This amplifier is amazing for metal players. The inclusion of a very-effective noise gate makes this head completely perfect for live and recording situations. I have always used the Boss NS2 in front of all my amps, but the noise gate in this head works easily as well. If you have quick stop/start songs, this thing will track. The distortion channel on this head is the 5150/6505, so you will get the legendary 5150/6505 sound. The clean channel is a TON better than the 5150/6505, however. The cleans are creamy and not brittle at all. You will really enjoy all channels on this amp, as the cleans blow the 5150/6505 away. There are two effects loops that work independently, or in concert. If you use a lot of effects, this head is destined to be your favorite. I am not a big effects user, so it doesn't mean a lot to me, but the loops are clean, independent, and controllable via the foot switch. I can say, without hesitation, that this head is the best Peavey has ever made. Full stop.