Valvestate VS102R review by Marshall

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  • Sound: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 5
  • Features: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 6.8 Neat
  • Users' score: 8.5 (13 votes)
Marshall: Valvestate VS102R

Price paid: £ 110

Purchased from: eBay

Sound — 7
I'm using my Tokai Super Edition Strat, single coils, and a fairly high output passive humbucker. It gets some really great tones on all those pickups. I would say that my own style is a blend of modern metal and hard rock, but I listen and play most things, and it handles what I do quite well. Funnily enough, once, when everyone was out, I cranked up the clean volume and the amp broke up quite nicely, I'm not sure why really because the power section is solid-state. I really like the amp for distorted rhythms, but I often find that it has very little in the way of sustain, which can be disappointing with epic leads.

Overall Impression — 8
I've been playing three and a bit years, and the amp has served me well for a year and a half. As I'm unlikely to get any money any time soon, I imagine it will continue to for the foreseeable future. If it were stolen, I'd probably save up for a 6505, but I'd make sure it was lighter than this one, 2x12 (26kg) is a real b-tch!

Reliability & Durability — 5
This is the main area where the amp has fallen down for me really, but I can attribute that mostly to it being used. Like I said earlier, I got round to having the spring reverb fixed recently, and about a year ago something broke (not sure what sorry!) and these reapairs brought the total cost of the amp to 175 GBP.

Features — 7
The amp was made in 1999, in England. It's a hybrid amp, solid-state power amp, with a 12AX7 in the pre-amp. I play mainly clean and harder rock, and some harder metal. It's been versatile enough so far, but I feel like I'm stretching it a bit for the heavier metal. The VS102R has three channels, Clean, which I really like, OD1, which frankly has enough gain on tap for some pretty heavy tones, and OD2, which I rarely use, like I said OD1 is loud and heavy enough. There is a footswitch out there but I've never gotten round to buying one. There's an effects loop and headphone output, neither of which I use much. There is also spring reverb with separate controls for each channel, this sounds really nice, but I had to get it fixed as it was broken when I got it. It gets used mainly as a practice amp in my bedroom, and the volume never goes past 4, it can easily overpower a drummer, and I've gigged with it once, way too loud even at 7.

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