Price paid: $ 250
Purchased from: Star Music
Sound — 9
I've played an Epiphone Les Paul and my American Strat (my baby) through this and think it tailors to both very well. The only thing I would recommend doing is changing the speaker. I believe it originally had one of the lower quality celestions in it, but after replacing it with an Eminence Patriot speaker the raw punch and spank of my strat really came out. Great for blues and many styles of rock. The only sound I haven't been able to find is a good fuzz sound, but that can be fixed by picking up a Fuzz Facepedal (Jimi all the way son!). Haven't had too much extra noise with this amp, its capable of some noisy feedback at high volumes, but very controllable. The clean channel can get decent volume without distorting, at least enough to keep up with a drummer during small Jam sessions. The distortion can get pretty dirty, but may not quite be in modern metal territory (it's enough for me though). Those curious about volume, it gets pretty loud for a valve state amplifier. Definatly capable of keeping up with a band at practice and maybe even getting a noise complaint if cranked. However it still does not hold a candle to my AC30 (all tube).
Overall Impression — 8
Great durable practice amp, I needed something easier to transport for practice and jamming that still offered tube-like tone. Other practice amps I've played with are Marshall MGs (which sound like garbage in my personal opinion), Roland Cubes (decent, but more sounds with VT30), and Orange Tiny Terrors (fun amp, but somewhat of a one-trick pony). If I were to lose this amp, I would either buy the new valvestate AC15 or perhaps another VT (50 or 100, just so I can power a 212 for that umph).
Reliability & Durability — 10
Its pretty solid, I've taken it apart a few times when replacing the speaker, dusting circuitry, fixing the jack. I have had the jack break but that was my fault for leaving a cable plugged in (thought roomates would be smart enough not to trip over it), pretty simple to fix though. I haven't used this as a gigging amp, but if my AC30 were to ever burn out a tube or cut out on me I'd be comfortable playing with it.
Features — 8
Very versatile practice amp/small venue amp. This amp has 22 amp models that cover everything from Stevie Ray Vaughan to AC/DC crunch to 80s/90s metal. One great feature is the knob on the back that controls how much power goes to the tube, it comes in handy when mic'ing for high gain at low volume. It has 2 channels that can be set to your liking with an optional footswitch that switches channels and bypasses/turn on effects. The built-in effects aren't my favorite sounds but way better than some competing amps in the same price range. I also like the option where you can tap in the tempo and adjust the parameters (great for find Edge like delay sounds). There is a speaker output for this amp, but 30 watts isn't enough to power much more than a 210 or 112. If I could add a feature, it would be nice to have a second input.