Price paid: $ 1279.17
Purchased from: www,Soundslive.co.uk
Sound — 9
Unfortunately, I'm using factory pickups on my guitar at the moment, but they aren't too bad, nevertheless, this amp still sounds sweet! Although, like all valve amps, it's gotta be loud to sound it's best. This is certainly true with this amp, at low volumes the clean is fine, and the lead is ok, but the crunch channel is certainly lacking. Crank it up, the clean starts chiming and sustaining more for great leads. The crunch gets thicker and meaty for heavy riffing and the lead smoothes out with the right settings to give strong solos. This is great for what I play, which is mainly hard rock, classic rock, and metal. However, I play blues where the mid boost on the clean channel comes in useful, the gain can be reduced on the crunch channel to give a lightly distorted indie/older rock sound, but the lead channel really wants to be high gain in my opinion.
Overall Impression — 10
This is a perfect match for the music that I play, I have played in punk bands, metal bands, at a wedding, all of which it would have been great for, I'm starting a prog rock band which will be great with this amp, it's good for shredding, it's good for a bit of the old Hendrix, anything really. I have tried many more amps apart from this one, peaveys were good for metal, and rock, but cleans were just not up to scratch. Fenders were amazingly clean, and good blues sounds, but for rock and certainly metal, it just didn't compare. Other makes I tried, I would certainly got for a Mesa Boogie, but the price it just a tad too high. Especially for the price I paid for mine, there is nothing that I could compare it too with the same versatility.
Reliability & Durability — 8
Only had it for a month at the moment, hasn't broken down yet, but I hear the foot pedals have notoriously short life span. I have yet to find this out. I don't think I would need a backup for this amp, it's Marshall, it's built to last, I hope. I'll give it an 8, just incase something goes wrong.
Features — 10
Triple super lead (TSL) means this all valve amp has 3 channels; clean, crunch and lead. Clean. This has it's own EQ, bass mid and treble, as well as it's own FX loop, reverb and presence. There is a 'mid boost' button which changes the way the EQ worksand with some messing around with the gain, a bluesy jazzy lead tone can be produced with lots of sustain. Crunch and lead. Once again, they have their own separate EQ settings, but a joint reverb and presence settings and the same FX loop. This is no real problem, as all the effects you want on crunch you would probably want on lead too. Also, you can combine the 2 FX loops into one, so it will include the clean channel too. The Crunch and Lead channels both have a 'tone shift' control, which cuts out the mids and is useful for playing heavier music. Other stuff. There is a 'VPR' Switch which stands for virtual power reduction, and I think is just a power breaker built into the amp. This allows you to run the valves but at a lower volume. It also has a output mute which cuts off the speakers, allowing you to Direct Inject the signal from this amp, at the same time as recording other instruments with microphones. It's also good to just shut it up because there is an unfortunate hiss as with most valve amps. There is a line out so you can DI this amp as mentioned before. You can also change the resistance from 16 ohms to 8 ohms if you wanted to increase the size of this amp, although, it's already pretty heavy and loud. Any other features? I wanted flexibility, and I have that with the three channels, but I didn't want a modelling amp, so reverb it plenty enough for me. All the features that are there, I use in different situations, and they all work perfectly. I think that's it, it's a valve amp by the way, and it has 2 speakers in it, and 8 valves, yes, it is very loud. Only problem I have found is that I can't plug in a distortion pedal into the effects loop for some reason, then again, I have all the distortion I need so it dosent really matter and I'm sure that I will find out how to soon.