I usually don't like cross posting on different forums, but I thought you guys might like to hear my thoughts on the Marshall Class 5 I picked up this weekend (Black Friday discount at Sam Ash on 48th St). I also posted this on the JCF, so if you read it there, feel free to skip it. OK, so I had a couple hours to mess around with the Class 5 on Saturday. Played it with my Adrian Smith - alder strat, Super Distortion and two Fender single coils. This is a pretty simple amp - volume, treble, middle, bass. 5 watts through a 1x10 speaker. Size wise, I guess I was expecting it to be a heck of a lot smaller. Its about the same size as my Boogie 1x12 combo - width & depth are the same - but about 1.5" inches shorter. Top mounted panel with a wierd "Class 5" logo that, to me, looks very un-Marshall-like. Not sure who made the call on that. One input. Back panel's got a stereo 1/4" headphone out and a 16 Ohm speaker out with a switch to go from internal speaker to phones. Interesting to note, the speaker out defeats the internal speaker, which is kind of odd. Its not to be used for an extension speaker. You can either use the external or the internal - not both. I'd kind of like to have the option to run either extension only or internal + extension. Build quality seems good. No loose tolex or anything. It looks the business, as they say in Ol' Blighty (or at least in Guy Ritchie's Ol' Blighty). I dig the old style piping and grill cloth. Except for the aforementioned odd looking "Class 5" logo. I do hear little bit of rattle, but you can't hear it at decent volume - I'm not sure if its got the same rattle problem discussed on other forums. Sound wise, the combo kicks out some decent volume. At full whack, it put 105 dB on my SPL app on my iPhone. Don't know how accurate it is, but my little Marshall Kerry King practice amp did like 98 dB max, and my Boogie did 110 with the Master on 1. It's about as loud as its going to get around 5 on the volume. Hot single coils stayed clean up to about 2.5, Super Distortion was getting some breakup at the same. EQ controls feel typical Marshall to me - i.e. they don't do much. You've got one sound basically, and the control shape it appropriately. By way of example - not much difference in the overall sound with the Bass at 2.5 vs. 7.5. You can hear the difference, but the "sound" is the same? Make sense? Think of it as adding a little polish to the tone here and there rather than shaping it. Tone wise, this is a happening little amp. The clean sound is fat and chewy - lots of color and character to it. Its the kind of clean sound you actually like playing on - just noodling around. Sounds good. You can get some chime and sparkle, but to me it sounds typical Marshall clean, only not cardboardy and flat that you get from some Marshalls. Also, when cranked up, you can roll down the volume on the guitar and get back to the clean sound and it sounds good as opposed to just sounding like you rolled your volume down. At 5 on the volume, you're into crunch land. Its got a very pleasing break-up sound. Its not high-gain distortion. Its tube overdrive. At 5 it begs you to play AC/DC - seriously. Hells Bells sounds great on it. I would describe it as punchy and gutsy. Lots of balls for such a little amp. Not buzzy in tone at all. Not hissy. It sounds like it means business. So - punchy overdriven power chords sound great. Chugging on the low E or A is more thrumming than "chun-chun-chun" so no Ride the Lightning type riffing here. The lead sound is bluesy. Think old Aerosmith or Great White (I was listening to Great White on the way to Sam Ash - thus the comparison). Its got a good bit of sustain. Not thick, Santana sustain, but that thinner, Angus Young kind of sound. Again, it begs for quick pentatonic style licks. Eat note has a quick burst kind of sound. Each note is distinct - fast runs don't get compressed together the way they do on a high gain amp. Bends on the high E don't sounds sterile or weak, but they don't make you want to hold the bend and just wobble it back and forth, like, say, my Boogie does. Turning up the volume past 5 doesn't get much louder, but it does add more overdrive and grind to the sound. A little mushy compression at max volume, but it still retains that clangy crunch sound. I found the sweet spot at 5, or just below or above. Very dynamic - light picking cleans it and laying into it pops. I didn't try it with headphones, but I did try the headphone out to the 12" in my Boogie as demonstrated on some Youtube videos. In a word: "don't." Sounds like crap. Takes all the tube goodness and turns it to mush. Sounds like the emulated out you find on some Marshalls. Its also very low volume - at that point, to me - just play unplugged. I didn't try the extension out - my Boogie's speaker is 8 Ohm and its a 16 Ohm out - I don't know if that's compatible. Takes pedals very well. I tried my Tubescreamer, MXR Classic Distortion and BBE American Distortion. The Classic Distortion sounded the best - added a thick creamy "stack" kind of sound - fat, warm and round. The BBE is more of a Rat style distortion pedal - I was able to get that raw trebly sound Adrian Smith has on Live After Death. The Tubescreamer was a dud. Thickened the middle, sounded OK - but not "WOW!" I also ran my Plexitube through it, which added that high gain Marshall sound and still stayed very warm. Well, that's it for now. I'll try to record some videos, but my camera's mic is crap and sucks all the low end out. Maybe Satan Claws will bring me a better video camera. We'll see.