Purchased from: Guitar Center
Features — 10
Bought in '04 I think toward the end of the modeling zoo. This Yamaha was the very best modeling amp ever made IMO! It has 2 cleans, 2 overdrive, 4 lead Voices. This thing will still ROCK your socks! It's knobs are motorized, so you tweak the tone, delay, chorus, voice EQ, hit store & the amp will recall all settings... 128 factory, 128 user. Yep very cool indeed to watch them turn when you change presets, making YOUR sound very easy & fast to program. It is very well built, solid state but sounds TUBE on overdrive & lead... smokin' tube sounding OD & lead voices. Changing presets is over midi, I used "midi-mouse" which goes up or down, but most multiple effects pedals have midi out. 10 for the warm tube sounds & being able to do it at whisper or scream volume! The effects loop is great with blend control, mono speaker simulated output with level control.
Sound — 9
I had given up on finding a small modeling amp that truly had tube tone & dynamics & this one is the HEATER~! Gigging in vintage rock, R& B dane band I need a small package that could do loud & soft as well. A pinched harmonic at 1 squeals ala ZZ Top & the first sound I heard come out of it. It will rock LOUD at 80 solid state watts. Preset 42 is Santana drop dead cloned tone with good hum bucker guitar... '87 PRS, '06 PRS HB2 & '53 Tele my Dad gave me. The delay & chorus is very good & analogue sounding.. Esp delay. The clean sounds are not the best of warm sounds & not for blues alone. But warms up nice with a tad clean boost... Fulldrive/cut/comp. This was a killer gigging amp for the music we played & took pedals better than one would think. I ran it through a 4 12 once outside & it rocked that day! Solid state cleans just weren't strongest suit so 9! Distortion TEN~!
Reliability & Durability — 9
Haven't gigged in a few years but it did 3 years with me & never had a problem. It is very well made, factory WHEELS! Finally. It is sealed back of course & being solid state 80 watts should be very dependable. No tubes & other guitar players were always asking what it was.. It is very well built & the motorized flying knobs always worked perfectly. I have seen one very beat up indeed & dude said it hadn't failed him. I had mine dropped form about 3 feet & it tumbled down sidewalk, over another 3 feet to grass> It worked perfectly. Try that with a tube amp! But I didn't do but about 50 gigs but I'm sure it's tough & NO tubes to maintain.
Overall Impression — 10
It got stellar rewards in the mags & online at the time, but the modeling fad light was getting dimming just as Yamaha git it right... I have kept it as it is a monster recording amp! I never thought I'd buy a Yamaha amp after so many Boogies, Marshals, Fenders, but the SWEET warm tube distortion sound sold me & I bought it on the spot (which I never do). This amp would be an awesome first amp as versatile as it is & cool motorized knobs are a trip. Allan Holdsworth helped design sound of it & toured with 2 in stereo for q few years. DG's are probably the least known KILLER small amps out there, easy to program with vintage delay that sounds great!