I just bougth a 1980's marshall 5010 from my uncle.... and i think my quest for tone is (almost) over
30 watts, solid state (i opened it but could'nt find the tubes, so... ), 2 channels, fane studio 12" speaker and preamp modded by a crazy norwegian bluesman!
For those of you that have'nt tried one of these babies, let me give you a review:
Clean channel: Not as deep and chimey as a fender, but more vox'y: a strong midrange with lots of texture, it sings! And it also can be broken up into a very tubey tone... no brittleness, it just sings more and more as you turn it up!
Overdrive channel: VERY hefty! It goes from as clean as the clean channel, to a very very marshally roar, just by turning the volume knob! By using a single coil and low gain settings, it gives a very crystally clean sound, not harsh or overdriven, and turning up the gain is SRV deluxe!
And with humbuckers.....ahh! Now i understand the mojo of marshalls! Turn down the guitars volume, and it sings almost like an overdriven vox! At full volume, you get those totally wild harmonics and crunch.... Imagine the tone that Maiden had on the first albums, combined with Joe Satriani's!
Now you must think im telling you that i have the greatest amp in the world, but! (Damn but! There is always a but )
Only 30 watts and a 20 year old fane speaker makes the amp useless for loud stage performance. No matter how you twist it, it's not going to get as loud as a 30 watt valve amp. And, as a matter of fact, it's completely rotten inside. Almost all of the capacitors are blown, or leaking, the pots are f'ed up, and almost all of the knobs are missing.
I just wanted to write something , anyway, i hope you had some interest of reading this