This amp can go from really clean to brutal overdrive within a step on the footswitch, which is not included. I initially bought this amp as a back up and practice amp, because I thought it would have a nice sound a t low volumes. It doesn't. Instead it ended up being the main rehearsal amp for one of my bands.
This thing really shines when turned up. I remember cranking it the first time in the rehearsal room and man, was this a revelation. I really can't tell how good this amp simulates the original amplifiers. You'd have to A/B them. All I can say is that I like the clean sound, the AC 30 emulation (which I can tell gets pretty close to the original) and the boutique distortion when cranked. I don't like the Marshall amps (70s, 80s) at all. Plus, in the Rectifier setting I get a horrible screaming feedback, which makes it unusable at high volumes. In general, it lacks bass response, I have to turn bass all the way up to have a fairly ok low end.
Generally this amp sounds weak and thin at bedroom volume but probably this is a psycho-acoustic phenomenon or something like that. I've never heard an amp sound good at low volumes, mediocre yes, but not good. This can't beat the cheap Ibanez solid state practice amp I sold for this in terms of sound for practicing at home.
There is one thing I totally hate about this amp. It's the fact that the volume ratios between the channels change if you change the master volume. I guess the master volume is supposed to emulate the original amps master volumes but that's just plain stupid. For example: I use a clean setting on channel 1 and a distorted setting on channel 2. I set up the volume ratios between those two channels at bedroom volume so they're at about the same volume. Now if I take my amp to a rehearsal or gig and turn up the master volume, the distorted channel gets MUCH louder than the clean one and I have to re-edit the volume settings for each channel. This also happens if I don't use the master volume but the wattage knob on the back of the amp to control the overall volume. That's just weird and annoying.
Can't say much about the effects. Provide some quality to an otherwise dry and dull sound, when you don't play loud. You can choose between reverb, delay and some combinations of chorus, compressor and reverb. FX are ok.
Never had any problems with it. Doesn't look like I will, seems reliable,
Been playing for 10 years now. I play all kinds of stuff, from 70s Rock to Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Prog Rock, Blues. This definitely covers the range of guitar sounds I need, well, it sorta does it ok, not overwhelmingly prefect. But hey, it cost a little more than 400 bucks so what do you want? Sure, my H&K sounds a million times as good to me, but I don't know if anyone in the audience cares. I would buy it again, simply because it's a really good deal. It's good enough for what it's built for and that's certainly not for recording albums that go platinum or play stadium shows.