Price paid: $ 795
Purchased from: Wichita Guitar Works
Sound — 10
I have three main guitars I use, a G&L Legacy (single coil Strat style), a Heritage H-150 with Seymour Duncan 59's in both bridge and neck position, and a Heritage H-555 with Seymour Duncan Seth Lover pickups. I, like many guys my age (old) play classic rock, blues and some jazz. All three of these guitars sound great through this amp. I wasn't a big pedal guy (or small one either) but I recently purchased a Blue Note pedal and this amp takes it very well. The reverb on this amp comes on the tail end, so the plucked note is very detailed. That did take me a little time to get that dialed in, but it too is a great feature. I am trying very hard not to say that Line that we all hate to see, you know the one ... "this is the best sounding amp I have ever had" ... But. I would just say that if your looking for a simple, fantastic sounding amp, check one of these out.
Overall Impression — 10
As I said earlier, I play mainly classic rock, and blues, it's a very good match for that, and when I turn down the treble, flip on the bright switch, I get a great jazz sound. I have been playing guitar for over 30 years. Besides the guitars I mentioned earlier I also have a '70s Fender Twin Reverb, a Laney AOR-50 series II, a Fender Blues Jr., and four Marshall Class 5's, yes four, two white combo's, one black combo, and one Custom Shop pin up (Greta) model, which are very nice amps themselves, but not in the same class as the Valvetrain. What I love about this amp is the sound, I feel like a kid at Christmas every time I play through it. There is nothing I hate at all about this amp. I guess my favorite feature would be its simplicity. It is truly a great amp.
Reliability & Durability — 10
Again, based on the obvious build quality of this amp, I am very convinced it would hold up as well, or better than most amps in its category. I personally have had some bad luck with mass produced (PC board) amps, this one is hand wired with high quality components most of which are made it the USA. The speaker is a made in USA Eminence Red Coat, a very high quality, great sounding speaker that has proven itself many times over. I see no reason at all to have a back up amp. It should perform very well alone.
Features — 9
This amp has the basic features, a 20 watt single channel amp with a 12 inch Eminence Red Coat speaker and only four controls, Volume, Treble, Bass, and Reverb. It's a very high quality, hand wired, made in the USA amp that at its retail price, would go against any amp in its class and come out on top. I have multiple amps and now will use this one for most all of my playing. It is small enough that it won't break you back hauling it to a gig, but loud enough to get the job done. If 20 watts isn't enough, put a mic in front of it.