Price paid: $ 1000
Purchased from: TGP Classifides
Features — 7
My Nitro is pre 2010, it is before the loop volume was added. But it is after Scott Splawn added the extra preamp tube. Other than that I never pinned an exact year, although I am sure I could. First off there are monster transformers and they use Heyboer for everything. By far one of the better companies. The choke is larger than quite a few transformers I have seen in other amps. - Basic two channel, separate EQ - All tube 4x 12AX7 4x KT88. I have all JJ's in mine ATM. - Has an effects loop, but isn't the best. - Presence and resonance. For me its all I need, gets it done nice and simple quick to dial in, however it can get a little trebley. It is one of few amps that really doesn't need a boost at all. I also must mention that it is loud and doesn't do quiet at all, so if the baby is sleeping, wait to play it. 7 due to bare bones and no really extra features, but it is TOP quality, thats what brought it a bit higher.
Sound — 8
Anyway, my Nitro is a KT88 based platform, although there are EL34 based Nitro's as well (haven't played one unfortunately). Simple clean and gain channel. The cleans get dirty with volume at high (gigging) volume. The gain channel is amazing. I have it on a Randall cab with both 2x12" T75's and a single 15" eminence legend, as stated all JJ 4x12AX7 4xKT88 in the amp. It has a ton of bass. Bass for days and days and days and a ton of power. The thing that amazes me most is that you get a ton of gain, but you get clarity for every note. Extreme definition. I have heard some people get frustrated with the amp because it does really isn't forgiving at all and you really hear more flaws in your playing just due to the clarity. For being such a deep and lowend heavy head, it cuts right through the mix. Polar opposite to a Mesa Rectifier for example (I own a Tremoverb head as well) the recs get forgiving when you have them at gigging levels and get a little more muddy. But the Nitro trumps a dual/trip rec any day overall.
Reliability & Durability — 9
Splawn make stellar cabinets, speaker cabs and shells. I would drop and empty head shell out of my window and am sure that the cabinet would be fine. Just top notch.they are solid. I know a few people on here who use Splawn cabs with Diezels, etc. Splawn has custom speakers that they sell, small block and big block. I haven't ever tried one, but if I find a Splawn cab on CL I would pick it up asap if it had smallblocks. There are tons of options in colors for Splawns. Purple and leopard to red racing stripes over black. They will do whatever and match the cab. I NEVER review things with a 10 as nothing is perfect, but if 9.5 existed it would be right there.
Overall Impression — 8
It's just a great amp. Not much to say. There is a wait if you want a new one, which is fully customizable, but I buy used, so that wasn't a big deal for me. The amp will last forever. Built by hand in Dallas, North Carolina. If it was stolen, I would buy another. Without hesitation. It hits is on the head for me, good heavy clear tone. I play melodic death and some deathcore, but more melodic on both sides as far as my music goes. I really don't know much more to say but go play one if you can find one. And for the love of god, if you are going to look into a new 6505+, spend around the same go used and step up (yes I have also owned a 6505+ head and sold it). I realize that the 6505+ is a standard for many bands, but honestly even though it is different, it sounds better.