"NO SUCH THING AS MARSHALL ON A BUDGET!"
This reviewer purchased this item from Same Day Music.
Warm clean channel; actually very clear and articulate. Was never able to get the liquid sustain and gain on the OD channel, even using a number of different guitar and pickup combinations, without raising the background noise floor so high it was unacceptable for recording use.
The crunch/balance control is an excellent way to implement a third, pseudo-third drive channel and voice from the amp. Again, noice floor on this entire section was not low enough to be useable in recording situations or small live venues, where people would be within say 25 feet of the speaker cab. I liked the fact that there was a full EQ stack for each channel, and there was a presence and resonance control to help dial in small amounts of treble and bass.
Ease of Use:
Very straightforward controls; 10+ chain of pedals and effects sounded excellent through this amp circuit.
Cosmetic finish and assembly was absolutely outstanding if not perfect. My amp had a completely dead reverb tank, which was not very acceptable for a brand new, out of the box piece of equipment. Every 1/4" jack receptacle has a plastic barrel and sleeve and while the "color coding" effect is nice, it is not necessary....i'd rather have all metal input jacks, period. The head is HUGE; Marshall used the same chassis sizes for both their 50 and 100W heads, and these puppys almost dwarf a custom 2X12.
Took them several days to send me an exploded diagram and schematic for this amp, but I decided I did not want to deal with replacing the reverb anyway and returned the amp for a full refund. Same Day stands behind this 100% and it is appreciated when you cannot audition every piece of new gear in person.
I would have rated higher is the OD channel(s)would have been more useable and produced the genuine Marshall "crunch" I was after for the 1970-80's cover music I was after. This is not it!
The Wow Factor:
Again, a lot of money to pay for a warm clean channel, 50W, and a physical size that requires a gorilla roadie.
As mentioned, already sent back to Same Day Music. This amp "replaced" a VOX AC30CCH because I really needed that Marshall OD crunch capability for so many covers I like to play from the 70's and 80's. I even tried another VOX 50W in the Night Train format, which also had a blown OD channel right out of the box. Lots of crap product being produced out there today. I found the answer to my quest in one of the Blackstar Venue series EL34 heads; got much better quality AND the ability to produce the sound I was after with several different guitars. If you are looking for an affordable Marshall, look at Blackstar, or be willing to pop for more than $1500 and get one of the UK-made models.