Price paid: $ 225
Purchased from: eBay
Sound — 10
If I am practicing in my home, I run straight into the amp, using only reverb on the OD1 channel - it crunches great and as my Washburn EC-29 has active pickups, if I crank the mid-range OD in the guitar, it screams well enough on the bridge pickup straight in. If I use the neck pickup and no OD, I can get the best blues sound I have ever acheived with a Marshall. If I am playing with my band, I use a Boss GT-6, with a three cord plug in (do a search to find out what I'm talking about) and just use the clean channel, getting the variety of sounds I want with the GT-6. I like this Marshall better than the 200w Marshall Major or the '72 Marshall 100w Super Lead that I have owned. This amp is much more versatile and its lighter.
Overall Impression — 10
I been playing rock music for 46 years, been with Marshall for 36 years. I changed out the power tube to a Tesla and swapped out two of the factory Celestions with two old black-backed Celestions in the MG4X12 cab I send it through - these changes are essential to get a sound that rivals the old tube stuff, yet is a lot lighter for the lugging and yet again gives you versitality the old stuff will not. I put the new Celestions I swapped out in the old Marshall Master Lead Combo ('75) that had the old black-backed Celestions and sold it for $200, which almost totally paid for this head. The tone on this head is FAR superior to the tone on the old combo. Anyone who says the new technology can't get the old sound just doesn't know how to do it. These amps are so reasonable that if I ever had to replace it I wouldn't even consider getting anything else.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I've had it for 4 years and I've never had a problem with it. It has gone through a housing move and I load it into the back of an SUV and take it down the road a few times. I do not have a backup guitar amp anymore. I would just run my GT-6 straight into the board to finish a gig if this amp broke down.
Features — 8
Mine was made in 2000. See other writeups concerning the list of features. I keep the Acoustic Simular (which by default the amp switches to on power up) to zero and use it as a Standbye - I have no need for it and it does not sound very well anyway. This amp is plenty loud and I like a couple of the built-in effects (flanger and reverb). I have a red cabinet with black grill cloth, so I painted the black cloth on the head red to have a reverse effect visually.