I hadn't put in any time with my Flextone III+ for a while. I usually just use it with my RC-50 looper for some backing tracks to fool around with and the occasional theater gig. My main amps that I use are one of my vintage Fenders. I have a '66 Super Reverb, '73 Pro Reverb, '66 Vibrolux Reverb, '73 Deluxe Reverb, '68 Princeton Reverb, '69 Champ and a P2P 6G16 Twin Reverb. I use them with a pedal board and the Pro and Deluxe have had selective blackfacing.
Anyway, I have always thought the Flextone III was an awesome amp. So awesome that I own four Flextone III+'s, two of the Flextone III 1x12 extension cabinets and three of the FBV Shortboards. I didn't want to be without one; lifetime supply. I spent a couple hours each on Saturday and Sunday going through the amp models in manual mode. I have had the same presets set for years and hadn't really *played* with the amp for a long time.
Man, the amp models sounded GREAT! I A/B'd the clean models with my Pro (the Fender that just happened to be set up) and the biggest difference was that the Pro was much more dynamically touch sensitive. Tone-wise, however, it was darn close. The Flextone III tweed and gain models shined and the amount of tonal variance still impresses me.
I went through the whole HD series. I ended up owning one HD400, three HD500's and two HD Pro's. I had so many because of problems that warranty covered. I never really liked them (on and off love affair) and always thought my Flextone III's sounded better. The Flextone III never had the dreaded 'Fizz' of the HD series. Yes, I read meambobo's excellent guide and saw how the Fizz could be reduced in a number of ways, EQ's, signal routing, etc... Too much of a hassle; I don't own an HD, anymore.
I stopped using my Flextone III's live years ago for Rock shows, because it seemed my Fenders just had more presence and cut through the mix better. The Flextone III's sure sound awesome in the bedroom, though, and I still use them for Theater Orchestra Pit gigs. Best amp ever for that situation! Theaters always want you to be quiet and you can make the Flextone III thick and crunchy and quiet all at the same time. JCM 800 whisper...
I am definitely going try them live, again, and work at tweaking the tones a bit more.
This is just a thumbs up for, IMO, the best modeling amp ever built that gives *real* amps a run for their money!