still rocking a 550-B, it has been years...
the rave reviews up here are all dependable, but I like to express my thoughts pointing on different aspects.
Premise: I truly love this amp.
- the tone is unbelievably clean and solid albeit with a certain tonal fingerprint when abosolutely "flat" (not at all, knobs nooned and filters off). The mids are the best I have ever played, rich but very quick, transparent and articulate.
- the EQ: fantastic. Most occasions you will move only the timbre-enhance konbs, do you have a problem with bass, room, acoustics? Fix it with the awesome parametric.
- input stage: ample headroom
- connections: DIs, line outs, effects, top notch gear even with a headphone or in the studio when recording.
- switchable fan: need absolute silence, playing in cold winter? leave it off, otherwise on.
- tank-like built
- top notch materials
- weight: yes, weight, it' a class AB power amp with a conventional power supply, it does not weigh a ton for that, and you will feel an uncommon gravity in the tone
- surprisingly (since the tone is not hi-fi at all), the amp behaves wonderfully with acoustic, woody tones.
- the power stage does compress the lowend a bit when really pushed, and the result is not pleasing at all, but the volume is really high, you must have cabs and bandmates that can reach that point
- price? well, if you keep it for life...it's a little investment
- I would have liked an input stage a little more sensitive...I mean, with less than hot basses there is a possibility to not engage the limiter, if you want to
- owning a 550 can build into you a "craving" for the newer versions...how does feel the 800?
G&L JB SE 2012, Warwick thumb 4 and LTD 2013, Thunderfunk 550, MB Big Bang, Berg AE210, Barefaced BB2, diamond bass comp