Price paid: $ 869.25
Purchased from: Marcus's Music
Sound — 10
I use my Ibanez RG550 with H/S/H pickup config. when using the amp. I play full out rock and it just fits perfectly with my style and guitar. With decent pickups, unwanted feedback can be avoided even at high volume and wanted feedback can be easy to get by just thrusting your pickups to just right beside the amp. Like all Marshall's, there is a really wide variety of settings which allow for almost all styles. The clean channel does not distort at all at high volumes. I think that OD2 should be a bit more brutal and pack a greater punch and then you could use OD1 as a 'quieter' overdrive. This amp might not go down too well with metal players because of the lack of balls in the distortion.
Overall Impression — 10
I'd say the only thing better than this amp would be a bigger Marshall/Peavy/Laney/etc. It really is the best 150 watt amp around. Maybe not a first-timers amp but a real good choice for after the practice amps. I first seen and heard this amp from a friend and I fell in love with it. I bought one and my mate bought one. We all think it's great. Recently another mate of mine has bought one because of our good comments and he also loves it. That has to mean something...
Reliability & Durability — 10
Like all Marshall's, extremely reliable in any environment. I have used it in various gigs without a backup and it's just perfect. There seems to be one running problem with mid-range Marshall's, and that's the internal fans. They can be replaced at a small cost but it is annoying when they start making strange noises in the middle of a gig.
Features — 8
Now...this amp is some piece of work! With 4 channels, 10 built-in effects which can be altered and a neat footswitch (with the 4 channels and 2 switchs for clean and overdrive effects), I'd say this would be a good second amp choice (ie. after the small, unversatile 30 watt amps). Unfortunately it just doesn't have the volume to do anything massive at a gig as I end up turning the volume knob past 3/4, which is never a good thing, just to cut it over the drums. It has various jack inputs for effect stuff at the back but I have no idea what they actually are used for. The 4 channels are as follows - Acoustic Simulator, Clean, Overdrive 1 and Overdrive 2. Each channel has their separate Volume knob. The Acoustic Simulator has a Top knob and a button which adds more 'body' to it. The Clean channel has a Gain knob and a button which makes it 'brighter'. The OD1 and OD2 channels are the same, each with a Gain knob and a Scoop button. Using the footswitch you can change between all these and turn on/off effects. There is a Presence and a main Volume knob which apply to all the channels. The built-in effects are reasonably good. They include delay, flanger, chorus and all sorts of reverb. I am disappointed with the flanger just because I don't like the sound, but the chorus is real nice especially with the acoustic simulator. Unfortunately OD1 and OD2 have to share the same effect settings. The Acoustic Sim. and the Clean also have to share the same effect settings.