The ultimate Marshall for classic/hard rock!
Your general opinion of this product.
This is the Marshall that defined hard rock tone in the 80's. Very simple controls, just EQ, pre-amp volume (which controls gain) and Master volume (which controls loudness). Adds an FX Loop, which the originals didn't have. Don't expect any fancy digital effects, reverb, or dozens of fine tuning controls. This is a simple, raw, dynamic and organic amp with amazing tone.
Would you consider this product to be made well? How dependable?
Well packed right out of the box. Amp is solid, tolex covering was impeccable. Switches turn on/off with a solid "click", and knobs have a quality feel. It's a Marshall so expect the best quality.
Playability and Feel
How does it feel, Heavy, Fast, Chunky? How was the neck? Are the controls easy to get to while playing?
Not applicable for an amp review.
Bright and snappy? Dark and smooth? Were the pickups hot, mellow, thick, thin?
First off, this is a loud amp, but can be controlled for band/basement levels with some tweaking. For starters, it's best paired with a JCM1960AV cabinet, not the regular 1960A. This Marshall is a "trebly" amp and needs the warmth of the Vintage 30 speakers to smooth it out. The G12T-75 speakers in the reg cab are too shrill and ear piercing for this amp at moderate volume levels. With the pre-amp at 9 and the volume at 2-3, it's punchy and perfect for a club/rock band, and nails classic rock tone (Aerosmith, Zep, etc). Adding a tube screamer or similar in front with the level dimed and the gain off will boost it even further into hot-rodded Van Halen and 80's metal tone. But the real treat is when you crank the master volume to 7-8 and (without any help from pedals) you get the most amazing hard rock tone imaginable. This is the sound of your record collection. Only issue is, when can you really play at that ear bleeding level? Best off with a good overdrive/boost pedal.
How was the action out of the box?
How did the stain or paint job look?
Couldn't find any build flaws whatsoever, and believe me, I looked hard. Cosmetically, it's a classic look with the black/white logo.
How has it stood up over time?
Been using it as my primary amp for several months, both at home and gigs. Hasn't failed me yet, works perfectly as it should, but always bring a backup amp or sans-amp pedal to a gig....tube amps are what they are, and it's good to be prepared.