I'll preface this with a few things - I haven't owned the Lead 55 very long, haven't rehearsed or gigged it and want to stress this is simply some quickie thoughts on the subject. I have owned the Club 40 for a few months; but in that time sold all my other amps. That says more than it might look like on the screen; I dug the other amps (THD Flexi, VHT Pittbull 50/ST and GT Soul-O 45) I had and also bought and sent back another highly regarded new amp in the meantime (VHT Deliverance 60, too tight/fast/in your face for me). I could get any one of those amps and use it exclusively very happily too. But the Club 40 has this thing about it, I call it "musical traction" or simply "juice". The amp is sweet and musical, but with guts and depth. I can do cleans that are angelic on the neck single coils of my Melancon, then flip to the bridge humbucker for raw Plexi grindage; step on my Keeley Rat and have gutsy ballsy rock. So many shades, so much fun. It's "my" amp, the one I wanted my amps to always be. It has that "thing" we all look for, for me it grabs that "thing" for me and just runs. It is plug-and-play, with a few pedals I am covering ground from new country to classic rock to smooth R&B/pop. So I wanted to try a more straight up Plexi type amp and at the same time I was deciding the Deliverance wasn't my flavor, a Lead 55 came up here in the Emporium and a light went on. So it stopped at Greg's shop for some updates and then journey'ed up to Michigan. I popped the same NOS preamp tubes into it that I run in the Club 40 (Mullard 12AX7, Mullard 12AX7 and Telefunken 12AX7) but with this amp went with CED EL-34's (the Club 40 has NOS Siemens EL34's). The best way to compare these amps is to use a car analogy. The Club 40 is a ballsy Ferrari that can bring it around turns and hug the road. It has the ability to take your breath away in straights, but is always easier to control and more refined. The Lead 55 is rougher, has more horsepower and is harder to control like a 66 GTO. But it has that raw organic old-school Plexi thing with aplomb, crank it straight out and it'll put your ass into the back of the seat and make it hard to exhale. Lots rougher to get a "sweet" sound out of, but if you work it hard enough with enough attention to what it is giving up, you get it. Enough with the car thing though... the Club 40 will seduce you with sweetness and then turn it on very effectively when you push it. The Lead 55 is more in your face, kick ass rock and roll machine. You can get it to sing, but it takes more work. It is an effortless thing to crush out rock and roll tones by banging hard on it, but you have to guide it more to find the sweet spot for cleans. Now, I *know* the Club 40 a lot better. I find it so easy to work with, so effortless to get to that place where you are just glowing with delight in your tone. The Lead 55 is like the Club 40's rougher big brother that you have to muscle around a lot more to get what you want out of it. I have a lot more to learn about this amp - what is fun about this style of amps is that you have to explore the guitar across the range of the volume pot with the amp and dial in your sounds with your hands more. You also cannot hide anything from them - they'll expose you in a second if you don't bring it real with them. For the player that understands how to work with musical amps, these things deliver so much.