i have had a few combo amps in the past and was never satisfied. i had the 5150 when it first came out, peavey bandit, fender Princeton chorus, and a few others in the past. they never really had the complete sound i wanted, either it had the distortion or it had the clean but never both. it seemed like the louder it was the crappier it sounded as well. after that i always had 4x12 cabs and different heads and for the most part i was happier but still wasnt satisfied. later i purchased a line 6 pod xt3, 2 channel power amp, 2 channel eq, and had 2 4x12 cabs, and this was perfect. after i quite playing shows and wanted to down size since i wasnt playing out anymore i started to look around. i found this amp and after several reviews and some word of mouth from guitar players i bought it. wow, this amp does it all. the closed back keeps it sounding great, (just like my 4x12's) and the cleans and distortions are spot on. no matter the sound i wanna create its in there. the software for the amp is ok but def very usable to get you to the sound your looking for quicker. the built in effects are good as well. i ended up selling my other pedals and just started to use the built in ones. loud, this thing will blow your ears out on 4. i think you could play a 4 or 500 crowd inside venue no problem. retains its sound if your on 1 or 10. i want own another amp as long as i have this one. if something happens to it ill buy another for sure or if i need a bigger setup, ill def buy BLACKSTAR.