Price paid: £ 150
Purchased from: ebay
Sound — 9
Some people say that these amps don't sound that close to that famous "all tube" sound. I would strongly disagree. Don't be fooled, these amps are pretty much the same to some other all tube amps. I have compared this to my dad's all tube Blackstar HT-5 and there is no difference in my ears. Most of an amp's sound comes from the pre amp so with the 12ax7 in there things are a whole world away from a completely solid state amp. Clean: The clean channel can get very, very clean. I was very suprised when I could get such mellow sounds out of a 50 watt hybrid amp. It has a very similar characteristic to a Fender clean sound. Very resonant and ideal for any jazz players. Things change when you whack up the gain on the clean. It gets very snappy and a good tube amp crunch sound becomes present. This I found was ideal for AC/DC's stuff. If you roll back the gain but turn the volume up you can still get a sparkly clean sound which is an advantage of a hybrid because unlike an all tube, it doesn't break up as easily on higher volumes with the gain low. Obviously that can all change with the volume and gain cranked on the clean. That's where some real tube tone comes into play. Overdrive: This can take you from some softer blues to about Guns and roses sort of rock. Marshall said that this is capable of high gain nu-metal but after turning the gain past 3 quarters it doesn't sound that good anymore. It looses it's sustain and compression after that point. But up to sort of Zeppelin and Guns N' Roses it does fine, maybe some early Metallica with the help of an overdrive pedal. The reverb on the amp doesn't really make a difference until it's past half way, that's when you can really hear it's effect on the sound. However, it is a good spring reverb and on the clean it just adds to the Fender clean sound charm. That tube in there really does make a huge difference and the amp has some quite impressive sounds.
Overall Impression — 9
I really like it. It's my first amp with some relation to tubes/valves and really does sound good. Although it is hybrid, there's little, if not, no difference to an all tube amp in the same sort of price range. I will be using this for my band practices and probably for gigs in the near future. It is a very loud amp and I was almost scared to crank it. A really good amp and I am pleased.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This amp is without a doubt reliable. It is clearly well built and looks and feels very rugged. I will probably gig with this in a few years. I know I can just throw it in the back of a van and it will be fine. All the electronics are obviously reliable as this thing has been around for a few years probably being constantly used by it's previous owner. It has had no problems according to the other owner.
Features — 9
This is going to be my short review of my new amp, the Marshall AVT50. The amp is a hybrid amp, meaning it has a tube/valve in the pre-amp section and a solid state power section. That tube is a 12ax7 pre-amp tube. There is one of these in this amp. It features 2 channels, clean and overdrive. The clean has a slightly unusual gain control, a volume control and a 2 band E.Q, bass and treble. The overdrive channel has gain, volume and a 3 band E.Q, bass, middle and treble. There's also a spring reverb as well for both channels. The amp has a CD input, a headphones jack, fx loop, DI out and also a jack for the optional footswitch available. You can also hook up an external speaker cabinet, bypassing the 12 inch custom Celestion speaker inside. (As long as it is the right impedance.) Overall, the amp's pretty simple to use but all the features are useful.