I hate amp hunting. I wanted something small and specific for a home studio. Shiny cleans with some grit too? Quality build? Under $600? I searched the used listings for weeks trying to find a deal. Nothing really GETS me. Finally, utterly sick of shopping, I walked into Sam Ash, saw this thing on the shelf and just bought it. Didnt try it. Just read the specs online, read a few reviews and snagged it. I figure, worst case scenario I'll return it tomorrow. Let me say, the sound from this amp is just so incredibly nice. Even without pedals, the built in reverb sounds very good. Not splashy, more like a plate reverb. Adding a transparent overdrive makes my G&L ASAT sound like a tone monster. I have no specific affinity for Blackstar. Never owned a single one of their products and I am totally blown away by this thing. I don't know a thing about the tonal waveforms and harmonic frequencies of the most expensive boutique amps but, on a stage or studio I'd put this amp up to pretty much anything. It FEELS good. It sounds good. Between my guitar and an overdrive pedal and the tone knob on the amp itself, I'm able to pull at least 6 very distinct tones before I even engage the dirty channel. It's even got an effects loop. Get one! You'll like it!