Price paid: C$ 600
Purchased from: Local classfields
Sound — 9
I use a lot of different guitars on this amp, ranging from a Fender Rosewood Telecaster to a Gibson Les Paul with P90s. I also have a Gibson SG, a Gretsch G5122, a MusicMan Silhouette HSH, and more. I have been able to hear it with every kind of pickups, and the amp always sounds good. The cleans are very good, pristine, very clear, they cut through very well. The overdriven tones are always good, though the third overdrive and the lead channel are too distorted for me (I mostly play indie/alternative rock, think Placebo or Silversun Pickups). There is no white noise as long as the gain knob isn't abused, and the crazy amount of knobs and channels produce a very throaty overdriven tone. It is very bright; I also have an Orange AD30, which sounds much darker and meatier. It is interesting to note that I actually have played the amps this one models, and it sounds very close to them, at least to me. The fact that it uses 6l6 tubes made me nervous, but it sounds amazing.
Overall Impression — 9
I have been playing for around eight years. This is one of the many amps I own, including a '67 Fender Bassman, a Fender Twin from the early 90s, an Orange AD30 and a Traynor Custom Valve. I did research a lot on this amplifier before buying it, and I knew I really wanted it before actually getting it, which helped a lot with my purchase. If I lost it, I would most likely try to find it again. My favorite feature has got to be the Low Volume Compensation switch, as it allows this amp to be used in any circumstance. I can actually play it during the night without waking anyone in my family, yet still have a very good tone. I usually play it with an A/B/Y pedal in stereo with my AD30, and it blends perfectly. The clean channel is not as sparkly as the one on my Twin, but can sound similar to the Bassman (when the treble switch is used). Overall, this is a superb amp that never fails to impress me.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I have never had any problem with this amplifier. However, I have heard some horror stories about it being unreliable, especially the combo model. The input jack once popped behind the front panel, but as I bought this amp second-hand and had not looked at the input jack before, I can assume it will not happen again now that I have taken proper care of it. The third button on the footswitch has a tendency to get stuck, but the footswitch looks like some beer was spilled on it.
Features — 10
The 6100LM was made in 1995. It has three channels: Clean, Overdrive, Lead. The clean channel reproduces a JTM45 circuit. The overdrive channel, however, has three modes which work like the newer JVM models from Marshall. The first one is a reproduction of a JTM45 on slight breakup, the second is a 1959 plexi and the third one is a JCM900. The lead channel is a boosted JCM900. The footswitch allows to go from one channel to the other, and that's it, pretty straightforward. The amp also has a plethora of other features: two effects loops (parallel or series), 8 or 16 ohm speaker outputs, separate channel EQs, midi switching, and it can be used with half its power, bringing it down to 50 watts. There is also a low volume compensation. Basically, it is there to compensate the tone loss in a low volume amplifier. If you turn it on while playing with a very low volume, you still get the sound you would get from the amp if you had the volume at around 12 o'clock. This allows to hear the actual tone of the amp at bedroom volumes. There are also frequency cutters, one for the lows and one for the highs. Overall, this amp has all the features that would be expected from it, except maybe a reverb. This is, obviously, a tube amp. Since it is the LM model, it uses 6l6 tubes instead of the traditional el34 Marshall usually uses. The amp can be rebiased to accomodate them, however.