Price paid: $ 1043.1
Sound — 10
I play a Gibson Les Paul Standard (1989) with Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pro pickups. Loud rock. This amp works utterly perfectly for this. None. With the pickups I have, this amp is very quiet when it comes to hiss etc. Ok, so while everyone thinks it's a one trick pony, it's not. It's got plenty of gain available to play modern sounds, yet you can roll the preamps off to get some really Vintage sounds. Hence the name, Vintage Modern. But also, a lot of the variety comes from the ability to really work and react well with the tone and volume pots on your guitar. Play with this a lot, and work the sound of the amp with these, and you'll not regret it. I play really loud and my pickups aren't very high output. My cleans stay pretty damn clean. Remember, roll the volume back a little on the guitar, and the cleans will stay punchy and clear. Sure, you're not going to get Korn or Slipknot from this, but Who cares. It's not made for this. It's a rock amp. It'll do a variety of rock tones.
Overall Impression — 9
I've been playing for 13 years. I've owned a few Marshall tube amps and other amps from other companies. I'm not narrow minded. My TSL60 was good but far from great (at the time I couldn't hear tone in the same was I can now), and I don't talk crap about musical instruments etc. If something's bad I'll say. If it's good, I'll say. Take it or leave it. If this amp was lost or stolen, I'd buy it again. Simple. It's the best Marshall I've owned. Best amp I've owned. I actually don't hate anything about this amp. How can I. It's too damn good and, hell, not exactly filled with enough to get annoyed with. Brilliantly simple. Simply brilliant. I played other amps, of course I did. I played Randall amps, other Marshalls etc. This came out on top. I wish it had a better footswitch. The footswitch is fine in terms of solidity etc, but my TSL footswitch had the Switch for the FX loop which I miss on this amp. Basically, buy one. I don't see the need for the 100 Watt head. I had the choice, and the money, and the 50 Watt is loud enough, and sounds insane. I gave this amp a 9 because as close as it is to perfect, nothing in this world is absolutely perfect.
Reliability & Durability — 5
I can't rate this yet as it's not been in my possession for more than a few weeks. But let me tell you, Marshall have always been utterly brilliant to me. I'm loyal to them and don't think I'll ever get another amp from anyone else. 5 just for Marshall rocking!
Features — 10
50 Watt Vintage Modern 2266 Head. Tube design. Single Channel. Balls out rock amp. Classic Marshall. The amp is brand new, and was made in 2007. I had to ask a question about it to Marshall. So I called up and they didn't even have a unit to check my question on! It's that new! I play rock music. Think Guns N' Roses, Velvet Revolver etc. It's a single channel amp, though it has a footswitchable feature called 'Dynamic Range'. Basically, this throws in an extra gain stage, making it rawk! The front panel has: master volume, reverb (digital, much nicer than spring reverbs of other amps in my opinion), presence, 3 band EQ: bass, mid, treble, mid boost button (I like to use this as it really pushes the mids out and gives the amp a lot of cutting sound). The last two pots on the front are the high and low preamp volumes. What these allows you to do is shape the sound more than normal gain pots of other amps. You can increase the high range more, or the low. This gives way more scope than normal amps. Shaping the sound is much more flexible. I use this at band rehearsal etc. I have to admit, this amp sounds like crap when played at bedroom volumes. My JCM900 sounds way better at low volumes. But let me tell you, at high volumes, I run this around 7 master volume, this badboy screams and sounds incredible. Articulate, clear, beautifully crisp notes, even when high gain is set. Great punchy cleans too. Nothing bad about the sound of this amp. The 50 Watt head into the Vintage Modern 425 Cab sounds excellent and it's easily loud enough for any venue. This thing is loud.