Well last night, I journeyed all the way up to london to pick it up! In the picture on the auction, it looked pretty massive but still, when I came into the sellers house to give it a quick test run before packing it away, I was blown away by the size. With the size of it, also comes the volume..He had it set at a fairly low volume (about 2 ish) but still it was about as loud as my other amp (A Line 6 Spider 30 watt) cranked up to about 4-5! The first thing I noticed about it was the clarity; considering the fact that my line 6 is a fairly cheap combo amp, the distortion on it is rather muddy, lacking clarity when picking individual notes. This was not an issue at all with the new amp. One of the reasons for this is the type of amp; as far as I know, it is a hybrid amp. To clarify what that term means, it is a solid state amp (fully electronic, using transistors to create tone) with a valve preamp inside it, which I find adds greatly to the tone.
It sure is one hell of a confusing amp though, in comparison to my previous amp, which had 4 basic setting knobs: drive, bass, mid and treble. It has other settings such as presets, channel volume (volume settings for the specific presets) and then other effects. Still, it is a fairly easy amp to use and work out how to change.
My new one though, as is said will take a lot of learning. It has only two different channels, lead and rhythm. The lead is made for more of a rock/metal tone, and the rhythm for a cleaner tone.
This part of the amp is fairly straightforward (except for on the lead channel, where the gain knob has been named 'balls' for some silly reason!). The consfusing part is the changing the channel, and other similar buttons. As it is a hybrid amp, it has a preamp button that can be toggled off and on. On the lead, I find it sounds best with it on, but it depends on the rhythm, as the preamp on that channel can be used to turn it into more of a lightly distorted rock tone than a clean one. The button that turns the effects on is fairly straight forward and understandable. The most confusing one I would say is the one on the lead channel named 'bigger balls'. In the manual, it describes it as a boost button, adding more distortion, however it seems at the moment, using it just worsens the sound. I guess with time I may find a use for it, once i've customised the channels to my liking.
Here is the amp itself, along with my original amp my guitar! The guitar is stood almost vertical.
This picture is a picture of standing me up against the amp to show the height of it.