the best part of this amp is the clean channel. its just a volume knob and a three way bright switch. when this amp was designed i bet that was to keep the cost low. this design gives the true sound of your instruments. Which really got me in touch with my pickups and controls on my guitars. So responsive its unbelievable. clean and warm tone that takes pedals so well. the effects loop is very transparent. the gain is incredible. around 2-3 you can get that tom petty kind of sound, around 5-6 you get that jack white type sound, around 8-9 you get an older metal sound. i use an empress heavy pedal for chugging. this is an incredible amp for recording. you can record direct out with this amp but it doesn't sound quite as good. i know the price tag is big for 20 watts, but this would be an amazing amp for any stage of experience.