Price paid: $ 519
Purchased from: Quixtar
Sound — 8
My 2 main guitars are a Fender MIM Tele and a modded Ibanez GAX75 (Super D/bridge and a PAF Pro/neck, painted my own way). The Fender is perfect for when I use it. Full, deep to twangy clean. Add some chorus and it's awesome. The distortion with the Fender is good too. I can translate that twang into my solos and chords when I need it, and can get heavy enough for me. Like I said, this is for an Incubus/Mars Volta/Pennywise band. With the GAX75, the cleans are great with the PAF. The Super D is just too hot to play clean. On the second channel, I get the early classic Maiden (Number Of The Beast, Killers, Peice Of Mind) on the Super D to Shadows Fall type grind (w/the BOSS SD-1) to the "hollow" Maiden solos from "Brave New World" and Satriani. The punk sounds are great to. Not quite Pennywise, but Unwritten Law and Bad Religion sounds great with this. I'd give it a 4.8 but can't give decimals so I'll say 4.
Overall Impression — 10
This is the perfect match for everything I play. Punk to metal to classic rock, this rocks. I've been in the game for 4 years now, and in my band for a litle over 1 year now. I own the 2 guitars I mentioned earlier, and Ovation Celebrity, BOSS SD-1, Ibanez chorus/flange, Digitech Delay and Phaser. I'm sorry to sound biased, but it's sking me if there was a question I had asked before I bought it. I only with I could have played it before I bought it. I made a big gamble, but it paid off. I always make gambles like that. Would try something out if this were stolen, but thats only because I wanna see what else there is out there. I love this thing and if there was nothing that impresses me more than this, I would get it again. I love the boost. I can really drown out the other guitarist during my solos. I compared it to the Line 6 Flextone, Behringer GMX210 amd GMX212, and the Vox AD60VTX. I played all the above and found that some of the Vox's models to be muddy or too undefined. the flextones shutdown on me during "tryouts", and the GMX had too many effects and not enough good sound. I owned the GMX110 and I loved it. I dunno why these were different but they were. I do wish this can with an onboard tuner, a mute button, or a tuner out so I could plug in my handheld Korg into it and tune up from that. But thats really nothing, since I'm also pretty lazy.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I've gigged with it and its never dissapointed me. I also only have a Crate 15 watt GFX as a back up, so this better not fail me in the future. The tolex is strong enough. The footswith is made of metal, so thats durable, unless your gunna jump with both feet on top of it.
Features — 8
The amp was made in 2003, but I bought it new in 2004. This amp can cover a lot of bases. I've played everything from Iron Maiden to SRV, Judas Priest to Pearl Jam, Audioslave to Incubus, you get the idea. I've never played "true blues", jazz or the like, so can't comment on this. my band is more of a Incubus/Mars Volta/Pennywise group, so I need great cleans that can get dirty, and vice versa. It's a two channel amp with a footswitch for effects loop/channel/and boost. they say you can get Fender-esque cleans and Marshall/Vox/Mesa-esque distortion, not model or anything like that. anyway, this amp does it all. The controls on the amp are a little wierd and most active(which means that set on 12 o'clock is zero). The clean channel has a drive, punch, and volume knobs and a bite switch, which tightens low end and adds a "sparkle" to the clean sound. Overdriven it's a beuat. The punch controls the midrange breakup and overdrive. I love my "Yellow Ledbetter" setting, its the clean I use all the time. The OD/distortion channel is similar with a drive, growl and volume and a weep switch. The weep thickens sound and increases even harmonics. It's not that useful actually. It muddies up the sound I'm getting before I turn it on. The growl is not active (zero is at 7 O'clock) and it controls the mids and is supposed to not affect your volume, but it does, just a tiny bit, but enough for me to notice. The master EQ section has a boost level (up to 9dBs) reverb (an Accutronics 6 spring'verb) it's not fantastic, but better than what I had before (Behringer GMX110), and then the low and high controls. These are active and they are supposed to balance out the midrange created with the growl and punch settings to what you want. These are great, you can really fine tune "your" sound. This seriously has everything I'd want, just not how I expeted it to be laid out. Boost, nice reverb, footswitchable channels, everything. But thats just me, I am a diverse player but I do not play everything.