Price paid: $ 400
Purchased from: Interweb
Features — 9
40-watt, 1 x 12" speaker, all-tube, combo amp. If you want to hear about "valves" instead of "tubes" in a Marshall, I recommend ultimate-guitar.uk instead.
2-channel with a 3-way EQ (L, M, H) plus Presence. Clean channel has volume knob; overdrive channel has volume and gain knobs. Each channel has Boost switch. Clean channel has Bright switch. Three effects (vibe, delay, chorus) with volume and depth knobs (each channel remembers last effect setting). Reverb knob. It has 20% of the features of a solid-state digital modelling amp with 100% of the features of a tube amp. Comes with a 2-button footswitch (channel and effect on/off); optional 4-button footswitch sold separately (channel, OD boost, effect, reverb). The 4-button switch is a waste of money, in my opinion; you'll still need to use your hands to select clean boost, bright, and switch effects. Not a hit on the amp; let's wait for Marshall to come out with a better control pedal! Plenty of headroom in the clean channel.
Sound — 8
This amp is excellent for '60s-'70s rock, and sounds nice and warm with singles and buckers. The bright switch gives a clear, crisp sound that is a good substitute for an electric-acoustic. I use it with my piezo-powered electric, and it's similar to my acoustic plugged right into the PA system. The OD will get you to the limits of '70s rock, but comes a bit short of '80s distortion. No problem using a distortion and/or fuzz pedal to get the legit metal sounds. There is a slight digital delay when switching channels or engaging effects. That's the price of having a microchip working with the tubes.
Reliability & Durability — 9
If you respect the tubes, they'll respect you. The wood and tolex are solid, and the knobs seem well-secured. I've had the amp for about 8 months with light gigging and haven't had any nasty surprises yet. I don't bring a backup (spent all my money on the amp, so none left over for a backup). There are some well-placed cooling slots on the top that offer a nice view of the glowing tubes inside. How thoughtful... I've had cables plugged into most of the jacks, and have made them suffer the standard inadvertent kicking. No loose jacks yet.
Overall Impression — 8
It's a nice looking amp with a simplistic design. There's always something comforting about turning around and seeing a cursive "Marshall" stand out in the stage lights. Knowing what I know now, I do not regret my decision to get this amp. If the DSL40 was about $100 cheaper, I would have gone with that instead; however, the Haze's internal effects can potentially save a few hundred bucks on additional pedals. Don't shy away from this amp just because it's a combo, or has a 0. 10 second delay on the channel/effect switching. Choose it based on the tone; if you really need metal tone, get a Mesa Boogie; if you really need country tone, get a Fender. For anything else, I dare you to find better tone in this price range, especially with built-in effects. But seriously, don't drop the money on the 4-button footswitch unless you get a great deal, or you get the amp used without the 2-button switch (since the 4-button switch is just $20 more when purchased separately).