The other day at GC. I was there with my brother who is searching for a new amp. The manager of this particular GC (Tommy Roberts of Fulltone Fulldrive TR Edition pedal fame) is a big boo-teek and vintage guy and a friend of mine, so I always check out his collection when shopping. Anyway, we hooked up the following amps and ripped thru them with Aron's Strat (Kinman Blues pickups), a '56 Les Paul Jr (original P90's), a 70's Les Paul and a new Fender Strat-o-Sonic with P90's (my next guitar???). Dr Z Max 18 Jr head into 2x12 cab - sounds damn good, just about as loud (if not as loud) as my Maz 38 with a bit more breakup at a slightly lower volume, but very tight and loud. It sounds like a Dr Z, which is to say it doesn't sound like a Vox, Fender or Marshall. That's a good thing, though, and I like the Maz series amps a lot. Matchless Clubman 35 head into 2x12 cab - LOUD and pretty versatile for a "one trick pony" amp. There's a lot of gain or a lot of clean available in this amp. Like all Matchless amps you have to be careful to avoid the icepick in the ears syndrome, and the higher gain settings can be a little harsh (same with the Maz 18, though the Maz has nowhere near the gain as the Matchless). I liked this amp and could definitely see myself with it but for the price. Not as farty in the low end as some Matchless amps but not as tight as the Dr Z. The Komet head into 2x12 cab - After all the hype I was disappointed. It certainly didn't sound bad, and it got loud as hell, but it was rather bland for the price. I preferred both the Dr Z and the Matchless over the Komet. I don't have much to say about it because it just didn't do much for me. Bogner Shiva 1x12 sealed back combo - Again, the amp didn't live up to the hype. The clean was pretty good, but I certainly wasn't blown away. There wasn't much gain on the first channel and I expected the second channel to be much different, but the second channel was pretty tame. Not much gain available here either. Overall it was a good sounding amp but it had no personality of its own and just didn't do anything for me. I've never played a Bogner that "did it" for me, they're good sounding amps but there are plenty of other good sounding amps out there that do more for me. Gibson Goldtone 30 2x12 combo - Wow. I'm impressed. Volume, Tone, Reverb and great tone. Now I know these things are built crappy (I've seen the guts) and I think they're Trace Elliot design so I question their roadworthiness. And they're ugly as hell. That said, this thing sounded really good. If I ever see one on the used market for dirt cheap I'll take it. Kinda Vox Ac30-ish but not exactly. Very round, full low end, warm clear highs, just an overall good sounding amp. From clean to drive with the volume knob. Maybe this one was a winner, but if they all sound this good Gibson should repackage this thing and market it to the right folks. Try one of you get a chance. Mesa Nomad 55 combo - it sounded like one of the worst Mesa amps I've ever played. In fact, I think I liked this amp less than any other Mesa I've ever played. This amp is NOT for me. Fender 1964 Vibroverb Reissue - positively the best sounding reissue Fender I've ever played. LOUD as hell, from clean to drive it always sounded great. Like all blackface Fenders it was dead below 4 on the volume knob and too loud for many gigs when it was on 4, but that's the way it is. Low end for days, clear highs, a great sounding reissue. Too expensive. Heavy. You can buy an original for less. 1965 Fender Deluxe Reverb (the real one, not a reissue) - If you've played a good sounding blackface Deluxe Reverb you know what I'm talking about. If not, go play one. I'd love to own this amp. It's perfect in every way in it's category. Blonde (62 or 63?) Fender Showman head and 1x15" cab - Didn't sound as good as the VRRI in my opinion. BIG and heavy, loud, looks cool but not as cool as a blonde Bassman. I wasn't overly impressed. 60's Vox AC30 (not TBX) - this one needed a tune up, it wasn't magic like a great AC30 should be. 60's Vox AC15TBX - good Vox AC15 tone, not too useful for my stage stuff but a great recording amp. These old Vox amps are NOT reliable so I have no use for them, but this one sounded good. It's not the same as a low wattage AC30, the AC15 has it's own sound. I prefer the AC30TBX when they're dialed in right, but with their unreliability issues I think I'd go for something boo-teek instead. Keep in mind that all of these amps were played for 5-20 minutes each (depending on how much we liked them) at all volume levels (yes, we cranked them all up to gig volumes, sometimes 2 at a time and jammed). But they weren't played in a full band setting. Sometimes an amp that kills alone sucks in the band mix. Overall, my favorites (in no particular order) were the Vibroverb RI, the original DR, the DR Z Maz 18, the Gibson Goldtone and the Matchless Clubman 35. It was a fun Sunday afternoon but we didn't buy anything (yet).