Many Marshalls in One Combo
This combo is fantastic. The build quality and material quality are top notch. The clean setting on the classic gain channel is exactly what I needed: tons of clean headroom with that vintage Marshall clean tone (think Marshall Major abd JTM45). The settings I use here with my Strat are gain at 3 o'clock, volume to taste, treble at 10-11 o'clock, mids at 1-2 o'clock, bass maxed out, presence at 1 o'clock, resonance at 3 o'clock, and reverb at 1-3 o'clock depending on taste. The crunch setting on the classic gain channel takes you from a very mild breakup to a super crunchy, but still tamed creamy overdrive sound (think AC/DC). The ultra gain channel delivers warm, smooth distortion ranging from JCM800 to modern high gain, with the ability to scoop the mods via the tone shift button for a more modern sound. There are three issues I found with this amp: first, the stock speaker isn't very good sounding and is 80% of the reason the distortion can sound buzzy or fizzy in this amp. I replaced it with a Celestion Creamback 65M and it sounds soooooooooooo good. Second, EQ settings do not translate well between classic and ultra gain. Switching from classic gain to ultra gain yields an extreme volume jump, a lot of fizzy distortion, and way too much treble. I solved this by clipping the C19 capacitor out of the circuit and now all fizz is gone, the volume jump between channels is almost non-existent, and the EQ settings work very well on both channels now. Third and last, the digital reverb is subtle to a fault. It is really only usable from 1-2 o'clock to maxed out... But, through this range, it sounds like what most other amps' onboard reverb sounds like from minimum to 10-11 o'clock. It's also worth mentioning that mine arrived with all 4 stock preamp tubes bad and the amp was unplayable because of the static. However, Sweetwater immediately sent me 4 replacement preamp tubes. I'm sure I was just unlucky as I know a few people who own this amp and they've had no problems with preamp tubes at all.