Top critical review
Good sound but flimsy construction
on February 3, 2013
I'm quite happy with the sound out of the amp. I have no idea how it compares to the real amp it's supposed to model, but it has decent clean and overdriven tones. It's true that you definitely get a lot of hiss and noise when you turn the gain up, and I had to turn the tone control all the way down because its sound is really tinny and bright, but my expectations weren't super-high. I also have a POD (I bought this because it's much more portable), and while that has a ton of different options and tones and is all around higher-quality, this is vastly simpler to use, and I like its tone as well as anything similar-sounding I've gotten out of the POD, and my POD doesn't have aux-in (I need to use an outboard mixer).
Keep in mind it's a cheap battery-powered headphone practice amp half the size of a pack of cigarettes. It is what it is. If you expect the sound of a real tube amp, then you need to play a real tube amp.
I really like the aux-in feature, which is the main reason I bought it -- you can feed in a jam track to play along with. The aux in bypasses all the tone and volume controls, so you'll need to set the volume at the source and balance it with your guitar and amp volume, but that's not hard.
My big complaint is, as other reviewers have noted, the construction is pretty flimsy and I have little confidence it will last a long time. The case is made out of cheap plastic, the on/off switch (actually, it's on-standby, heh) and dials are cheap, and the headphone and aux-in jacks are low-quality 1/8" jobs. Especially if you have the thing plugged into a strat (it fits fine in mine with the recessed jack, your mileage may vary) with a straight-out headphone connector, it's going to be prone to something hitting the headphone cable and breaking it, since the jacks are likely poorly soldered to the PCB. Consider getting a right-angle headphone cable adapter to help with that. Or, do what I did, and don't plug it straight in to the guitar -- get an instrument cable extender, plug one end into the guitar, and the other into this. It makes for a much less tidy setup, but it will last longer.
Given the construction, it's not a great value. It would have been hard for them to squeeze a more durable 1/4" headphone jack and an RCA aux-in into the same package, though I'm sure they could have if they really tried. But for the money they could have used higher-grade plastic in the case and tougher, frame-mounted 1/8" jacks.