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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I understand the Legacy 3 is available now, but I have a few things about this model I want to say.

After playing this amp pretty heavily since I got it a few days ago, I'd like to post my opinion.

The first thing I always do when I unpack a new amp, and before turning it on is I turn all the knobs. They're smooth and I love chicken head knobs. the switches and buttons are nice and solid too. The build quality of the head overall is great. Built like a tank and the proof is in the pudding. This sucker's 44 lbs.!

After warming it up and taking it off standby I found that the clean channel is remarkable. I could almost compare it to my JTM45 with the first and second channel jumped. It's warm, pronounced, and allows the tone of the guitar to shine through. I find that the presence button doesn't make much of a difference, but adds some nice subtle gloss. I wasn't too worried about that, however, because this channel is a real delight.

The "Boost" channel (it's not really a separate channel, but instead and actual boost to the clean channel) for me was not as impressive. I wound up treating it as a volume boost with the gain low and the volume dimed. Once again, the presence switch doesn't effect the sound too much. For overdrive, I ran my Way Huge Green Rhino into the front of the amp.

The Lead channel... What to say about the lead channel? I have VERY mixed feelings about the lead channel. The harmonics are FAR superior to any other amp, probably in the universe.
For single note playing, each note rings out with great character. THIS is what the Legacy II is made for. Being that it was designed for Steve Vai, I understand that soloing was kept in mind. The disappointing factors for me are chords and the EQ. Chords, especially power chords in the lower registers, are not very smooth. I really don't have the right adjectives to express what I'm saying. I suppose it sounds a bit like a dimed vintage fuzz pedal to me. Very loose and erratic break-up. I also mentioned my disappointment with the EQ on this channel. The options are warm and nasally, or EXTREMELY warm and nasally. I had to keep the presence and treble on 10, mids around 5, and keep the bass around 3 to get a decent sound for me. (Disclaimer: I realize that Vai's tone is midrangy and nasally for the purpose of cutting through the mix and for added sustain. I also realize this amp was built for him. I'm commenting on the availability of customizing the sound to suit other players.) Bottom line here is, if you want to sound like Vai, you're in luck with the Legacy series.

Other features: The effects loop is awesome, my Dunlop Crybaby and MXR Carbon Copy Delay have never sounded better. The RMS power switch is pretty useful for more overhead in the 100 watt setting, but that's pretty much just how these things work.

I found that if you're searching for Vai, this is the place to start. I admit, I thought I wanted that sound, but quickly realized that it doesn't translate into other styles very well. I probably won't keep the amp, but am VERY impressed with it overall when considering it's design and purpose.

157 Posts
great review on your findings. i haven't played a legacy ll , but i have the original legacy.
so i thought i'd share my findings.
clean channel is great, no doubt about that.
lead channel is also great, but i found that the right guitar makes a huge difference.
my current favorite setup is a hamer chapparal with a suhr aldrich in the bridge, a pro track i think in the middle, and an air norton s in the neck.
the combination of the darkness of the mahogany and the brightness of the suhr aldrich makes the legacy come alive. i run the bass about 3, presence at 9, treble at 8, mids about 6 and gain at 7.
great definition with no flabby bottom end. i use a zw od barely turned on for solos.
i can get about as much gain as the rhythm sounds on images and words.
believe it or not, this is my new favorite amp. my mark 4 is starting to get jealous, but that's life. i like the legacy better.
ty a few different od pedals before you get rid of it. you might end of loving it.
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