Price paid: $ 650
Purchased from: Firehouse Guitars
Sound — 9
I use a Jackson DR5 PRO, A 1994 Jackson Rhoads rr-1 concept and a Schecter Hellraiserc1-fr. All of em have EMG active pickups, which help make this thing rip. It does well for metal, sounds really deep, and harmonically rich with good touch dynamics. Back off on the pickups and it has less breakup/ cleans up nice but still has bite for blues/rock licks. Not much noise going on even on high volumes. I use a 535q, and a linear power booster on the front end. Then I run a Boss gt6 for gate/eq/effects on the loop. I can get everything from Slayer to Slipknot with it. As well I can get perfect Satriani or Vai tones. The clean is exactly that clean. But To Do This You Need One Trick From A Pro -- Crank The Volume On Yer Clean Channel, Then Use The Gain As The Volume. This works great and makes it to where there's little or no distortion at gig volume on the clean channel. Deep Switch makes it sound like THOR playing lol. Mid Switch cuts mids for a more old school metal sound. Overall I am pleased with the sound but I'm planning on getting a Tube screamer for leads instead of the power booster.
Overall Impression — 9
At first I hated marshalls and wanted either a mesa or a Bogner or something like that. When I played this amp for the first time I fell in love. Works perfect for what I'm doing. I've played for about 15 years. Played it for 15 minutes and knew it was the one! I have owned numerous amps and the only one I love as much as this is my Crate Blue voodoo 60 watt combo. I have too much gear to name, but this is the amp I have set up in my practice space. If it broke or was stolen I'd try to find a new one. My favorite feature is the tone. Just awesome. I hate the cab sitting under it ( wish it said Marshall to match lol). I played the new line six tube amp, a Peavey 6505+, an Ashdown fallen angel 300 watt tube amp, Krank rev1, mesa dual rect and a couple others in my search for MY amp over the years, and the day I played this I wasn't even looking for an amp, But I bought it anyway, because this amp was looking for me! I wish it had an extensive footswitch for switching the channels as well as voicings, the effects loop on and off and verb on and off (Who knows maybe a tech could mod it to do so). Other than that it's a beautiful amp! The covering is also beautiful, very elegant almost lady like. Nice to look at! Just wish I had a 1960 cab to match.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I have a backup (Peavey classic)so I would bring it just in case. It broke after putting new tubes in it so I put the old ones back in and it worked fine. I guess it was bad tubes so I took those back, and guess what? The store sold me bunk tubes! Now it works just fine. Biasing is easy so that's a plus. You can do it as long as you know how to use a multi meter to test mili-volts. Marshalls are known for being reliable. Cmon lets see a list of endorsers-Slash, Slayer, john5, zack wylde, mark tremonti, Megadeth... Need I go on. Service centers are in england. Although many people in the states are able to work on them so it really doesnt't matter I guess.
Features — 8
Bought it used April 2009. Was made in 2003. I play shred/metal mainly but some hard rock/blues. This amp will produce any of those tones very nicely and convincingly. It is a 2 channel amp but it has 4 different "modes" total. I was surprised at how loud 50 watts is. Can keep up with my buddies Krank rev1 120 watt amp, and he spent 2k on his. The reverb is ok but I have a Boss gt6 running on the loop for that. 4-8-16 ohm operation. Did I Mention All Tube (12ax7s and el34s)! I also own a Peavey classic and the Marshall wins... Hands down!