I have, from time to time, ventured out into the world of boutique builders- both guitars and amplifiers. And for the most part, I have been well satisfied. But here's a tale of one of those sojourns that has sorely disappointed. I ask you to advise me on how to analyze the problem and what to do about fixing it. Gerald Kendrick builds boutique, all tube guitar amps from his small place in Texas. He has, I believe, a well earned reputation for producing a quality product. I bought (sight unseen - I'll admit it) a new,15 watt amp called a Black Gold 15 to be used as an "in the house" practice amp. I was expecting a great clean tone and more volume than I could stand, even if only a 15 watt amp. Amp was not cheap- it sells for $1700 new today. What I got was OK tone (my Victoria and Swart amps are WAY better), mediocre reverb (again my Vic and Swart kill it) and really anemic volume. Play it on 10 and it will not drive you out of the room- it's not loud at all. It has, to be very honest, "little tiny balls" and it's been that way since the day I bought it. Am I expecting too much? Shouldn't an all tube 15 watt amp get pretty darn loud? I play my Swart (20W) at about "5" and my Victoria (35W) at "3-4" with my Gretsch guitars volume set at about 1/2 to 2/3 full volume. I think something is wrong here but I know next to nothing about amps and their inner workings. What would you do? Send it back for an assessment/fix? Swap tubes? eBay it?