Price paid: A$ 500
Purchased from: Billy Hyde
Sound — 8
A couple of guitars, love my little Charvel with StewMac golden oldie pickup, to original PAF '59 specs (ala evh). Also have a MIM Fender with StewMac golden oldie single coils, Vintage 57 spec again. Have CIJ Fender Jaguar (with SD SJAG1 pickups) and Les Paul Studio stock. I like to boost in my amps, not my pickups, so if I want extra crunch I boost into the amp with a Tube Screamer, mainly volume slight gain. This pushes the preamp tubes beautifully and you can get some nice sounds. Reverb on it is ok, but if playing Surf I use a separate reverb on the fx loop. Not really noisy on it's own, but when pre-boosted it gets the usual hiss. The Clean channel is ok, but that's about it, it doesn't strike me as a good clean sound. I use it for putting my Metal Muff through when playing Slayer etc. With all my other toys I can get good sounds out of it for home use, and it can hold it's own against any drummer. Surf is the really only challenge.
Overall Impression — 8
This amp fits my style(s) nicely in that it has a Marshal tube pre-amp which has nice tones. Been playing since 1984 when I heard 'Hot for Teacher'. Own guitars mentioned above, and play a bit of bass but only with a practise amp. This amp has done most things I want to toy with. I would not replace this amp, as these days I can afford an all-tube amp, so would go down that track. But for the money, these things are cheap and give you nice Marshall tube pre-amp. Really good value, would recommend this as the next amp to buy after your practice amp to get some nice tube sounds.
Reliability & Durability — 7
I can depend on it to shuffle it into the boot when going to mates places, haven't gigged so can't say. Seems reliable, altho I had to get it serviced after leaving it 3 years in my old mans she'd when I was overseas, the pots got crackly and the volume kept going up and down (don't know what it was, they only charged me $70 tho).
Features — 8
Bought this amp new with my first paycheck after Uni back in 1993 and had it ever since. I like the amp because I can get the basic sounds I want out of it to play my music. I'm an old EVH fan, so love that type of hard rock and mid-eighties metal. Play surf, like SRV, into Jazz just slightly. Slayer. Into most things really. When I try to write it comes out like old cowboy songs. 2 switchable channels, Clean (with crunch option) and Dirty (with extra boost option). Effects loop for both pedal and rack line level. Pretty much got a good set of features to play around with, love the contour knob as you can dial up many sounds. Tube preamp only on the dirty channel, poweramp is Solidstate. Only the one Celestion speaker but can get freakin loud especially if you boost into the amp. I only play for fun with friends and don't gig.