In all my years of playing, I've never - ever - had a valve amp.
I was booked to do @RiftAmps' build a (valve) amp before lockdown etc happened. And would have built my own. But that couldn't happen due to this flu thing.
So I was keeping my eyes open for a cheap (ish) valve amp to buy. Quietish too, preferably. And @DrCornelius recently advertised this;
So I bought it.
Mainly, I bought it because I figured if he'd bought it, it couldn't be all bad.
Today, I've enjoyed a few revelations.
I used to set up my tranny amps to the edge of dirty - because that's the sound that suited what I played, and add a few of the built-in effects and emulations (that's what makes a really good amp, obvs, built-in effects!). And then, whatever I played, it sounded dirty (and a bit shite too, tbh, but that's my style). Whatever pedals I put in front of it changed it from a little dirty to a little more dirty. Whichever guitar I plugged in maybe changed the sound from loud to a little more loud. But they all sounded pretty similar.
This is not a dirty amp. (Fender BJ III, rehoused). It's a wonderfully clean amp. It's a wonderfully warm amp. A wonderfully transparent amp. A wonderfully precise amp. It showcases the guitars. It makes guitars sound different from each other. (Suddenly I have a reason for having so many different guitars). (Well, some of them).
At first I thought "whooops, bad choice. Dr Con knows nothing". I could get "dirty" by tweaking vol & master controls, but a slight twitch on the master control and I'm suddenly deafened. (It's loud).
Then I remembered I had a pedal or two tucked away in a cupboard. A Thorpy something. And a Keeley something. And a something something.
So I dug them out, dusted them off, and plugged them in.
Pedals sound better through this amp. The pedals take it from clean, and warm, and precise ... to - err - various shades of dirty, and warm and precise. But even the pedals sound better through this amp than through any of my others. They *do* more. And sound better doing it. Now I realise why there's a fuss about these pedals. I thought my ears were defective before, but now I hear them. This amp makes sure I do.
It's been a while since I've had so much fun playing guitar. Different guitars that actually sound properly different.
Someones can now come along and tell me that there are so many, so better, valve amps. Don't. Not just yet.
For now, I'm pretty happy with this one. Cheers Con!