Great amp, High Price, A true Starmaker Sound.
Model Year: 1999
Price: $2200.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Wilcutt Music
Great tone selection with Plenty of Kick a-- volume
This amp is best suited for blues, funk, jazz, rock. Very sweet Distortion!!!
A little tricky dialing in sounds since there is so great of tonal control of nuances within each slight turn of every nob.
Very Realiable amp. the foot switch can be touchy if not Babied. Expect to replace footswitch soon.
Looked at a Mesa Nomad and chose the JCM2000 122 TSL the sound was much easier to get at. No-one could steal this amp - its too heavy, but if they did I'd definitely buy a replacement - I might look for a lower rated version, as long as it had the virtual power reduction, just to make home practise more bearable for the neighbours. I nearly bought a TSL602 but I couldn't find a virtual power reduction button (even though the salesman thought it had one somewhere!). The sound of the TSL 122 is so good I've abandoned my Digitech RP11d, and now I just have my Strat, Blade, or PRS into the amp via a Carl Martin Drive'n Boost pedal. This last point highlights the one area for improvement - the reason I was looking at the Nomad was the existence of independent boost footswitches on each of the 3 channels. By my experience independent boost levels per channel is a bit over the top, but if the JCM had a footswitchable boost on each channel it would be perfect and I wouldn't need the Carl Martin pedal!
Price: $850.00 UK Pounds (new)
Where Obtained: Soho Soundhouse
All-valve & 3 channels, each with 3 band eq and mid shift button. Independent reverbs for two channels. 5 button footswitch provides for stomping control. 100 watts RMS through 2 twelve inch speakers - I think one may be a vintage celestion. XLR line out socket if you want to plug it into a desk (have not tried that yet). Virtual power reduction reduces power by half - makes bedroom practise bearable for loved ones and neighbours whilst still capturing some of the warmth of Marshall valve distortion. Two independent effects loops, although I've never used them so far.
Thought I'd picked up a 'just above average' amp when I tried it with a US strat plus deluxe (clean channels sounded great, but other two channels were a touch muddy). Then tried it with a Levison Blade Texas Special(the one with the bridge humbucker) and saw a massive improvement. Finally, ecstatic bliss - the sound I've been looking for for fifteen years - I plugged in a PRS Custom 22 for really sweet sounds across all three channels - but especially on channel one and two (for semi-clean Jazzy blues and moderate blues tones) and three (for pure creamy Latin rock/blues). I thought I'd get this from a JMP 1 (plugged into a Peavey Classic 50/50 power amp and Marshall 2&12 stereo cabinet, but was disappointed.
I tried this next to a Mesa Nomad 55 and found that after and hour in the shop I still struggled to figure out all the options on the Mesa (partly due to the poorly designed panel layout - black knobs on a black background makes it pretty difficult to figure out where you are on the tonal roadmap). I went to the Marshall and figured it out in 2-3 minutes, despite the existence of 21 knobs and 9 push-buttons. If like me you play a range of blues/rock music, and need 2-3 quality sounds (one clean rhythm, one mildly distorted bluesy, and one for the sustained lead solo), then this amp is easy to use, especially with the footswitch, and is easy to adjust on the fly when the venue acoustics are not up to scratch.
Feels like its built like a rock - although only limited gigging so far. My one concern is that my previous Marshall (a Valvestate 50) saw the potentiometers corrode very quickly (and I wasn't living in a damp basement!). I'm hoping the knobs on this one will stay clean for much longer. Weighs a ton though - I don't feel like lugging it to too many gigs on the third floor.