Price paid: $ 50
Purchased from: Hickory Wind Music
Sound — 9
I use a Greg Bennet AV3 with two Duncan designed humbuckers. Paired with this amp I can get a rainbow of good sounds out of the amp. The cleans are rich and resonant with a fat low-end. The distorted tones go from classic overdrive to heavy distortion. When you crank the gain and push the master volume to about 6 on the clean models you can get a pretty lush blues tone. I prefer to keep the cleans crisp and clear though. The overdriven tones are pretty good. I like to use Boutique OD then set the treble and bass at 5. Then I crank the mids fully for a thick, crunchy, mid-gain tone. The high gain tones and even the overdrive tones can be pretty muddy if not set properly due to the bassy emphasis of this amp, though no amount of tweaking got the high gain models to sound tight enough for fast metal riffs and metal/core melodies. It's quite by accident that I found that my Behringer Ultra Metal pedal (crap as far as heavy distortion effects go, but it doesn't get much better for the price) set to zero gain and with eqs set at 5 except for mids (7 for both of them) made my crunch tones much tighter and it didn't sound thin and tinny! Using this pedal to boost my distortion sounds the amp can get tight and smooth overdriven tones and metal distortion. It sounds like crap if you accidentally turn the amp distortion off though. The best part of the sound is that the amp doesn't get very tinny at high volumes though I don't turn up higher than 6 or 7 because it sounds best there.
Overall Impression — 9
I've already mentioned the styles I like to play and it's a hassle to say it all again. The amp with my pedal handles it well though. I've no regrets about it except maybe more volume for when I play bigger places. I mic if I need to anyway. I'd get this amp again if I lost it or it was stolen. It's better than most amps in it's price range. I'd only get a different amp if I were getting a nice tube amp such as Peavey, Marshall, Mesa Boogie, or Traynor (my next endeavor).
Reliability & Durability — 10
I would depend on the the amp as it's very reliable when you get everything set the way you want. I've actually gigged without a backup and I'd do it again. My stuff will only break down from old age anyway, because I treat my gear like priceless artifacts.
Features — 9
I'm not sure when the amp was made, but it has a lot of useful features. I think the amp with a pedal is very versatile for my styles, which range from gospel, contemperary worship, bluesy rock, '70s hard rock (such as Led Zeppelin), '80s rock ballads and metal, brit flavored pop/rock, alt/rock, grungy rock, punk/pop, post-hardcore screamo, Christian rock (normal and heavy styles), and metal/core. It has 11 amp models, 11 tweakable digital effects, 2 footswitchable channels to preset as you wish, a preset(sucky) and manual mode, headphone jack, and a knob to adjust the watts. It has 30 watts, but I Drive it louder than my other amp that had 65 watts! It's plenty loud enough for a 150 person gig without a mic, but if miked properly I could use it in a larger gig situation. I do wish that there was one more channel to preset and that some of the cheesier effects that most use pedals for (flanger, phaser, etc.) weren't there. That aside, it's decent solid state/hybrid amp that was the much larger end of the stick for the trade-in of my other amp.