I have been kicking around quite a few amps at my local store for the last year and a half looking for an amp that has a great clean and distortion channel. I currently use a Fender '65 Reverb Deluxe reissue 1x12 combo with some of my favorite cleans (tube reverb and tube tremelo...MMMmmm) and for the bigger shows I have a Mesa 100wtt 1/4 stack (bad distortion and lousy reverb but GREAT cleans with lots of headroom).
I wanted to have an amp with great cleans and distortion so if my pedal board went down during a show I could make it thru the gig running straight into an amp.
I almost bought the Fender Supersonic 1x12 until I read about all the QC issues that line was having. My local store became a Mesa dealer last year so I started test driving all their Mesa amps. I immediately was taken aback by quite a few of the Mesa combos.
Mesa hit a home run with the F series amps in terms of quality of build and tone. The series was discontinued and replaced with the Express series that just added a few new features to the original F series for very little more in price. Since the F series was discontinued/revamped, my local store offered me their last F-50 1x12 combo at a great discount (once something has a birthday they blow it out close to cost).
I bit the bullet and brought home a NOS Mesa F-50 1x12 combo. Toneful enough top handle my taste sonically, versatile enough to handle whatever I throw at it, small enough to be travel ready and accomodate small gigs but loud enough to handle larger duties and offered up at a price I couldn't pass up.
I played it out this past weekend for its maiden voyage with my Fender '65 reissue at my feet as a side fill and for the tremelo - WOW. I was glowing all weekend from the tones I was getting using a small arsenal of Ibanez's I used: RG20th rfr, SZ4020ntf, RGA121ntf and my red puzzle top RG20062. I can't wait for this weekends gigs so I can play it onstage again.
I was close to taking home the Stilleto Ace they have (also had a birthday so the price is LOW) but I have no regrets on my choice.
If I had the $ to drop I would have ordered a new Roadster 2x12 combo (my grail amp) and a road case. I want to save up for my "grail amp" to be custom covered in a crazy unique finish (maybe wine or green crocodile with a gold grill.... MMMMMm) which will probably run me into the $3k ballpark before buying a $300 roadcase. If all goes well, I should be able to order a Roadster combo by next summer. In the meantime I am grinning from ear to ear with my new F-50