Price paid: $ 200
Purchased from: Brandolino's Encore Music
Sound — 9
I'm typically using a Hanson Cigno with Hanson soap-bar P90 single-coil pickups. The amp and the guitar seem like they're made for each other, I love the creamy, warm tones it gives. The versatility is also fantastic - it can give you a fairly clean sound or a pretty heavy distortion - because the styles I play are in a pretty large range. The amp is a little noisy, but I think that's mostly because of my single-coil pickups more than anything. I've only used humbuckers through it a couple of times, and it's much less noisy, but it doesn't get the same kick. If you're looking for a specific tone, this amp can probably make it. The only thing it struggles with is a purely clean tone because there's no clean channel. You basically have to pick between volume and purity when it comes to clean channels, but enough reverb or delay can mask it pretty well. Speaking of the reverb and delay, they're really great. Sound beautiful when used right.
Overall Impression — 9
With the versatility I need to be able to play nearly any worship song, the VT30 is pretty much everything I need. The amp compliments my guitar perfectly. I've been playing for nearly seven years now, and it's my third amp (after a Crate Acoustic amp and a Rocktron), and it's by far my favorite. It gets the job done. I've used it with my looping pedal, putting the pedal right before the direct box that plugs into the system (meaning after the amp) and it's worked out so far. It would be nice to have an effects loop for some extra stuff but it can easily be put before the amplifier. It's nice to have the effects that would go into said loop built in. The only thing it really NEEDS is a 1/4" output; I keep breaking 1/8" plugs since I tend to move around a lot and step on cables and such.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I've had the amp for more than a year now. It's never had a problem, even after experiencing a power surge during a storm without surge protection (said surge fried a friend's Peavy amp). I regularly gig with it, the 30 watts are more than enough to get the job done when you're plugging into a mixer.
Features — 9
This particular amp was made in Vietnam, not entirely sure what year, but most likely a 2010, 2009. I play mostly worship music at our youth group, which can range across a number of styles, some super-clean and airy sounds to some heavy distortion. One VERY nice addition to this amp is the wattage output knob. I'm a bit persnickety when it comes to my tone, and I hate the fact that lowering the volume on the amp has a tendency to change it. By using the master volume and wattage selection, however, it's easy to get to the right volume without causing too much damage to my tone. The one issue I have here is that there is no 1/4" output jack. The headphone jack is nice, but I tend to plug in to a sound system, and mic'ing my amp has a tendency to throw off the mix a bit.