Price paid: £ 900
Purchased from: Music Ground
Sound — 9
As good as anything I have heard in terms of valve distortion ranging from twinkling sharpness to saturated singing distorting madness. The clean channel has a gain boost which is useful. On the neck pickup you can get some great jazz tones but I found it lacking for bridge tones. Sharp but not expressive. Another slight criticism is the emulated output. Its pretty dire, no matter what anyone tells you. I have tried to use it in a studio setting and have been literally laughed at by technicians.
Overall Impression — 7
Well, I recently got rid because I got sick of having it repaired so I can't be too positive. It did sound fantastic though. Basically, I love the sound and features but its really temperamental. When you have time to just stand in front of it and play its joyous... if it works. Transporting the thing is interesting as its a heavy beast and the reverb coil sound like its going to break at any minute. SO in short it is like an Italian sports car. It makes a fantastic noise and everyone will be jealous but it won't work half the time and will cost you a fortune in repairs.
Reliability & Durability — 3
Firstly, I should say that Marshall may have fixed some of these issues. I had many problems with reliability. The first one I had set itself on fire on stage, literally. Funny in retrospect but not at the time. Thankfully it was under warranty so I got a replacement. The useful thing about this is that I have owned 2 from new so can give a better idea of what is a design flaw as apposed to a one off. For instance, the footswitch socket on the ampo is prone to falling in requiring some really tricky soldering. If not checked this leads to bad connections and spontaneous channel changing... Not good on stage. I am told that this is a common issue. Also, both amps got through valves pretty quickly. My second TSL 100 managed to burn out its circuit board requiring an expensive replacement. It was partly due to reliability issues that I eventually sold my (beloved) SL 100. Basically I learned not to trust it and as a result you need a plan B when playing live. But given how amazing it sounds, you may think that, that is a price that you are willing to pay.
Features — 9
My first TSL 100 was purchased new in 2001 and I got a replacement under warranty in 2002. I was attracted to it because it does everything. It has a staggering amount of valve power. It has three channels allowing for a bluesy and crunchy middle channel which was really useful on stage with the 5 switch footswitch (3 channels, reverb and FX loop). The "deep" switch saturates the sound with warmth and bass but I can't describe it as a feature because I never turned it off... Basically it has everything that you could want from a modern amp.