Price paid: A$ 1250
Purchased from: eBay - private seller
Sound — 10
I use a Fender USA Standard Stratocaster with lots of effects pedals (about 8 to 10, mostly distortions and wah and delay) and I plug the head into a custom made cabinet that has 2x Celestion G12T-75 speakers (same speakers as in Marshall 1960 cabs), it sounds incredible! You can get just about any sound out of this amp and the natural tube distortion you get when turned up full is phenomenal. I can't turn it up full in my usual band situations as it's far too loud, so instead I have it low and clean which sounds beautiful and use a BOSS DS-1 with distortion at minimum for the same slightly overdriven sound as having the amp turned up enough to crackle a bit, it sounds magnificent! Also with any addition of high gain distortion pedals you can get great heavy rock sounds (I like to use a Boss DS-2 Turbo and an EH Big Muff for bigger sounds). Very versatile and old-school amp!
Overall Impression — 10
One of the best amps ever made by Marshall... It looks as great as it sounds! Definitely a great piece of music history, as loads of artists over time have used or at least owned this exact kind of Marshall amp (Hendrix, Clapton, The Who, etc)... Almost every music festival or big gig I've been to I've seen at least one of these amongst the amps onstage. I use this at gigs in all of my bands playing everything from rock to funk to indie/alternative and blues, and it works perfectly with the sound! I'm usually guaranteed at least one comment from either a sound tech or crowd member who has spotted the amp and complimented me on it. I also feel like a bit of a twat using it becuase I'm only 20 and it's usually a very very expensive and high-end amp... Though it only cost me just over a grand (AUD) second hand (RRP is up around $4000 AUD). I just can't go past it, it's the best thing I've ever bought!
Reliability & Durability — 10
Classic Marshall build! If you want an amp that you can trust and rely on all the time, this is it. Like all of the Marshall tube amps, it's built to actually last (unlike cheaper series that are built for mass-production and affordability). Not much has changed since the days when artists like Hendrix would kick these bad boys around for fun and they would still work! Only problems I have found is that one or two of the screws holding the amp chassis to the box has had the thread worn out, so doesn't properly hold like it used to, but that can be easily fixed and I think would be due to it's previous owners (being a second hand amp from the 90's) probably messing around with it or it being serviced regularly for the last 20 years. There has also been a weird high-pitch squeaking/whining sound sometimes that I fear might be the head, but it could also be a problem with the wiring in the cab too, I need to get that checked out... Amp still works great either way!
Features — 9
The head I have was made in early 1990 (I think around 1992) and is still in excellent condition. It's a very simple amp compared to later series such as the JCM2000's which have loads of added channels and even built-in effects... I personally feel these things take away from the tone and soul of the amp, can sound too processed. It's a simple 2 channel Plexi, with four inputs that I tone-jump with a patch cable (most consider a neccessity with Plexis) and the sound is amazing! Basic features are the 4 inputs, Presence, Bass, Middle, Treble, High Treble (Loudness 1), and Normal (Loudness 2). Looks beautiful, I personally think it's the best looking of the Marshall series.