Price paid: £ 400
Purchased from: Reverb
Sound — 6
I use the amp alongside a Fender Telecaster which is kitted out with two Seymour Duncan Humbuckers. The amp is quite versatile and is able to deliver sparkly cleans, to a dirty ragged clean sound when pushing the gain up on the clean channel. While the clean sound is quite versatile it lacks any real 'vibe' or magic that you could expect from a more expensive tube amp. The overdrive channels can get you by, with OD1 providing a crunchy ac/dc sound at best and OD2 a fizzy mess. For me the overdrive channels are a big let down, lacking in tone and any real bite. I find myself continually cranking the amp up to get more out of it tonally and in terms of distortion but I am left unsatisfied. There are however moments of rock n'roll glory in which solo's do raw through the amp in the style of some of Marshall's most iconic users, this amp is able to provide some sweet creamy tones which is great for Classic Rock/Blues but if you play Punk/hardcore players should be weary because it's hard to get spiky brutal riffs out of this. There are no real noise issues with the amp.
Overall Impression — 6
I play all types of music including blues, hard rock, jazz, pop etc. But I found that this amp doesn't work with punk/metal music and have been tempted to look to Orange for the answer in a similar price range or a hi-gain specialist such as ENGL. I have been playing for five years and so I've 'been around' gear wise, this was my first tube amp and I got it relatively cheap so it is not a bad move for first-time tube amp buyers because of it's low-maintenance. If it was stolen/lost I would definitely not buy another one because since buying it I have been subject too many other amps which give me the kind of tone I am looking for such as the aforementioned Orange, or Engl or even Mesa Boogie if you have the cash. I love the cool green finish because you can stand out from the crowd but amp-to-amp in comparison with a tube amp a little more expensive it stands no chance.
Reliability & Durability — 10
One great thing with this amp is that it is completely dependable I've played many shows with it and done quite a bit of recording with it, It isn't fragile and is relatively durable. The amp has never needed servicing and so is relatively low-maintenance compared to more expensive valve amps which seem to be in constant need of servicing.
Features — 7
This tube combo features three different channels; Clean, Overdrive 1 and Overdrive 2 which are foot switchable. It also has built-in reverb and an effects loop. The clean and overdrive channels consist of there own EQs which are made up of treble, middle and bass. I have played with this amp live in a variety of venues and it is probably loud enough for most pubs/clubs however It definitely needs mic'ing up if you don't want to get lost on stage and depending on what kind of music you are playing. I often use the combo alongside a 4x12 Marshall cabinet which does sound a lot bigger, perhaps better and helps with projection. I don't really think this amp needs any other features as I am not an effects junkie but just seeking fine tone. This amp is also part of the special edition green series which is a nice touch in my opinion.