Price paid: $ 170
Purchased from: Sam Goody
Sound — 7
I play my Peavey HP Signature EXP through this amp. See the review for that guitar. I also use a Bad Dog Distortion with this. Check the reviews for that, too (Washburn: Bad Dog Distortion). It suits my need for the early-Van Halen distortion, and the reverb is just perfect for "You Really Got Me" and "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love". I can also use the chorus to get the sound from "316", the flanger is nice to get the "Unchained" sound, and with the right delay settings, I can play Cathedral. It can take loads of distortion. It does get a "bluesy distortion", according to Jim Marshall, when the volume of the amp on the clean channel is "at over half volume". It pisses me off because if I want to play clean loudly, it sounds like I'm on the overdrive channel! I can get some acoustic-sounding sounds out of this, depending on the kind of guitar I'm running through it. Excluding acoustic-electric guitars, of course. I give sound a 7 because though I can get the EVH distortion, it isn't really clear at all. It can be noisy, and the feedback can be deafening. But the sound isn't horrible.
Overall Impression — 9
I play classic rock. It matches pretty well. I've been playing for about 18 months because I'm too lazy to count at the moment. Since about April of 2005. I also own: a Peavey HP Signature EXP guitar, and a Bad Dog Distortion Pedal, with a Peavey patch cable, and Fender Electro-Volt cable. I also have: Squire Strat (no pickups, no pots), Squire Acoustic (broken nut) (both Squires came in packages), and a Frontman 15G (broken input). It seems that me and Squires weren't meant for each other. If it were lost, I'd be pissed, because I don't have an ME-50 and an amp. But if I had an ME-50 and a nice amp, I wouldn't care that much. I didn't compare it to much. I just saw it on the shelf at Sam Goody. I plugged in several random guitars (whichever ones sounded mostly in tune, and had all the strings) and fell in love with it. I just compared prices, really. This was the cheapest amp, and the other ones didn't have as many features. Not much I wish it had. I bought it for the FX. But at this point, it's time to move on to bigger and better things. That's why it gets a 9. It's great if it's your first Marshall. But at this point I'm in the middle of deciding whether to buy an MG100HDFX halfstack, or some sort of Peavey halfstack.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I can depend on it, I think. I don't know if it's my pedal, if it's my cables, or if it's the amp, but sometimes the signal is lost, and I can't hear the guitar at all. It hasn't broken down at all, thank God. The reason I ever bought this amp was because my Frontman broke down. Not much to say. I'll give it a 9 because I think it'll last.
Features — 8
This is a pretty versatile amp. It fits my style for the most part, which happens to be mostly classic rock. It's not too hard to get good tones, and getting the early EVH sound isn't too hard, when I use my distortion pedal. The overdrive on this amp isn't the greatest. It has a clean channel and overdrive channel, and one EQ section for both. It's only a 15W amp, anyway. So of course there's not going to be a footswitch, FX loop, seperate EQs, but there sure is a headphone jack, but that requires an adaptor. Nothing to cry about, they're cheap anyway. I'm content with what I bought it for, which was to learn and practice electrically. It's a nice around-the-house amp. It also has an input jack for a CD player (I found out that you can actually plug in a 2nd guitar into this). It also has digital effects that aren't the greatest, but they're suitable for me. But sometimes it's hard to find the right delay settings for "Cathedral", and the reverb sometimes gets in the way. The flanger seems kind of weak at times, and the chorus seems hardly noticeable at times, even with the FX volume at max. It also has a Switch to simulate an "all-valve amp" using some special circuitry. I keep that Switch on, because it adds some bass. I forgot what it sounds like without it. I'll give features an 8 because it has the DFX, and for what you pay, it's great. But for ease-of-use, and because the overdrive seems weak, that brings it down.