Price paid: A$ 180
Purchased from: Intermusic
Sound — 6
I use an Ibanez GRG170DX boasting an H-S-H pickup configuration. The amplifier does fit my style which is rock as mentioned earlier, though the sound definately could improve. The amplifier isn't too noisy normally but with the gain boosted this amplifier gets really airy and has that annoying 'hiss' sound that nobody likes when the amplifier is set with high gain. The amplifier can get do a vast variety of sounds from warm clean tones to bright clean tones to overdriven tones to heavily distorted sounds. None of the sounds are amazing but it can do them. The clean channel is pretty distorted at high volume on all the settings really, though a 15 watt practice combo doesn't need to be pushed to that level in most cases. The distortion gets pretty brutal as the gain knob goes past 12 o'clock though as the distortion gets more brutal it gets less defined and more noisy.
Overall Impression — 6
As I have mentioned twice already I play rock mostly and the amplifier is a good match for that and gets the job done. I have been playing for 6 months pushing 7 now and I own an Ibanez guitar and some bass guitar gear. I wish that I had asked for the other amplifiers available at this price instead of choosing the first one recommended to me by the store clerk or even asking for some advice here on Ultimate-Guitar. If this amplifier was stolen or lost, I would not buy this again, as it is a very ordinary amplifier with a very ordinary sound and nothing more and nothing less. I would get something else. I love the FDD Switch and it is my favourite feature, simply because the tone improves significantly when in use. I hate that this amplifier is so simple, it doesn't come with a foot Switch jack or anything, it's a very basic, no-frills amplifier. At the time I did not compare this to other similarly-priced solid-state practice amplifiers and I regret every bit of it.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I don't have too much of an opinion on this, as being used for practice only it doesn't get knocked around nearly as much as a touring amplifier, though the construction feels solid and is going to survive in a bedroom, that's the last of anyone's worries. The amplifier has never broken down though the headphone input isn't working at the moment as a 1/4" jack is stuck inside it, which will need to be serviced. I would blame more of that problem on the cheap 1/4" jack.
Features — 7
This amplifier was made in 2008. I play rock genres such as grunge, classic and modern and the amplifier is versatile enough to achieve those sounds; though it doesn't spectacularly achieve those sounds, it produces enough tonal quality to be satisfied with it for bedroom practice. The amplifier features two channels: clean and overdrive, which are switchable. The amplifier lacks effects loop capabilities but does boast a headphone jack. I wish the amplifier featured separate equalisation for each channel to achieve the best of both worlds in clean and overdriven sounds, yet I have to compromise one to achieve the other. I use all the features built-in to this amplifier though the FDD (frequency dependant damping) Switch isn't even necessary as the tonal quality of the amplifier improves significantly with it pushed in. I use this amplifier strictly for bedroom practice and 15 solid-state watts is more than enough for my needs. A notable feature this amplifier includes is a nifty feature known as the FDD Switch which I mention earlier. This Switch is described by Marshall themselves as a proprietary FDD circuit which accurately mimics the way an all-valve amplifier interacts with the loudspeaker and adds a width and depth to your sound. Now, I don't think this amplifier pulls off any sound remnant to an all-valve amplifier at all, but I agree that it does add a depth to your sound which isn't achievable on most solid-state technology.