Purchased from: Long & McQuade
Sound — 10
I play a Fender MIM telecaster. It has been customized with an original 1979 Gibson Dirty Fingers humbucker in the bridge position and a Schaller Gold 50 in the neck position. The bridge pickup is perfect for playing anything punk rock, whether it be pop, skate or so-cal. The Dirty Fingers gives off an amazing sound through this head. The TSL runs absolutely quiet on all channels with the exception of the lead channel when I'm using the Dirty Fingers. It tends to feedback a fair amount if I am closer than 10 feet from the cabinet. I play through a Marshall 1960A JCM900 series cabinet. The clean sound from this amp is incredible. It stays crystal clean and is the best I've heard from any Marshall head that I've played. There is a seperate gain control to give it more of a bluesy or ska feel. There isn't much you can't get out of this head. The crunch channel is definitely the best feature of the TSL however. It gets the most use from me, I only switch to the lead channel when I am playing a riff that I want heard loud and clear over the rest of the band. Metal heads may not be completely satisfied with the gain, but it's got what you'd typically expect from Marshall.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall this head is everything I expected it to be. No more, no less. I'm relatively new to the world of electric guitars, only playing for three years, however I have several years previous experience playing bass, and I put a lot of time and research into this product before putting my money into it. It sounds better than anything else I've played, and you can't go wrong with it for the price range it's in and the features you get. If it were stolen I would probably shell out the extra $200-300 for the TSL100 as the insurance company would cover the rest. However, if it is not I will be playing this for the rest of my life.
Reliability & Durability — 8
Haven't had any problems with it so far. I haven't gigged with it at all yet. It's just been moved around from home to rehersal. It's a tube head, so you gotta treat her nice. A lot of people report problems with the footswitch over time, so be sure you got a good deal on a used one or a good warranty with a new one. They run about $150 to replace.
Features — 9
60 Watt all tube head. 3 Channels (clean, crunch, lead), effects loop, reverb (seperate controls for clean & OD) seperate EQ for clean & overdrive channels. I play pop punk/skate punk and this amp is perfect for me. It's easily loud enough to gig with. I keep the volume around 7 to stay overtop of the drums & bass (I've got a hard hitting drummer). I decided to save myself a few hundred dollars and buy this over the TSL100. 60 Watts is more than enough power, and I can get by with only two EQ controls. There is a five button footswitch. One switch for each channel, one for the FX loop and one for reverb.