I've been researching an acoustic amplifier for at least two months before deciding to buy this one and I'm happy I spent that amount of time, because otherwise I would have unnecessarily spend a lot of money. The landscape for these products is surprisingly crowded and you kinda need to do your homework.
This amplifier is the "Goldilock" of acoustic amplifiers, meaning it has the best balance between features and price.
So, this is what you get for just about $200:
- almost everything you would want in terms of connectivity. Output connectors to tuner, phones, line out (separated from phones) DI out balanced and, ta daa: footswitch connection and effect loop. If you're just starting out you may not need a footswitch and effect loop right now, but adding these later on would come at a cost, so it's really nice to know you have them packed in. In terms of input connectivity, you get 6.3mm jacks for line in and micorphone, a mp3 small jack and a line in. Second 6.3mm input is balanced.
- you get a decent effect range built in: hall, plate, chorus and reverb, which can be balanced across channels, so for instance you will have the chorus only for mic, if you want, while keeping the guitar channel clean. For more complex stuff, you always have the effect send and receive connectors on the back and you can choose whatever you want.
- 45W at 8 ohms, which is more than enough for rehearsal (I never played at more than 30% volume in my small apartment, to be honest) and I suppose it will be just enough for a real life gig, in a coffee shop or a small venue.
- some small extra perks, like the contour function and the high / low clip on the acoustic line.
The construction feels very sturdy, the sound is clean and it has a lot of volume to it. The only drawback (if I want to be picky, that is) is the handle, which takes a little bit of handling care (not too much space between the strap and the body), but you will get used to it.
All in all, I think this is the best choice you have for beginner / medium level players, on a budget, without compromising quality, or future developments of your guitarist journey.