I am a Marshall guy at heart. That`s why the vew amps that are left from my originally big collection are all squarely in the Marhall field. (I had to sell every thing else at some point and only kept the essentials.) My most beloved amp is an original vintage 1965/1966 Marshall JTM45. The holy grail. I posted it here several times proudly. Two cool Reußenzehn-amps are my main weapons today. They are perfect for what I do most of the time. I need at least 30 to 50 watts to get the job done. My setup is very, very reduced and pure. I got along with it for many happy years. So I did not look for a new favorite amp. I do own my favortite amps, already. The amps I missed the most where my Boogies, though. For a good reason: Tweakability and options. And: They are really design marvels. The Rolls Royce of amps. Imho. I owned and played many fine boutique amps and I know what I am talking about. If we`re talking about mass-produced handmade amps Mesa is king. Last year I had some projects where I needed some highgain amp-sounds and some very clean amp-tones. My Marshalls wheren`t up to that task and I decided to search for a compact alternative. Sadly some nice deals on Boogie stuff went south and I had to be patient. The good thing about that was that I had some time to try different stuff. It soon was very clear to me that I do not want a combo but a head. With used Boogies there seems to be quite a spread of price nowadays. Some used Boogies ask for a price well beyond a good used middleclass car and some are affordable. Sadly most of the last ones turned out to be unsuitable for me. So I had to search deeper and wait for a good opportunity. Yesterday I pulled the trigger on a real monster that originally wasn`t on my list (mainly because of it`s horrendous price over here): A Stiletto Trident Stage one. I did some research. Obviously this model was a big financial desaster for Mesa and only very vew of them where made. It is their first take on British EL 34 type amps. They designed it to be the bad british brother to the Triple Rectifier. Andy Timmons gave them his vintage Marshall collection as a reference. A 35 kg heavy. That`s quite an argument against this brute. The tone was too harsh for the typical Mesa buyer who seems to prefer more smooth tones and the dials where far too complicated for Marshall enthusiasts. And why should a Marshall fan buy a Boogie anyway? So they redesigned it for all the bedroom players (a 150 watt amp???) as the Stage 2 model and dumped it at some point of time. I checked it in person and can honestly say that the old saying is true "there are a thousand ways to dial in bad sounds on a Boogie". So I will have to take some time to explore it as soon as it will arrive. So why did I buy it? This amp originally was a 3K investment and if you look inside you instantly kow that this work of art is worth it. You can get it for a fair price nowadays used because of the circumstances mentioned above. I strongly believe that this sleeper will be a future investment-grade classic. It is Boogie quality through and through. All handbuilt and completely tricked-out. You will feel the difference to an industrial made Marshall as soon as you touch the smooth dials. It delivers a catalogue of classic Marshall sounds. Basically you can choose fom 5 (!) amps. Authentic Clapton Bluesbreaker, classic Malcolm, Van Halen Brown sound, Schenker goodness and the br00tals. You can channel-switch between two of them. The nice aspect of the design is that you can modify the feel of the amp. That`s an option most amp-builders do not think about. I always enjoyed the forgiveness of Boogies. Marshalls are so immediate in their sound that you can not hide any sloppyness. So here you can modify your attack via a choice of two rectifier types (valve and diode) and you even have a variac on board to reduce 20% of the voltage that leads to a more spongey feel. Does not affect the sound too much but the overall feel of the amp. Cool, cool feature. So imagine a 150 watt Hiwatt in one channel ready to deliver all that Pink Floyd effect-processed sounds with unlimited headroom and on the other a nice compressed and variaced 50w Plexi to play with. You even have a footswitchable solo boost and a hard-bypass on the effect-loop. I am very excited and hope that it will arrive here without damage. (There are 14 valves on board and a complete replacement of these would cost at least EUR 400.) I keep my fingers crossed. It is the first investment after many, many years of selling stuff. And it is a vehicle of motivating me playing again after months of illness. ... I had to laugh at the fact that I am somehow cultivating an amp zoo: Snakeskin, lizzardskin, leopardskin and now krokoskin covers on my amps. That was definitively not intentional but cool anyway. I am happy and excited like a little child right now.