard playing on one 9V battery. This obviously depends on the make of the battery. It is advisable to go for a more reputable brand such as Duracell in order to get the most amount of playing time. I have never gigged this amp however I would not be afraid to as the sound is awesome. I can't see this amp as being particularly durable due to the fact it is encased in a cigarette box and too much abuse would almost certainly do some damage. However, it has never failed to perform thus far and will hopefully last for many years to come.
Features — 6
The features on this amp are about as basic as you can get. One channel, no controls, one guitar input socket and one speaker output socket (it is capable of driving any 4, 8 or 16 ohm speaker cab). It has 1 Watt of output with a tiny 2 inch speaker and is powered by a 9 volt battery. I guess that by now you're thinking this sounds like a pretty crappy amp right, well you're wrong! The beauty of this amp lies in it's simplicity, do you remember the Vox AC30 Brian May? The idea behind this was that you want one knob and it sounds perfect. The smokey amp is the next best thing, it has no knobs and the sound is determined using your guitar's volume and tone controls. Read on (I have rated the features as a 6 purely because there aren't any! But don't be fooled into thinking this is detrimental to the sound).