Since I'm stuck in an apartment these days, I've had to deal with running my tube amps at ultra-low levels during the evenings. You know, right on the knife's edge between "inaudible" and "GODDAMNIT" on the volume knob.
So, since I absolutely love the tones of this amp series anyway and was super impressed with the JMP1 and JCM1 Combo, I decided to pick this up:
Build quality is solid, although the "Boost" button is a little crooked, and there's a wealth of tones behind this relatively simple EQ:
While it sounds great cranked on the 1W mode (which is louder than I can generally run it here), it still sounds awesome on 0.1W mode, and sounds huge while remaining clear and at a reasonable volume level, with none of the harshness or fizz you can get from running higher-gain amps on super-low volume levels. Looks great too.
One other cool feature that I don't see talked about much is that when you have the 0.1W "low power" mode activated, the amp switches to an internal dummy load, so you can run it with or without a speaker. And, the signal level is low enough (~.02W, apparently) that Marshall recommends using it as a preamp into a +4dB line level effects loop.
So, since I don't have a dedicated cab for it in my apartment yet (my only cab is in Vermont), and all the speaker cables on my combos' speakers are stupidly short , I've been running it into the power section of my Sunn and my Aguilar. The power section sounds great on its own (I had it hooked up to the Sunn's internal speaker yesterday, but that required balancing the head on a box so that the cable would reach) and it's very interesting to hear the same preamp through the different power amps and speakers I have here.
In short, while I'm not sure I'd pay new price for one of these, I got it (barely) used for a reasonable chunk off, and I think I'm going to get a lot of use out of it. It has surprisingly awesome sparkly cleans, and the character of gain is authentic and satsifying to play through.
I'm not sold on the "Boost" switch, which adds diode clipping like the Silver Jubilee has, as it reduces clarity and adds compression somewhat. But, I don't have to use it, and it's there if I want it.
I will be taking it home when I head to VT in a few days, so I will get some more impressions with it cranked through V30s and G12H30s when I get there. If I knew anything about playing with IRs, this would be an awesome recording tool.
You dick. I kind of want one of these.