Price paid: $ 250
Purchased from: Uhlik's Music
Sound — 8
I'm playing a Fender Prodigy and a Hondo strat-style guitar through it. The Hondo leaves quite a bit do be desired on the heavier end of things because of it's single-coils, but I've done a custom wiring job on that guitar for individual pickup control. It sounds crystal clear, sweet and bell-like clean. The Prodigy is my darker, harder guitar, tuned to D and equipped with an EMG Select 'bucker and two Select single coils. It delivers the scream and growl very well, albeit with the help of my MT-2; the clean channel still sounds nice with it, too. It's never really noisy, but I've done body-cavity sheilding on both my guitars.
The amp on it's own has a decent variety of EQ to it on both channels and I can get a nice array of sounds out of it. I'm not musically diverse enough yet to know if it'll suit other styles well, but with the exception of -extremely- hard distortion, it handles everything I play on it. The clean channel does distort at high volumes. This is advertised as being intentional, and past a certain point on the volume knob I do hear the "click, " the change in frequencies that denotes some more circuitry is effecting the tone, so I think it is. The amp's distortion is good for classic rock, or softer modern rock, but get a pedal for anything hard.
Overall Impression — 10
I play between soft and hard rock, metal, thrash, and alternative. The tone is nice for all of those, though I haven't laid ears on a lot of examples of what people say is "great tone." I just know I like it. I've been playing nearly a year now, I own a 10-watt Silvertone practice amp, a Boss MT-2 Metal Zone pedal, a '91 Fender Prodigy, a Hondo Stratocaster copy, and some crappy GemSound wireless mic. I love the line in feature most, it allows me to patch in the output of my PC, for software-based drum machines and synths, and just jamming to my favorite bands. If it were stolen or lost, I would be depressed for a very long time, and probably not be able to afford another one for quite a while. I didn't do a lot of comparing, just rode on the Marshall name, but it seems to have come through nicely. My next one up is a 250 or a 100, whichever of those has footswitchable DFX (I can't remember which one it is.)
Reliability & Durability — 8
I've owned it for a couple months, and it's never consistantly broken down. It's had some erratic bevavior, like the volume lowering to nothing on it's own, but I never managed to get it to repeat the behavior to figure out what the source was. I haven't owned it long enough to tell if it's really built well, but it seems quite solid.
Features — 8
To my knowledge, this amp is faily new, built in 01 or 02. I play rock, metal, and alternative, and it suits them well. The two footswitchable channels are overdrive and clean, though at half volume and up, the clean channel kicks into a sort of mid-point overdrive, between clean and the actual second channel. The overdrive channel is decent, but certainly not mean enough for heavier thrash metal. I use it for slightly overdriven clean sounds, and a Boss MT-2 for my distorted sound. It has 4 on-board digital effects, which each sound very nice, though they're not very flexible and not footswitchable.
It has a headphone jack, I never use it just because I don't need to. If someone in my house were picky enough, I would. I wish it had footswitchable DFX on it, but other than that it's very decent. I use this amp at home and at practices with my loosely self-proclaimed band, it carries its (and my) weight in either place. It's got just enough power for me, I never find myself wishing it had more.