Price paid: $ 1679.94
Purchased from: Bedrock Music, Crawley
Sound — 10
I'm currently using it waith a Jackson loaded with EMG's. The gigs we are plying at the moment are focused on the more mainstream stuff, and Amp1 handles these beautifully. If I got sick of playing simple riffs though the OD2 on Amp2 would easily give me all the heavy toneful distortion I would need for some downtuned monster riffs! You won't find your 'recto' sound on this amp, but the distortion is damn sweet and at a fraction of the cost, the mode four is a decent challenger to the Mesa/Boogie Rectifiers.
Overall Impression — 10
This is my first half stack and I'm very impressed with it. The mode four sounds great from being barely turned up in your bedroom, to trowing out a wall of sound at a gig for a extremely competitive price against its rivals. With this amp you'll never need to worry about headroom or not cutting through again. If there was more flexibily over tone controls in live situations this would be the perfect amp.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I have only giged this amp one at the time of writing, but I encountered no problems, Although this amp was designed for use on the road and isnt as fragile as some of its close relatives. I would happily use this without a backup. Regsitering your Marshall amp online also gives you a three year extended warranty. I would give it a 5 but I have not owned it long enough.
Features — 8
Made in 2003 if I'm correct, this 4-channel, 350 watt solid state, tube preamp head was made in the UK. The band I'm currently in (www.redsear.com) play a variety of styles from The Cure to Godsmack, Amp1 provides a warm classic clean tone and a fantastic crunch which could easily be confused with a JCM 800, Amp2 kicks out a brutal distortion, and a great tone for shredding. It is also equiped with a very useful solo control, and resonance and presence controls for the power amplifier. It's packed full of conveniences like a balanced XLR and lack output, a load protection system and a tuner mute. The range of tones this amp can forge is practically endless, however in a live situation flexibility is restricted by having the same EQ for the clean and crunch channels and the OD1 and OD2 channels, so the footswitch can't really take advantage of the M4's true potential. Also I think speakon cables would have been better at dealing with the high loads of the M4 than jack leads.