Well, I’ve been living with the Cheap Choob Bug now since Monday. I am nursing a slight cold today so, working at home. While Mrs ATG took Nipper 1 to school, with Nipper 2 in tow, then I had my first opportunity to switch the power attenuator to full power.
Earlier in the week I’d played it on the lowest attenuator setting (0.1W output) and the tones, though crunchy, were not that impressive. Similarly with the headphone output, they are a little uninspiring. The overall feel was muddy and dark, even with the tone control wide open.
Since playing it for half an hour on the night I got it, I have been mainly playing through my iPad with JamUp pro and headphones.
Today, with the attenuator turned off, is a different story. I tried it with both my Tele and Agile AL and really enjoyed the crunchy, over-driven sounds that come out of those tubes. The Tone control also begins to function. The cleans lack the sparkle of a nice Fender, but the dirtier tones are really satisfying.
And it’s loud. 5W of tube power easily competes with 20W of solid state (it’s to do with the way tubes distort and how that distortion is interpreted by your hearing). This would easily be OK for louder jam sessions and possibly rehearsing with a drummer (although that might be pushing it).
Overall I am pretty happy and look forward to firing it up again for a proper workout when I again have the apartment to myself.