The amp is assembled and we are doing the real testing.
The initial tryout was with a Marshall 2x12 cab and my Gibson Nighthawk.
This amp is a little screamer. Fat, blooming overdrive. Tons of gain! Too much? This is where you get questions that will drive you crazy. Perspective is everything. What I'm loving is that it does like to take off, just grab a note and feed it back if you let it. Nice. Hit a note, bend it up, let the feedback catch, then slowly bend back and it catches the octave harmonic and feeds that back. Sweet.
That Nighthawk has a huge bridge Pup and the neck I have in there is no softy either. Hmmm, it sounds good, maybe great, but ... Some clean is essential. This starts breaking up real early. But it all works and well and the sound is there. Time to try it with the speaker and cab it will live with and more typical guitars.
In the cab with a Tele. Now we're talking. I can dial in however much gain I want off the guitar. Just set the volume on the amp for however much max gain I'll want, set that tone control to be as bright as I'd ever want and work the controls on the guitar. The tone control is very interactive with the volume, much the way a "bright" switch has little effect when the volume is turned up. Not a very severe affect either, just dials in more or less treble and bass. Nice.
Tried it with my Strat with Duncan Classic Live Wire, active pickups. It liked that too. Same with the Hamer with Rio Grande Bastard P90-ish pickups.
The overall tone is very open and broad and strongly reflects the guitar. Some amps tend to homogenize things, this one just makes the guitar louder and adds however much gain and overdrive you like.
The acid test -- how's it play in church? Perfectly well behaved. Was mostly clean for this set and it handled it very well. The Volume on the amp was around 10 o'clock and the guitar was mostly down for the clean stuff and only got wound up for one song. It behaved very nicely on the edge of break up. Many amps tend to give you something like a clean tone, but with fur on it. This was just a clear crunching tone at that point.
All in all, I'm gruntled and the amp ships soon.