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This is where you can recommend to readers an alternative - or gear that goes with - Marshall Valvestate VS65R. What gear sounds similar, is less expensive, higher-end or boutique, etc.?ADD YOUR RECOMMENDATION
It's an okay amp
This amp was given to me by an ex-coworker. It's a step-up from my Fender Frontman 10G, but I could do better. As the name implies, it's a tube/solid-state hybrid. It has two channels: a clean channel and an overdrive channel. It also has built-in spring reverb. This amp sounds okay but to me, it sounds too "sterile", as in it doesn't have much character to it. Because it's not a true tube amp, the sound won't "break up" as you turn up the volume. The overdrive channel sounds fine, but it's too aggressive for me, as in it can go from zero to sixty with a small turn of the gain knob. Some may like this but sometimes I want more "subtle" overdrive. Overall, I'd say this amp is good for intermediate players who are looking to upgrade from their tiny little practice amp. It can also probably be used for gigging in small venues in a pinch. It's a 65w amp so it's decently loud. I'd definitely save up for something better, though.
Hits the sweet spot
Most (if not all) combo amp/speaker units are a compromise in one way or another. Either the unit is too small to deliver enough punch or is too big to be easily carried around. This is where the Marshall VS65R hits the sweet spot.
The 2 channel (clean and drive), 65 Watt Valvestate and 1x12" speaker combo along with built in spring reverb delivers enough to be a great practice and home studio amp all while being compact and light enough to take on stage for small to medium gigs.
Treble, Middle and Bass controls and a Tone Shift switch for tonal options on the Clean channel are enough to tweak up a decent crisp sound. Gain, Volume, Treble, Bass and dramatic Contour control on the Overdrive channel are dynamic enough to cover most playing styles needing overdrive.
The Headphone jack which mutes the internal speaker is perfect for practice sessions at home (when you don't want to wake the neighbors) and the Line Out jack is well suited for connection to external equipment such as effect units or recording setups. Foot switchable channels is a great feature.
All things considered, the Marshall VS65R combo amp really hits the sweet spot by delivering a great sound in a very portable unit... and at it's price, is really is a great buy.
Fine allrounder, great tube sound
I actually own an older V40 model, but more or less same specs as this one. Marshall has an iconic name and rightly so, I love it. Compact and loud if you want it to be, no hokus pokus, just good old rocknroll. Unique gain sound. I've been playing it for 35 years or so, quite reliable, had to replace the on/off switch once, but other than that a true joy.
Good cleans. Lacks punch.
I bought my one used, great clean sounds with several guitars of varying quality. But seems to lack a beast mode, even with an array of effects plugged in. The dirty channel has very little punch, even at big volumes and can be quite bassy and muddy, again tested with several guitars.