Sound — 3
I used a Flying V and Korean made '98 Kramer Barreta (with SD pups fitted). I play metal and rock and this amp was a major letdown for me soundwise. It has kinda Marshall roar to it but it had a totally unfocused and dispersed sound. No technician ever found a fault to it and I've played several other specimens which exhibited the same character. Even new set of JJ/Tesla tubes didn't help. A fair clean channel but the distortion is very rough round the edges, no trace of typical Marshall fullness of the glory days (think MV or JCM800), just bark. An example - during the rehearsals I was constantly struggling to cut through and pushed the volume too high, but when I switched to Engl Blackmore I was instantly sounding clearly, with no higher frequency garbage and all that on LOWER volume than I was playing my DSL. Needless to say I was delighted and sold the damn thing right away.
Overall Impression — 2
This amp was meant for rock and metal, but I'd say it fails in both fields. I've been playing for 20 years and it was my 3rd amp, after my Orange '76 MV which was constantly failing and letting me down but sounded 1000 times better. Another one of "we have a famous name so we're gonna charge you a crap series much more than it deserves". I'd never buy it again, nothing in that amp sounded appealing to me, all JCM800 2203 and 2204 or older Marshalls sound much better. Vintage Modern sounds great, haven't tried JVM but reportedly it's a really great amp. I'd recommend staying away from JCM2000 series if you want a good Marshall.
Reliability & Durability — 10
Although it has a circuit board inside never had any problems with it what'soever, always dependable and never had a backup. The reverb was always functional, no issues there. The only issues I had with it were because of the way it sounded, but in no way related to its reliability.
Features — 6
Mine was made in 2004. It has two channels with two modes each and a reverb tank. Powerful all-tube design with an FX loop, no fancy bells and whistles. The footswitch enables switching of the channels (clean/dist) and reverb on/off. Too bad they didn't allow switching OD1 to OD2.