Sound — 10
Channel 1 is all about sparkling, jangling tones with the gain under one o'clock. After than Malcolm Young ACDC tone towards classic rock crunch as the gain knob goes up. Absolutely sublime tone. With my current EQ setup, switching to Channel 2 is like a sonic boom of crunch and low mids and beautiful grind. I play mainly Sabbath, Zeppelin, Ramones, Nirvana, and Wolfmother styled stuff, and this amps clean/dirty switching is beautiful. I have an SG with JB/P-Rails, and this thing screams with a overdrive pedal in front of it. The clean channel is only slightly more overdriven at half volume, which is all the louder I could turn it up without blowing windows out in my room. Almost no hum, even at extremely high volumes. The only genre of music this amp can't do without a pedal is thrash and death metal. With a Boss Metal Zone hooked up though, look out!
Overall Impression — 9
I almost bought a 100 watt modeling amp instead of this, I am so glad I mad the right choice and got the AC50. With my SG, my friends SG and Les Paul, or any other guitar worth the wood it's made out of this amp is killer! I'm now working on pedals since I have my dream amp. I don't dislike anything about this amp, it is a tone monster. Marshalls cost too much, Fenders you have to have pedals to get good distortion, and boutique amps make Marshalls look cheap. Vox rox!
Reliability & Durability — 9
No problems ever, I wish it wasn't so heavy, or it had casters to wheel it around. Remembering to let the amp warm up and cool down is a must though to maintain tube life. I would gig with this without a backup no sweat, I don't even think I would have to use the PA this thing is loud! Tube amps do require more maintenence than any other though, but it's worth it.
Features — 9
Vox AC50 combo amp, mine was made in China in 2007, bought it two months ago, never owning a solid state or hybrid amp again. This is an all-tube two-channel 50 watt monster with two EL34 power tubes and four ECC83 preamp tubes. Channel one is basically an AC30 sans tremolo, with slightly more gain and high end to work with. Volume, gain, interactive 3-band EQ, Tone Cut control (which is amazing!) and reverb control. Channel 2 has a bright switch to help humbuckers cut through the mix, and a fat switch with adds quite a bit of gain and low mids. Same controls as Channel 1 except Tone Cut becomes Presence control, which basically is exactly the opposite of Tone Cut. The included footswitch switches channels and reverb on/off. Unfortunately, I lug this 77lbs. Amp everywhere, as it is my only amp as of right now. 50 watts is so much power, half volume shook my mirror off the wall! Only thing I wish for was a solo boost which was footswitchable, but now I have a pedal for that, so all is good.