Wow. It's been a year now with this amp. I think I can declare the honeymoon period officially over.
I bought this amp after selling the Cornell Romany Plus I'd been playing and gigging with for several years. I wanted something that I could dial in a fatter, dirtier base tone from since I'd been using the Cornell with an overdrive pedal pretty much constantly engaged. I did some homework and found that the Lionhearts came highly recommended for a modern take on vintage-y lower gain "British" sounds.
So, what you get is:
2 channels with shared EQ- treble, middle, bass, bright switch, overall tone control
Celestion G12H Heritage
4x EL84 parallel single ended power amp
How does it sound?
Pretty bloody marvellous if old-school Vox/Marshall tones are what you're after. It doesn't quite have that slashing treble cut that you get from an AC30 or a Marshall JMP (although I tend to avoid turning the master tone control all the way up, so it'll get nastier than I generally set it) but what it loses in politeness it more than makes up for in practical considerations like not weighing a metric shit ton or needing to be trouser-flappingly loud to sound any good. EQ is effective, although it's never going to get you outside a certain realm of guitar tone. Still, it's loud enough to hang with an enthusiastic drummer and has a lovely clear voice that lets the detail of the guitar sound through. It cleans up when you play softly and barks when you hit it hard just like it's supposed to. It's more forgiving than the Fender amps I've had in the past but still needs you to work if you want to get it to sing and won't let you off every duff note.
I saw another forum member describe the two channels as being kind of like master volume and non-master volume versions of the same amp- the clean channel will clip a little as you turn up the volume (so I'm told) whereas the gain channel allows you to dial some dirt in at any level. I've set mine up with a slightly dirty tone on the gain channel (normally around 10 o'clock to 12 o'clock) and basically use it like a single channel amp except for a few places in the set where I need it clean. It won't give you convincing high gain sounds with the gain turned up, but it's not really an amp you'd look to if that's what you wanted. It'll get you to the dirtier end of the classic rock spectrum- AD/DC, classic era Thin Lizzy etc.- but no further than that without some outboard assistance.
For reference, my band rig is:
PRS Starla X -> Polytune mini -> BYOC 5-Knob Compressor -> BYOC Divided Octave (Mu-Tron Octave Divider) -> BYOC Stereo Analogue Flanger -> BYOC Mighty Mouse (RAT) -> Behringer RV-600 reverb (Verbzilla) -> Vox Delaylab -> Mosky XP Booster (EP Booster)
The Delaylab and XP Booster are in the loop, everything else goes in the front end.
I've also used the Lionheart with my CIJ JD Telecaster (w/ Wilde Keystone pickups) and my G&L S-500- it sounds ace with both. It takes pedals well- it'll compress and drive harder rather than getting very much louder when you hit the front end with a boost or an OD set above unity, which is why the XP booster went in the loop for solos and suchlike.
It comes with a dust cover, which will protect the amp from dust and not a lot else. I got a couple of "it's funny because it's true" laughs in my NAD thread by describing it as a "bag for life". If you want actual protection, you'll need to fork out for a proper cover or case.
It has a tilt-back mechanism on the underside for pointing the amp at your knees rather than your ankles when placed on the floor, which is a step in the right direction. It feels like it's balanced somewhat precariously compared to, say, a Fender Twin's tilt arrangement, so I'd be very wary of putting it anywhere off the ground with the tilt-back thing on. I try to have the amp on a chair or something else to elevate it a bit when I play, so I tend not to bother with the tilt-back legs unless there's really no other way to go. To be fair I've used them a few times now without the amp deciding to keel over backwards, so maybe I'm worrying unnecessarily.
It's a one-hand carry on the flat if you're reasonably fit, but you won't want anything very heavy in the other hand.