Sound — 9
Guitar Set-Up in Comination with Amplifier Being used in conjunction with a metal-style guitar (H-H passive pickup setup). The amp isn't as suitable with single coil pickups, it can get a bit scratchy. The only problems I've encountered with the combination is that the clean channel can sound like it has a little gain and darkness in it. This limits tone possibilties, but it's caused by the guitar, so not the amp's fault. Music Style Suitability I play every genre I can think of really. This amp can be used for all genre's though there's certain sounds and tones it's incapable of. Though it definitely has a more focused tone when producing classic rock, 80's/old metal, punk and Indie sounds. It's extreme metal sound is rather non-existent. But all you need is a multi-fx or distortion pedal going into it to find it. The second overdrive channel has a contour control for extra versatility Gain The gain can sound a little thin sometimes, but as mentioned above, all you need is effects pedals to supply you with the heaviness you desire. It really is enough until you want to get a heavier sound than hard/classic rock though. The first overdrive channel is basically just for light distortion sounds and blues by the way. Noise It makes no more unwanted noise than any other amp. And I have found some feedback settings, that can be used to nice effect. Some settings on the clean channel can leave you with a hum that can be heard in rests. Personally, I have never found this a problem.
Overall Impression — 10
Reliable, all the features you could want and it sounds. If lost/stolen [though I wouldn't let that happen] I would certainly look at buying something further up on the Marshall food chain. While it is a great amp [in my opinion], the JCM, JVM and signature Marshalls are all obviously better. Nonetheless it is still the best amp I've played in its price range and the quality of the whole package is really high. And many people, including myself, regard it as the best sounding hybrid amp that they've heard. Rock on, U-G.
Reliability & Durability — 9
The amplifier has lasted twelve years in someone else's care and a few months in mine. Throughout all this time it has never needed any repair. Also, it doesn't show any signs of any part of it breaking down anytime soon. I've had one problem with reliability, it was the footswitch. It got faulty after a little while and then completely stopped working. And I do know that if you were to drop it or knock it 'round too much the preamp tube would break. So take care of it! Note that it is actually a really solidly built amp, it's just the preamp that's a little fragile.
Features — 10
Year: 1996 State: hybrid Speaker: Celestion 12" (Gold Back) Preamp: 12AX7 tube Channels: 3 (1 clean + 2 overdrives) Footswitch: yes Effects Loop: yes Headphone Jack: yes It has all the features you could ask for out of an amp, other than on-board effects. But this is a Marshall, if you wanted on-board effects you wouldn't be looking at buying one now would you. It has reverb, which is probably the feature I use the least and even it comes in handy to get certain sounds. The 100 watts of tone can sure put out some volume. It can also Drive 4 by 12 cabs so this thing is easily giggable.