Price paid: $ 500
Purchased from: Guitar Gallery
Sound — 7
I play blues, funk, old school soul, light jazz, classic rock. I will use most any guitar with any type of decent pickups. I think most guitarist put entirely too much credit and pressure on the guitar alone to sound good thru an amp. More on this subject later. I found the distortion channel to be far more pleasing than the clean channel. Clean channel for a 50 watt amp had very little clean headroom. Even after retubing with so called high end tubes I didn't see much improvement. I could barely turn it up to 4 before it would break up and not in a musical way. This amp also is not as loud as you might think for a 50 watt TUBE AMP. I was told by a very accomplished amp tech that this particular tube amp model was "biased" cold. For those of you that do not know what that term means, look it up. You will be REWARDED with more knowledge about tube amps. Reverb was on the low end of Average. 9 for the distortion channel and 6 for the clean channel. See overall Rating below that would also include the sound and intensity of the reverb and the lack of clean headroom. distortion channel helps the rating.
Overall Impression — 5
Been playing for over 40 years. The tonality from this amp was decent overall. I have used cheap guitars thru very good high quality amps and have gotten very good compliments on how good the sound was. "Oh, I see you are using Brand X Guitar tonight but you still sound good". That's because higher quality or more musical designed amps regardless if it is solid state, hybrid, or all tube will make most any Guitar sound better. Overall an unfortunately this amp didn't fall into that category. You can find good quality and musical sounding amps without spending your life savings such as Carvin and Blackstar to name a few. The guitar to me is just fine tunning your sound. The amp is the primary foundation of your sound. 25 percent guitar - 75 percent amp. Before I sold this amp I started thinking of this amp as a high dollar bed room amp. I definitely would not buy this amp again. Some times you just don't know until you get out to the live venues where it counts!
Reliability & Durability — 5
I know this sounds a bit routine but I had a power output tube go out in the first two weeks of owning this amp. Luckily this happened at home at low volume and not on a Gig. I do carry spare tubes but I doubt most anyone would expect that to happen in the first two weeks. Store I bought this from kind of DID NOT take case of this even though the TUBES had a warranty of 90 days. NOTE: good music stores will take care of most warranty claims because they know what a pain in the a-s it is to deal with the actual manufacturer. After all, you Bought it from the Store and not direct from the manufacturer. The low rating is more because of p-ss poor service from music store.
Features — 8
50 Watts RMS. 2 EL34 output tubes and only 2 preamp tubes. The distortion channel is probably getting some help from clipping diodes because you would not get that much gain from just 2 preamp tubes. Reverb and Vintage 30 Celestion. There is also a boost volume for the distortion channel.