Why did I buy it?
I was after my first class A tube amp and had read some great reviews about this one in Guitarist magazine. I tried out a couple in the shop and really liked the sound of the VC over the LC. I couldn’t quite afford the more expensive Marshall TSL60 that I quite liked at the time, so went for this one. Cost definitely factored in my choice and this was at the top of my budget (around 400 GBP in C1999).
How does it sound?
Wonderful clean and great driven rhythm tone but not much else (although arguably this is all you need from a tube amp)! I very much found this to be a two trick pony in that once I found these two sounds I didn’t really find anything else in there for the rest of the time I owned it. I used it mostly with a strat and a tele and with a number of effects units. For a while I used just the power amp section (coming in through the effects return) with my Line6 POD but was never really happy with the live sound.
Keep or sell?
I sold the amp after about six years for a couple reasons. Firstly I found it extremely directional – when I stood in front of it tilted towards me it sounded great but I only had to step a foot to the side and the sound was quite different. This caused problems when jamming with small to no PA’s as I couldn’t move around at all and the others seldom heard the nuances that I was trying to create. It also tended to kill one or two people in the audience whilst everyone else said they couldn’t hear it properly! Secondly after a couple years I started wanting a slightly fuller driven tone, and found this amp to be a bit too sparkly. The EQ didn’t help much as the amp seemed to do sparkle or mud bud not a lot in between. Finally I kept breaking the spring reverb and after the third or so time I had it fixed I thought this was just one more excuse to trade it in for something that might be a bit more robust.