Sound — 10
Playing in a cover band going from country to Green Day and everything in between; with a PRS Custom 22 and a modified Strat with a bunch of bells and whistles. I need a lot of different sounds. I love this amp. Best way I can describe it: the tone is very focused. With leads, there is no messiness or buzziness to the tone, very lyrical, and if you overdrive the el34s it chugs really nicely! I would buy this thing again in a second.
Overall Impression — 9
I've been playing a long time, 25 years (I'm an old guy). This amp kills, with a decent clean sound, a nice brown Vintage Marshall channel, and a souped-up Rectifier-like gain channel. I have to admit, I like this amp better than the rectifiers, although you can't compete with their gain meltdown! Never been a fan of Mesa because of reliability. Although my 1968 Traynor YBA-1 sounds incredible, the Custom Special sounds fantastic, has great features and seems roadworthy. Not to mention it's got the best crunch for the buck you'll find in North America!
Reliability & Durability — 9
Traynor apparently used to test their chassis and cases by throwing them off a 2-storey building, puttin tubes back in and seein if it still worked. This amp is covered by a 2 years unconditional warranty, and it says somewhere in the literature that if you break it on purpose, they will fix it free. That being said, the chassis appears to be solid enough. I would prefer thicker plywood in the case, but at 50 pounds it's heavy enough. I gig without a backup, unless you count my PodXT Live that I use in the series loop (truth be known, the POD really throttles the tone but I need lots of FX for some tunes and can't afford a GSHarp yet).
Features — 10
This is the new 3-channel amp from Traynor, a Canadian company known for their early tube amps that are basically less expensive Bassmans and JTM45s. This amp has no frills, but it has what you would most likely ever want in a good sounding tube amp: - a series FX loop (input goes to power amp) - a parallel FX loop (each channel has a separate send level) - 3 true/discrete channels with separate eq and settings - nice sounding spring rev, separate setting on each channel - a tuner output jack and a tuner Switch that kills the sound while you tune (but not with a footswitch, yet) - a solo boost in the power amp section (I love this) - self-biasing circuit to Switch from 6l6s to el34s (el34s are stock) - a headphones out with a spkr sim (that sounds pretty good) - 100 watt AB mode, or a 30 watt A mode.