Valvestate 100 review by Marshall

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Features: 7
  • Sound: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.7 (72 votes)
Marshall: Valvestate 100

Price paid: £ 450

Purchased from: Unknown (Joint xmas and birthday present back in the day)

Features — 7
The amp was made in 1998 at the Marshall factory in Milton Keynes England.

The amp has three channels (Clean, Overdrive 1 and overdrive 2)
The clean channel is better than what a lot of people would have you believe a Marshall is capable of. Whilst it is definitely not in the same league as a Fender or Vox etc it certainly holds its own.
Overdrive 1 is great for classic rock tones, if you turn the gain down and the volume up you get the classic Marshall crunch.
It is also great for indie, especially the 90's Britpop sound.
Overdrive 2 would probably be used by most people as the lead channel as you do have a lot more gain to play with but if you wanted you could easily use this as as a rhythm channel for metal. Simply turn evrything to 10 and you mid to 0 and you've got that perfect scooped mid sound.

There are two separate reverbs for the clean and overdrive channels and an fx loop level.
There is a power dimension button which enables you to play at low volume and emulates the sound of the amp if it was cranked so if you're wanting to play lead at bedroom levels then this is useful.

Sound — 10
I currently play in an Oasis covers band and this amp is absolutely ideal for nailing that sound, especially the early Definitely Maybe and Morning Glory era.

I currently play an Epiphone Les Paul Custom that has been modified and has Seymour Duncan Phat Cat P90's fitted. It sounds like an absolute dream run through this.
I also play a Gibson SG standard, a Telecaster and a Tokai 330 and all of which sound amazing through the VS100.

I have used this amp in many other bands and for many other styles of music through the years ranging from softer, clean driven original material through to classic rock.
I even very briefly jammed with some of my metal loving friends and this amp is ideal for that if you use the OD 2 channel and max everything and turn the mid right off.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I have owned this amp for 19 years and it has never let me down.
I have used other tube amps, that admittedly have had an overall more versatile sound but they have let me down time and again with tubes packing in at gigs so I keep going back to my trusty VS100.

The only maintenance I have ever carried out on the amp was to replace the preamp tube and that was only as a precautionary measure after 15 years of use at that point.

I do genuinely believe that in the event of a nuclear Holocaust this would be one of the few things to survive.

Overall Impression — 9
I love this amplifier and like I have mentioned above I have tried other amps, tube driven and solid state but I always end up back playing my VS100.
If you're looking for the ultimate classic rock sound, want to nail early Oasis or even if you want the perfect thrash metal sound this amp will definitely not disappoint.

As far as reliability is concerned this will never let you down. As someone who has been let down at gigs by valve driven amps time and again the reliability is priceless.

If mine ever got stolen or if it did somehow stop working then I would definitely replace it, especially as you can now pick one up off of Ebay for £100-£150 buy it now.

1 comment sorted by best / new / date