Great Features, Held back by Class D power section
I've had this head for about half a year now. I play out with it most weekends of any given month, usually twice a weekend. I play in a band that does very modern sounding originals, and also a lot of classic rock in bars.
I bought this head for the features. I'll delve into that a bit.
The built in tuner is convenient and accurate. It provides for a low B if you play a 5 string by the way. I really like it. I don't feel that the head suffers for lack of a tuner output, due to its price range, and its XLR output.
The contour switch is really not a boon. I'm not a big slapper, but the first contour setting really doesn't even sound usable to me, and while the second one seems slappier, I don't think it really offers anything that adjusting you eq doesn't already do more accurately. Maybe that's contour switches in general. Anyway, I use that to save a preset sometimes by just adding it or removing it from the preset I'm already using.
SPECTRACOMP IS THE BEST REASON TO BUY THIS AMP. It's a super cool feature. 4-band compression is a HUGE difference from one band, and the fact that compensation gain, the voicing of the 4 bands, and the compression level are all in a single, savable knob is a very handy tool. I miss having an attack speed setting sometimes, but it does what compression should, evening out and sustaining your notes.
The EQ section of this amp is very responsive. One of the strengths of this amp is an easily attainable tonal variety. I really like that the treble knob responds to separate frequencies whether you're going up or down with it.
Uh... having a separate knob for how much tweeter on the front of my amp is something I can live without. I guess it can be cool to save it to a preset, but I'd just as soon reach around my amp.
Tubetone is an interesting feature I guess. I use it as distortion for songs like "Animals" by Neon Trees. You can use it for outright distortion, or more subtly for a little warmth, but I don't believe this even begins to accurately reproduce a "tube" sound.
Disappointingly, RCA input only works when you're headphones are plugged in.
Presets are very cool. We cover a wide range, so having a couple tones to flip back and forth between is handy, and the way its controlled and implemented on this amp makes a lot of sense. That said, if you're a one great tone all night kind of guy/girl, that's probably not a selling point.
Overall, I think this brings some great features. you can XLR out without having to have a load on the power amp according to the manual. I would like a second speakon output, but that's not a huge blow. THE WORST THING ABOUT THIS AMP IS THE CLASS D POWER SECTION. I'm taking off a whole star on that alone. I assumed going in that for larger gigs, I'd have main support, and it wouldn't be that noticeable anyway. It really is. I notice as high as A1 that my lows are lacking, and my E string is unconvincing to the point of affecting my note choice. Besides all that, at 28 lbs, its not even all that light. That said, you won't find a class B in this price range.
In review, this amp brings great features, but the power section holds it back. You could do a lot worse in the price range.