Price paid: $ 75
Purchased from: Craigslist
Sound — 10
I own two vastly different guitars. On one hand I have the creamy rich and bluesy tone of my '89 Epi Les Paul Standard and on the other an early 2000's Ibanez RG350DX. It handles both of them beautifully, more so than any amp I have ever owned. I play everything from clean acoustic style stuff to post rock to thrash metal. I play blues, jazz, and even from time to time some classical type stuff and it handles each of these wonderfully. I breaks up at about 7 and is a beautifully fuzzy overdrive at 10. I don't have an attenuator so I also have experienced the sheer volume of this thing and good God is this thumping. I have it playing through a 4x12 Acoustic cabinet and it rattles windows down the street. It is really amazing because though I haven't experienced it myself I understand the hi lo boosts are really nice and the EQ despite only being bass and treble is great. They blend very well and give you the versatility to play about anything. I can play screaming treble-y stuff or turn down the treble and turn up the bass and even write thumping bass licks on it. The cleans and very nice. They are glassy and very smooth I immediately think of clean blues tones (probably because when I play it clean I play it on my Les Paul and it sounds great). Not a complaint to be had.
Overall Impression — 9
This is a whole different world of great. I have played Egnaters, Bugeras, Fenders, etc. They were great but this thing is just completely different. It is a different monster entirely. I've been playing for going on 6 years and this was my first repair/restoration project. I own, like I said before, a Blackstar HT-5R and then as my back up to a back up I have the ever reliable Orange CR35LDX. This blows both of them out of the water. If I could find another I would replace it it with the same thing or I would restore something else. The only thing I hate about it is that I haven't gotten the boost working yet. But that's on me. I wish it had a middle EQ control but beggars can't be choosers. This thing is awesome and I intend on hanging onto this until I can step up to something boutique.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I would gig without a backup but I always have one anyway. It seems very dependable. I haven't played it in a a gig setting though I will be tomorrow and though I brought extra fuses (just in case) I don't believe they will be needed. It has broken down but the damn thing is 44 going on 45 years old. I don't think it has ever been serviced. That said, it was an easy fix. I hope to eventually re-cap it and then have a fully restored amp but until that happens this thing is perfect. The thing is heavy and I am convinced it is quite durable. Time has shown as much.
Features — 9
This amp built in October of 1968 is a behemoth. It features two enormous transformers, a pair of 6550 power tubes, a 5v4 rectifier, a 12ax7a and 6an8 preamp tube handwired in a beautiful terminal strip fashion with apparently long-lasting and durable paper can capacitors. It has two inputs, a hi and lo boost switch (mine still need to be either cleaned or repaired after probably decades of disuse), a treble and bass control and the obvious standby and on/off switch. When I got it for a whopping $75 dollars last year it came with two fried power tubes and a fried rectifier. It also had a two prong cord that was about the most ghetto ratchet assed looking thing in existence so for reasons of safety and an intense desire to hear this thing sing I got to work. In the first few days I installed a new power cord with a ground and then with empty pockets I sat on the project for several months. I looked at it before practicing on my Blackstar HT-5R and shook my head longing to hear good Vintage sound. Finally I got my replacement power tubes with a cabinet. At the time I didn't know the rectifier was toast so I plugged in the new tubes and started the process of biasing the amp. Unfortunately as soon as I turned it on... The slo-blo fuse in the back blew out with a flash of sparks... Of course my first thought was holy shit I almost died... I proceeded to inspect the amp and see that the rectifier had a black soot like residue on the top inside of the tube. Immediately I hopped on Antique Electronic Supply (shameless plug) and ordered my nos rectifier and a week later I was back in business. I replaced the fuse plugged in the rectifier fired it up and biased it in no time. This this is a beautiful amp.