Sound — 7
Clean Channel; Better than most people imply. Warm sounding, but can get ice picky depending on how its dialed. Not really a full sounding clean. But it was nice, totally use-able. Stays clean for a long time. OD1 (Believe its actually called RHY2. Do not own the amp anymore, hard to remember): Far and away the weakest channel. I find the voicing is terrible, considering it shares EQ with the lead. It is VERY dark in comparison, making it useless for mid gain. It has no definition, no spark, no cut. My solution was to try to use this for my high gain channel, while using the lead channel as a mid-gain channel. This channel CAN pull of some nice higher gain sounds. Cannot really do metal though. I got away with metallica/megadeth style music, though I had less gain than I would have liked. I find this channel smoother and less grainy than the lead, which was kind of nice for the high gain. All in all, I found it a compromise. Lead-Loads of gain, which essentially just turns fizzy after about 2/3 of the way up. Bright in comparison to RHY2, grainy sounding distortion. I found it always hard to find a nice balance between high end cut and thump. Sounds great with the mids cranked, and the mid-switch set for more mids. Balancing the treble/presence control was always wierd. I found the presence had to be really low, to have any treble without having a fizz-fest. Or vice verse. All in all, it was fairly muddy and fizzy. Mids HAVE to be wide open to get some definition, due to the treble/presence being low to battle the top end. Really hard to dial it back to get mid-gain sounds. Even with the right gain setting, they still sucked pretty bad. That being said, it is a GOOD channel. I was never in a situation where it sounded bad. Certainly destroys all the solid state Marshall gear. Quite versatile in general, though the gain was never quite right for me. I've switched to a Boogie Mark IV, and the Marshall is pale in comparison. Considering it was half the price though, that's expected.
Overall Impression — 7
I tried to play everything with this amp, blues, jazz, metal etc. It's best aspect would be the high gain, as well as the cleans. Mid gain really stank. Too dark on RHY2, and just plain bad on the lead. If RHY2 had its own controls, I could see it working out but Marshall really messed it up by making it shared. The amp lasted me 3 years, and I ended up re-selling for more than I paid for (considering it did keep it in excellent condition). All in all, a very good amp. Not excellent. I would take it over any Fender(bleh, overdrive..), Bugera, Peavey(keeping in mind I need cleans) etc..
Reliability & Durability — 10
I always gigged without a backup. It never let me down. I never worried about it, it had plenty of volume. I kept tubes fairly fresh, but never used super high end stuff. Svetlanas and Sovteks. I would have no problem using one again, considering the price and the dependability. My boogie has blown 2 tubes since I bought it, and I always kind of worry about it. No such case with this marshall.
Features — 7
3 Channel, 60 watts of EL34 power. Independent 3band EQ for the clean channel, shared EQ for both gain channels. Master volume, master presence, reverb controls. 4,8, and 16 ohm outs. 5 button footswitch (3 channels, 'verb, and fx loop). FX loop also has a level control. Lots of control, though the shared EQ for the gain channels was a really poor idea. Deep switch, and mid boost-type Switch.