Price paid: $ 699.99
Sound — 7
Currently I run a Squier Stagemaster H/S/H model with stock pickups through this amp, and have never had much trouble with things like feedback and gain levels that couldn't be controlled by moving away. My style is influenced by a fair amount of classic Thrash metal like Puppets-era Metallica, Rust In Peace-era Megadeth, but isn't limited to blues-rock styles like Guns N' Roses and Stevie Ray Vaughan, and I've found that with the right amount of patience, the right ear, and a few knob tweaks here and there, any sound I desire can be replicated efficiently. From bright clean and bluesy Drive on just the clean setting alone, a wide array of tones can be heard that don't distort much at a. The crunch switch engages a gritty AC/DC type growl, but the gain knob doesn't do much to control the level of distortion. The overdrive channel has two very gritty settings, OD1 being the lower gain overdrive, that at a low gain setting sort of picks up where a maxed-gain clean left off in terms of distortion. Great for single-coil drive without much hum. OD2 is a higher gain stage that, at a low gain setting, picks up where a maxed out OD1 setting left off. A Maxed out setting lends an intense distort the classic metal fans would enjoy, but it's not too brutal. The contour knob modifies the midrange to make the amp sound more midrangey when turned down, and more scooped when dialed up, and this helps greatly when searching for a razor-edged tone. All in all, a wide variety of tones can be achieved with patience and a good ear.
Overall Impression — 9
I'm well-known around my school as "that rock dude" who plays hard rock often. The black and gold cosmetics from Marshall are synonymous with a Rock image, and I've found that to my advantage when playing for a large congregation. In my Four years playing through cheap guitars and inexpensive practice amps, I've come to appreciate what this amp has done for me. I've even named the thing, I appreciate it so much, and if someone were to ever steal it, I would have to get after them with a blowtorch and pair of pliers for taking something dear to me like this amp. I love the classic look of Marshall and even though this isn't a tube driven amp, I use it like the best piece of equipment in the world. I'm not so big into effects, so iI admire this relatively simple setup.
Reliability & Durability — 8
This amplifier has never given me any trouble live or in a practice situation. I have treated it with the utmost care I could, and I expect this amp to deliver as much as I put into it because of that. I have had a few spills with this amp, it was knocked over, dropped twice, and had a few beverages spilled on it, but never once have I run into an instance where I thought I might need to replace the head. Durable, yes, Reliable, Yes.
Features — 7
This amplifier is a 2007, 100-watt, solid-state model, consisting of 2 channels, clean and overdrive, with a crunch button on the clean channel, and an OD1/OD2 (overdrive) Switch on the overdrive channel. A 3-band EQ and gain control exist on either channel, but the overdrive channel adds a Contour knob and overdrive volume knob to that channel. A footswitch jack for channel switching and onboard effects activation is located on the back panel, alongside the parallel effects jacks (send & return), and the two external speaker jacks. Four separate effects when activated, effect both channels: chorus w/ delay, delay, chorus, and flange can be achieved by an effect selection knob (limited fine tuning abilities, as there is only a small space to rotate knob before changing the effect), activated by footswitch only, and a global effect volume determines the overall volume of the engaged effect, while a separate Reverb knob (non-footswitchable) controls the global Reverb Effect. On the front panel a 1/4' CD input jack is supplied for play-along practice, right next to a 1/4' emulated line-out/headphone jack for silent practice. To date, I have used this amp in practice situations, such as rehearsal in a garage or band classroom, and school auditoriums for a live performance, and this amplifier has supplied quite enough power for either venue.