Overall I would say this amp is killer for the price. I would have been willing to pay about $700 for this if I would have found one new. Compared to the other amps I looked at for the money I had on hand, this one took the cake. Lots of bang for the buck, and just to have Marshall plastered all over it made it my amp of choice. I would rather have bought a JCM-900, but the price tag was out of my league at the time.
Where Obtained: Guitar Center, Nashville TN
This is a 100 watt head capable of driving a full stack with no problem. It features clean, crunch, OD, and SUPER OD, as I like to call it. The effects loop system works great with my Boss GT-6 pedal.
I play a Gibson Les Paul Standard Limited Edition with a Boss GT-6 effects pedal through this head and the sound is astonishing. My band plays mostly classic and southern rock from the 70's thru the 90's, and this rig setup seems to work wonders on recreating the sound I wanted. It is crystal clear even at high volume, but don't stand within 8 feet of your stack with it wide open or you will need a hearing aid for the rest of your life from the feedback. This can be controlled, just make sure you mute the strings or turn your guitar volume all the way down before getting close.
It doesnt have an onboard effects unit, this is just a "meat and taters" amp. Basic funcions like a 3 band EQ and seperate volume per channel, external effects return volume, reverb, and main volume. That's all you really need on your head, if you like delay, chorus, etc, just get seperate pedals and run them thru the loop.
I have not had much time to break it in, but we have played 2 outdoor live shows at a couple of clubs here in Nashville, and we were LOUD!!! The amp held up nice for the 5 hours of being cranked to 10. This amp is definitely road worthy.
This amp is everything I ever wanted, and then some. The only problem I have is that sometimes the contour control can be a pain in the butt, as there's no way to disable it, and you sometimes feel it makes the focus of the equalisation a little too strong, but that's something I can live with by tweaking it a bit. I would definitely get another marshall if I lost this amp, but I would probably try out some of the other heads before I bought this one again. I know this was reasonably cheap, and if it's THIS good, then maybe the more expensive ones would be even better!!
Model Year: 1999
Price: $495.00 UK (new)
Where Obtained: Andy Wilson Centre
2 channels, channel 1 has bass, mid, treble and gain cotrols, and selector between clean and crunch. Channel 2 has gain, bass, mid, treble, contour and volume controls, plus selector between OD1 and OD2. Has an effects loop input/output, with a selector between 0dB and -20dB, and a control for the effect level (dry-effect). Also has reverb and master volume controls. Came with footswitch for channel and reverb selection, but no selection for OD1/OD2 or Clean/Crunch, which would have been useful. Back of head has 2 speaker outs, and a CD input.
Sounds best with my Danelectro U2, some light chorus courtesy of my zoom 507, and a little light crunch blues setting. The fullness of the OD2 sound is great, but the contour control can be a pain, as you have to fiddle with it to get the perfect sound. On the whole I love the sound of this amp, and I still haven't had a really good chance to crank it up yet. I'm sure I'll be extremely happy when I finally get the chance!!
Once you've messed around with the controls for a bit, it's really easy to dial in the sound you're after, and it only takes a little tweaking to perfect it. The only way to find out is to try a few different things and hear the results, and after a few minutes of this, you're pretty much aware of what sounds can be found in what ranges.
Very reliable! I've treated this amp in a less than nice way, but it still looks fantastic, sounds fantastic, and has lost none of the dynamics. I live in a third floor flat, and I've had to drag this thing up and down the stairs many times (100+), and it's still as good as it was when I first got it.