Purchased from: Guitar Center
Features — 8
This is a modeling amp with built in effects. Most of the models are pretty good, but a few really shine. The effects are nice but relatively impractical unless you have the footswitch. I wish the footswitch was included, I would definitely use it to switch from clean to dirty channels. The Valvetronix series are hybrid amps, meaning part tube part solid state. I think this amp has two tubes. The tubes definitely give some warmth to the tone. The amp has many knobs and buttons to dial in effects. The tap tempo switch is nice for delays. It also features an aux in and headphone jack. This comes in handy. This amp is small, but it cranks. You don't need a bigger Valvetronix. Just mic this one.
Sound — 9
I play a little bit of everything, but mostly U2 style-worship-pop-rock. Washed out delay, overdrive, swells, that kind of thing. The Vox AC30 and clean Fender models sound fantastic for this. Leave the volume, gain, and master volume on a lower setting and turn up the power level for a great clean sound. The dirty sounds are great too, especially when boosted with an OD pedal. I don't use the effects that much. Sometimes I'll add compression from the amp but that's about it. My pedalboard is a TC Polytune 2, Ernie Ball VP Jr., Boss Blues Driver, and a TC Flashback Delay. I play a Fender Squire Strat.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I perform usually twice a week with this amp, but I practice with a band for at least 6 more hours per week. I don't have a backup amp because I can't afford another amp. Plus I don't need one. I clearly depend on this amp. All the knobs and buttons are solid. The aux in and headphone jacks are flimsy, but I rarely use those. I've had this amp for at least two years, and it's taken a lot of abuse, but it's sounding better than ever. It hasn't worn that much either. Just a few nicks here and there.
Overall Impression — 9
Fantastic amp for the money. No, it doesn't sound like an AC30 or a deluxe reverb, but it sounds really good. I've been playing for about 8 years. If this amp was stolen, I'd think twice about buying something different, but I think I would get a Fender Blues Jr. Not because I don't like this one, but just to try something different and simple. If you are a beginner and don't want to spend a ton of money on an amp but still want a quality piece of equipment, get this. If you are a pro, you probably should only get this for practice or as a backup. You probably have something amazing already. Love this amp!