Price paid: $ 316
Purchased from: Pawn Shop
Sound — 9
I use a Fender MIM Telecaster with the stock bridge pup and a Duncan Designed HB102(n) neck 'bucker as well as a Squier Stratocaster with the Ultra Strat Mod wiring and a Fender Lace Sensor Red bridge pup. I play ska and punk in my band tastes like capitalism as well as fool around with some blues and rock on my own time. At 40W tube, it can be heard with the drums, bass and vocals with each channel on 5. This thing is LOUD, and sounds sweet. Great tube tone, with the clean channel sounding a lot like a Fender Deluxe Reverb and the overdrive channel sounding like a modded-Marshall Plexi. I put a 12AT7 in V1 to clean up the clean channel but still the amp has enough overdrive for punk with the boost on. I really dig the sound and was quite surprised. It really brings out the character of my guitars while matching them nicely. With how I have the amp set it is never muddy, and is quite suitable for how I play. The amp is actually quite quiet in the hum department, so those DC filaments work. The clean channel breaks up quite a bit at higher volumes, not loads, but it has a mildly overdriven and slightly crunchy sound on 10. I don't like that, however, I haven't needed it that loud yet so it's not a huge problem. It also sounds really nice at low volumes, but like all tube amps, really shines with the volume turned up. The reverb is also a treat, though it gets splashy when set quite high, which isn't really a surprise and is also cool for experimenting. I usually have it set on 3 or 4, which adds a lot of depth and warmth and remains subtle. Because it's sound is so good for it's price (even at it's retail price) and meets my own needs, with the exception of it starting to break up somewhat early (6) I'm giving it a 9.
Overall Impression — 9
I got this amp used for $400 and I'd say I got every penny's worth. I got it because I saw it for it at a nearby pawn shop when amp hunting, fund reviews on it, as well as user feedback on the U-G forum and decided it would do me well, and I was right. Is it the best amp ever? Hell no. But it does what I need and meets my current expectations and requirements. I've been playing for 4 years and I can honestly say I'm fairly gear savvy (I know quite a bit, though I'm sure there's still tons I have to learn) and I'd say this amp is a great buy, especially at the price I got it, and it seems to hold it's value on eBay. If it were stolen, I'd find the douche that took it and get it back. I'll probably have this for sometime though I do eventually plan to get a cabinet for it, and later sell it for a head (JCM, AB165 Bassman, or a Mesa Nomad/Recto/Mk.IV). Other than it not holding off on break up on the clean channel, there's no complaints with this amp, therefore it gets a 9.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I am completely confident in that it would hold up at a gig without problems. There is a steel grille behind the grille cloth to protect the speakers, it's made of plywood, not particle board or equivalent, and it was designed and built in Canada, and it hasn't broken on me yet. It hasn't been to any gigs though so I wont know how it holds up to one until November 6th when I use it in TO at a 600 person venue.
Features — 8
This amp is a Traynor Custom Valve 40. It's a 40W all-tube amp with 3 Sovtek 12AX7 and 2 Sovtek 5881 (6L6B) tubes, with DC filaments to reduce hum. It's 2 Celestion Tube 10 speakers. The amp has an extra speaker jack for external speakers as well as an effects loop, foot Switch jack and standby Switch. The included footswitch has 2 buttons, one for channel switching and one for activating the overdrive channel's boost. The amp has 2 channels, 1 being overdrive and 2 being clean. Each channel has treble, middle, bass and volume controls, with the 1st channel having a gain knob and boost Switch, and the 2nd channel having a bright Switch. The amp also has 2 master controls: presence, and reverb, which comes from an accutronics long spring reverb tank with 2 springs. Because all the features it has are quite useful (except for the bright Switch as I play Fender guitars) I give it an 8. I haven't tried the amp with a dark guitar, though I assume the Switch would brighten it nicely.