Purchased from: small local shop
Sound — 9
I've played this with my old, strat-style Ibanez with a HB in the bridge, and a Les Paul custom; all I can say is this amp rocks. Great break-up tones, from gritty clean to sort of a wicked blues setting that even sounds great for Black Sabbath tunes. That's just the OD-1 channel. OD-2 is pretty much the classic Marshall gain voicing on steroids. Plenty of gain for me, sounds great for the really heavy Sabbath tunes, and with a few slight EQ adjustments it will get a nice Kill 'em All 'Tallica tone. Overall, the tone is quite bright. Distortion has a nice bright growl, and the clean sounds very articulate. However, the clean does lack a bit compared to something like a Fender Twin Reverb, but cranking the channel volume and keeping the master reasonable gives a nice clean/breakup sound depending on how hot your pickups are, works for blues, country, basicly clean with grit, all the while remaining thick, kinda like toothpaste! If it doesn't give you quite enough gain though, just throw a tubescreamer out front, set gain to 1 or 2, tone however you like it and volume at full. this will boost your output and give you plenty of gain.
Overall Impression — 10
I personally love this amp. Great for the heavy blues-based stuff that I do, and it can get enough gain for when I step out and do heavier Metallica stuff or Zakk Wylde escapades. I just wish Marshall paid more attention to the finishing touches. The design is amazing though, hat's off for that!
Reliability & Durability — 7
This is where this amp kind of lacks. Trying it out in the store I noticed that the pots were already 'fuzzy' and feeling loose. I don't even think that the amp had been in the store all that long. That and the footswitch doesn't seem as durable as Randall ones, the Switch seemed kinda weak. Other than that though, the housing seems solid and the cabs are built like tanks. I don't know how long the tubes will last, I've heard that high-gain tube amps burn out quicker. I'll repost when the tubes need changing. But yeah, any problems I've had are superficial, the fundamentals of the amp are very solid.
Features — 10
First off, the 100watt model kicks the crap out of the 60watt head. the extra EQ section is a big help in setting rythm and lead channels that are diferrently voiced. Many other amps I've played are voiced that same on both channels, which is quite unfortunate. Good versatility at any rate. The footswitch if really handy. But yeah, not much to say other than the way the channels are set up allows for a wide range of tones.