About 8 years, used daily.
- What thing do you like most/least about it?
It looks great, it's heavy (15kg), it has a huge volume knob, it sounds pretty damn good (check out the specs!), it's dynamic, it's got loads of inputs (3 tape loops + 4 more aux), motorized volume & source knobs so you can change via the remote, 4 speakers outs, direct mode, 20dB attenuator for more precise volume setting.
This amp is ZERO HISS. Yes, even at MAX volume. In fact, there is less hiss on 10 than there is on 7.
The only improvements i could think of would be to let you use the headphone out while the speakers are on...and to have a 3 or 5 band EQ. Although it must be said the 2 band EQ does its job musically.
- Did you try many other models before getting this one?
A few, yes, mainly very old or cheap ones. There is simply no comparison: this is by far the best i've ever tried. The no hiss 'feature' is the most appreciated.
I bought this after reading a big comparison review between this and some amps that were 5 times the price. On paper, this was almost the best.
- What is your opinion about the value for the price?
Well, this was 4500 Francs when it came out (680 €). I paid 3170 F (480 €), new. To be honest, paying that much for an amp is a luxury, but built the way it is built one would hope it's meant to last...better to have ONE good amp all your life than several mediocre ones...no?
Problem is that after a year or so, one side started 'going'. I still have the problem to this day: what happens is that, at low volume, one side disappears and you need to fiddle the source selector or turn up the volume abruptly to make sound return. Turn it down again and all is fine until you change source or switch off. It sounds like it's just some dust somewhere but could be something more serious like cracked solderings maybe?
After about 5 years of use, the fuse blew. Possibly due to overheating (i had loads of stuff stacked over it). Cost 55 € to fix (£30) and they soldered up some bits that had cracked because of the heat. The technician told me it was unlikely the problem would ever occur again, so i'm not too worried.
All in all, despite these minor problems, i think this amp is a very good one.
Beware the black model has a PLASTIC front (yuck!) so make sure you get the silver one, which is brushed aluminium and has that indestructible feel to it.