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Sound Quality

I play rock stuff, something like Scorpions or White Lion, to give you an idea, plus some Dream Theater-sounding songs every now and then. I use this poweramp in my backup rig, which consists of: Danelectro Surf & Turf (compressor pedal) REXX 602 solid state preamp Marshall 8008 Marshall 1922 (2x12) cab I play mainly an Ibanez RG7420 w stock pickups and an Ibanez 540S with a DiMarzio Evolution @ bridge and a Seymour 59 @ neck, plus a strat-copy from time to time (if I wanna have some pain - it has a .12/.54 string set installed). After I bought my main rig (which consists of a Mesa/Boogie TriAxis,TC Electronic G-Major and Mesa/Boogie 20/20) I wanted to build up a solid state rig for backup and home practicing, that's how I ended up buying this "golden" boy. I won't start complaining that it lacks all the warmth of a tube amp, or that my Mesa 20/20 is WAY louder than this unit, because it is NORMAL, anyway it is true and you should consider that if you are still evaluating tubes VS solid state. The sound is not bad though, it sounds very solid-statey (which means cold an sterile) but at least it has good power and won't distort @ higher volumes. "LINEAR" setting is good @ bedroom levels, otherwise u wanna set the switch on "VALVESTATE" (much more livelier!). It doesn't colour your sound that much (other than make it sound solid statey), this may be a good or a bad feature depending on yer taste, I think it largely depends on how much you love your preamp's tone, mine (the REXX) is perfect for the application..... Also at higher volumes it doesn't sound bad, I would say better than other solid state stuff I've tried in the past. As per my needs this unit is wonderful for home practicing because it is quieter than my tube rig and it also sounds better at bedroom levels. It just lacks that warmth....Oops, I told I wouldn't complain but it's stronger than me..... OK, it ain't a tube amp so if u are expecting that warm and compressed sound with that distinctive low kick go ahead and buy a good tube amp. Solid state stuff are just cheap toys, they may sound good but never great! The rate I give to this poweramp must be intended as a comparison with other solid state gears, 'cuz no solid state gear would deserve more than 3 compared to a tube amp.... At least in my opinions.

Reliability/Durability

Usually solid state stuff are dependable, but because it is Marshall (which for me is equal to crap) and based on some stories I've read in the reviews below I'll tell you that I'm happy it is my backup rig. I've also opened it and took a look inside and the overall quality of the electronic compnents/assemblies didn't satisfy me that much.... Give a look inside a Mesa/Boogie or a Brunetti amp if u wanna know what a good amp is made of. Anyway the former owner of this poweramp (which I know VERY well because he is the the other guitarist in my band) have gigged it a lot and played it LOUD for ages without problems, so I believe it'll serve me well. I'll just add a couple of fans to the chassis for a better heat exchanger's ventilation.

General Comments

I've been playing for 12 years, I've owned and played thru more stuff than u could usually find in a store, I've tried several configurations and finally ended up in the classic preamp-DSP-poweramp configuration because of the intrinsecal flexibility of rackmounted rigs. Give a look above to see what are my current gears.

If it were stolen I'd be bothered for the money waste and because I usually "love" my stuff, anyway I'd surely buy another cheap solid state poweramp, don't know if this one or another brand/model.




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