Price paid: $ 580
Sound — 10
I was truly amazed and impressed at the tone of this amp. I have been a lontime Fender man but after going through 3 bad Deluxe Reverb's right out of the box , decided it was time for a change, and after thinking about it- almost all of my favorite guitarists play though Marshalls, so I thought I'd give one a try. I play mainly blues and classic rock, but also some Metallica, etc. SRV, Trower, Hendrix, Page, I can get them all (or at least pretty darn close) with this amp! What really amazed me the most is the clean channel on this amp. Crystal clear without being harsh as is the case with most amps with ss circuitry. And with the gain on the clean channel turned up, I can get a really sweet breakup due to the tube in the preamp. The OD 1 channel I have set up for the SRV with tubescreamer type tone which is great for SRV, Hendrix (with a Strat) Zep,AC/DC etc. with humbuckers. The OD2 channel I use (with the scoop button in) mainly for fuzz type tone (Bridge of Sighs,Sabbath, etc).Really a versatile palette of sounds, and all with real tube tone. Also this amp really handles bass well. You can really crank up the volume and bass without any fartyness at all. Solid all the way with NO rattles or buzzes, which is very UNlike the Fenders I have owned and played in recent years.The built in effects are passable. I've read some bad reviews about this amps tone. When I first got it home I thought it was too muddy and bassy, but as it turns out the eq sections of this amp are extremely responsive and interactive. After an afternoon of playing around with the controls, I truly tuned in some great tone on all 3 channels.You just have to put some time in, and the tone will be there. I defy the average person to tell the difference between this an an all tube amp, and this comes from someone who has in recent times played all tube amps exclusively!
Overall Impression — 10
I am 47 and have been playing since age 10. As mentioned I have always been a Fender guy but there quality control has become so terrible that I felt it was time to move on. I use a '97 American Standard Strat, and a new Epi Vintage Sunburst Dot, plus own about a half dozen pedals, only one of which I now need. I've never heard a solid state or hybrid tube amp that sounded this good, and I've owned a ton (literally) of amps over the past 35 or so years. I never thought I'd see the day when I went from all tube back to ss or hybrid- but here I am, and proud of it! If it were lost I'd most likely get another one right away. I like the sound of the Vox valvetronix, but still has too many "bugs". Besides, I like amps that are simple in operation but sound good, and the AVT gets it done. I love the tone and the versatility. There is really nothing I hate about this amp. The reliability of solid state with the sound of tubes- hybrids have come a long, long , way. I've been kind of a tube snob in the past, but I'd have no problems gigging with this amp anywhere - it sounds great.
Reliability & Durability — 10
Well, I took this out of the box an everything worked perfectly, unlike the last 3 Fender's I've had. I've already used it on a gig and everything was fine. It appears to be very solidly built. The internal fan to keep everything cool seems like a good idea. This is my first Marshall, so time will tell!
Features — 10
Made in 2002. Tube solid state hybrid with tube driven preamp section. 3 channels, effects loop, headphone jack, 16 effects. Not a very loud 100 watts but certainly loud enough for club work. Wish the to OD channels had separate eq's. 4 button metal footwitch. Fan cooled.