65 Amps Ventura or Marshall 2061x handwired

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by mamimi, Apr 1, 2015.

  1. mamimi

    mamimi Member

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    I used to be a Fender guy, but now, I got a new Marshall 1960AX 412 cab. I want to buy a new head to replace my old Bassman head. My friends recommended me to buy 65 Amps Ventura or Marshall 2061x handwired, so which one is better? I know they are all boutique amps.

    Budget $1400
     
  2. batfish

    batfish Member

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    I've owned a 65Amps london pro (combo) and currently own and play a 2061x.

    I think this is one of those can't go wrong decisions, however, your playing situation an preference should definitely play a role in your decision. Ideally, you should play both, but they're also pretty rare amps.

    The Ventura is a more modern amp, with a built in boost function, an effects loop (passive) and a built in attenuation feature (they call it a 'master' voltage), which works pretty well, but like any attenuation, is better for knocking a few decibels off the amp in a live playing situation vs. trying to get a "pushed" tone in your living room. I found it very useful for rehearsals in small studios.

    The Marshall is really old school and very simple. I almost always jumper the channels. You can get a lot of good and varied tones with it's minimal controls, but it doesn't have a loop, doesn't have a 'boost' feature, doesn't have any way to attenuate (if you want overdrive, you just turn it up, and it will be loud!) - it's a good amp if you're playing rock in small clubs and like to use your volume knob on your guitar. It does take pedals well. I like using a treble booster with it, sounds great.

    65Amps *can* also have great support, though there were a few times when no one picked up the phone or responded to an email. However, most of the time, Dan himself picked up the phone and is a delightful man to talk with and provides great support.

    One thing, buy used. BOth of these amps will be easily attainable within your budget if you buy used.

    THe Marshall will be likely out of warranty. If you go that way, make sure you get a fairly recent one or one with upgraded transformers, as the old ones have transformers that seem to have a high failure rate. My own 2061, which I bought used, I had thought was stock (the seller told me it was), but it actually has a Mercury Magnetics transformer, so my guess is the original blew up :). I looked up the replacement transformer, and it cost 165 bucks, and with the cost of installation, it probably cost the original owner several hundred to get that done, so I'm glad I didn't have to do it.

    I think they fixed the reliability issue, and you won't pay much more for a recent one than for one that's older, so I'd look for a more recent one.

    The 65 Amps has a lifetime warranty which you can get transferred into your name, however, it's important to note that you'll have to ship the chassis or the whole amp to 65Amps. They'll give it a refurb as part of the warranty transfer, do any updates, undo any mods that have been done, put it through their stress testing, basically treat it as if it were a new amp going through QA. It's a good service, but it's not cheap (several hundred dollars when I checked), so factor that into your purchase decision if you buy used and care about getting it under warranty.

    I think most folks will tell you that the 65 will have better components and perhaps build quality, but the Mashall looks cooler :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2015
  3. jota

    jota Member

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    Sorry for the offtopic but, batfish, how do you compare the 12AX7 channel of the London pro with the Marshall?
     
  4. batfish

    batfish Member

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    I'd say they're comparable. The 65 maybe a little brighter and harsher. It's hard to judge exactly because the 65 was a 1X12 with a G12H30 while I play the 2061 through G12M greenbacks, so that would account for some difference in how I heard them.

    I'd say the 2061 stays cleaner, longer, though both overdrive easily at band level volumes. The 65 would start getting pretty saturated really low on the dial, like '2', while the 2061 gets to about half way up before it's starting to saturate heavily. Bear in mind my 2061 has an aftermarket transformer that could be effecting it's headroom, but it's the only one I've played. It has a good rock n' roll sound when it's played loud.

    The ef86 channel on the 65 was a beautiful thing, just a gorgeous sound.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2015
  5. big mike

    big mike Moderator - EL34 Emeritas Staff Member

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    I had a 2061X and it was a very good amp., some of them had a run of bad transformers though...theyr'e good, but a little pricey for the hype. I'd love another thouhg.

    Haven't played the ventura, but the London. I prefered the 2061 to the London, but in general I think the 65 stuff is better made. Love the tones on the clips of the ventura. I'd give that the edge in versatility for sure. the 2061 is a one trick pony.
     
  6. jota

    jota Member

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    I have the London pro but never tried any Marshall so I don't know how Marshall it is!
    It sounds exactly like you describe it. I actually like it with my Gretsch but would love a bit more of headroom out of it.
     
  7. mamimi

    mamimi Member

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    Thanks for your suggestions guys!
    Thank you batfish!Your reply has great amount of information.
    If I have a chance to find them at local store, I will certainly try them.
    It seems that the 65 is more suitable for my situation.
    I have played a Marshall JCM800 at the club,and a Friedman PT20 at friend's apartment, they all sound great! I never tried any 65 amps, but I like its tone on the demo clips.
     

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