The Rocketbass combo amps are some of the first new offerings by Ampeg since being purchased by Yamaha in 2018. The first thing that catches your eye when you see this amp is the classic style design - shiny chrome Ampeg logo on the front of the cabinet, black and silver grille cloth covering the speaker, sturdy black tolex on the cabinet housing.
Controls on the 110 are pretty simple and straightforward. On the far left you have the SGT circuit, an overdrive meant to simulate the sound of an overdriven tube amp. Unlike the 108, the 110 allows you to dial in the amount of grit that you want when the circuit is turned on as well as the overall gain level. Turned down all the way gives a little midrange growl, turned up all the way and you have balls to the wall overdriven rock tone. I've had a lot of fun playing with this feature, my one gripe about it is that playing more than one string at a time can give a muddy, artificial distortion that reminds you it isn't a real tube amp.
The amp also sounds fantastic clean, with EQ controls for low, mid and high as well as a volume knob. There is a small amount of noise that's noticeable when standing right next to the speaker in a quiet room, but when actually playing I do not notice it at all. There are 3.5mm inputs for an aux device, like your phone or a metronome, and for headphones. A word of caution on the aux input: volume on the input is totally independent of the overall amp volume, so check to make sure your phone/metronome/mp3 player isn't cranked to full volume before you plug it in.
I purchased this as a practice amp, but in playing with the volume I was impressed at how much sound it can put out and still sound clean and crisp. I suspect it would hold its own in a small venue or jam session, depending on the overall volume of your bandmates. For a larger venue with FOH sound, the amp has an XLR output on the back for running into the PA.
At $250, this is a little more expensive than the Fender Rumble 40. Whether it's worth it to you will depend on whether you want the look and sound of a classic Ampeg. If you really want to push some volume in a louder band setting, 50 watts may not fully cut it, but the next larger amp in this series is $400 for a 12" speaker and 100 watts. I am personally tempted to save up and get the 210 for $650 as well for gigs and rehearsals. Bottom line: for the budget, this is a great choice but it may leave you wanting a little more.